Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

I mentioned that I have gained some weight since the beginning of the year and that I was back to using My Fitness Pal to track my calories - but that's not the only thing I'm changing up.

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this on the blog before but SEVERAL years ago, I was a certified Jazzercise instructor.  Yup, true story.  I began taking classes after I gained about 30 post-wedding pounds and between classes and counting calories I lost almost 50lb before I graduated pharmacy school.  I was so pleased with it that I became a certified instructor in the spring of 2006 and I taught classes until I had to resign after miscarriage #1 in 2010.  In addition to my OB putting me on pelvic rest when I became pregnant again (and then ultimately lost that baby also but talking about that would lead into an entirely different discussion), I also had some female issues that were only getting worse with the intense cardio workouts (I'll spare you the details).  Needless to say, after Morgan was born and I had these issues addressed I was looking to get back into working out and decided to do Couch 2 5K with a friend at work.  We didn't run together, but we followed the same schedule and supported each other.

I've been running now as a sole means of working out for two years.  I'll try to do a cardio video or some strength training on my own at home but let's get real here - more times than not, it doesn't get done, or I don't perform at the intensity that I need to to get the desired results.  I've been thinking long and hard about the difference between how I worked out in 2006 and how I work out now and why I'm not seeing similar results, and I know there are probably several reasons but today we're gonna talk about just one - having friends to do it with.

You see, when I was a Jazzercise instructor there were days that I dreaded getting up and going to teach a 5:15am class - BUT I did it - because I KNEW there were people there waiting on me; friends who motivated me to push myself each and every workout.  And while I have friends that run, they usually do not run with me, or do any other workout videos with me.  And I think that makes a big difference.

So there's some truth to the song - I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends.  Because I really do.  And while my BRFs are some of THE MOST WONDERFUL ladies I have ever met (DisBroads, looking at you!), I decided I needed a local group too that could motivate me as much as my broads do.  Now that's some pretty big shoes to fill, and I didn't want to have to travel far - so lucky for me, there's a local fitness group in my town that fits the bill.

I did my first group run with the LiveFit ladies this past Saturday and immediately felt welcomed to the group.  Think Moms Run This Town, but right in my back yard, almost literally.  One of the ladies I happen to be running with that morning is one of the group fitness instructors and we were discussing how cross-training and strength training are all important to runners too (things I knew but never really put into practice), and I decided with two injuries practically back-to-back, it would be good to make cross- and strength training more of a priority.  So this morning I took my first Bootcamp class.  My arms are still shaking as I type this - I mean what a workout!!!  It was so refreshing to see so many people gathered in the town square on a cool April morning to work towards their fitness goals.  Some are in the running group like myself, others aren't, and that's ok.  We all got the same workout, and I'm surprised to say that I can't wait to go back later on this week.  But I could definitely tell a difference between working out this morning and trying to do things on my own - sometimes working out with friends makes all the difference :)

How about you - do you prefer to workout alone or with a group?

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