I moved to Texas a year and a half ago and ever since I left NYC, I totally abandoned my health and fitness. I dove straight into happy hours, queso and gave myself way too many “off days” from the gym. I have to be honest, I loved my trainer and my workout routine in NYC but also my active lifestyle. New Yorkers walk everywhere and when something is within walking distance, that’s a dream. So this may seem weird but when I got serious about my fitness here in Dallas, I decided to cancel my gym membership. Sounds kinda weird right? Well let me explain why I quit the gym.
I was a member at a very nice, luxurious even, gym in NYC so it was a no brainer to join that same chain when I got to Dallas. I always thrived in a gym environment where I could silently “compete” against other gym-goers. At one point, I’d dare someone in my mind to get on the treadmill next to me so I would have to push myself to go faster and longer. Insane perhaps, competitive 100%, but this was what motivated me. Having spent half my life competing with my teammates in practice, this is how I was motivated. So you’re probably thinking, ok so why leave that environment?
Well friends, that’s because people and things change. I no longer felt competitive at the gym, in fact, I felt wildly insecure. I no longer had the confidence I once did so it had the reverse effect on me. I’d just go to the gym (maybe) and do the bare minimum. My 60 minute runs turned into 30 minute walk-runs. There’s nothing wrong with that, it just was going in the wrong direction for me.
Another issue is I love a routine. Ideally, I’d run outside most mornings and have a yoga or Pilates membership but here in Dallas, running outside for about 6 months of the year is damn near impossible for me. I am so impressed by those of you who brave the heat. So in order to run, something I love, I needed a membership. But the problem with a gym membership is you’re not committed to go per say. You can technically go to the gym at any point throughout that day right? So that left me with way too many options to come up for an excuse.
“I’m too tired, I should go back to sleep.”
“Today was stressful enough, I should have a glass of wine to relax instead.”
“If I work out now, I’ll be wired and won’t sleep well.”
Or my favorite, “Well today I don’t have time for the gym, I’ll just go tomorrow.”
So I decided to try some classes in town to keep me on a schedule and to keep me accountable. I tried yoga, a few different Pilates places, Orange Theory and eventually Tread Barre. When I completed my first Tread Barre class I knew I’d found my perfect fit. I decided to try their introductory month class and when I went to Chicago for work, I felt genuinely sad that I would have to miss 3 days of class. Ah ha, I’d found my groove and my motivation again. I can’t really articulate why its a fit for me, I think it’s the vibe, the style, the fact that I have yet to plateau and the instructors that I love. They also are close to where I live and I never have a hard time getting into the class. But then came the issue of money.
Classes, gyms, etc are not cheap. And to have several is quite costly so I had to make a choice and for me it was super easy. I could get the run part of my workout accomplished at their tread class, plus it was competitive and once I signed up I had to go or I would be charged. I loved this. Then I tried the other half of their business, Pilates Barre. I looked at the pricing and for me to cancel my gym and have a membership to both of these studios was pretty close. So I quit the gym.
This is not a paid post, nor do I receive any discounts from Pilates Barre, I just found what worked for me. With cooler fall temps rolling in, I can now run outside as well if I’d like. My point in sharing this story with you all is that it took me a long time to find what fit for me here. I have nothing against the other studios I tried, I just felt like this was the best fit for me and my goals. My advice is to try everything, see how YOUR body reacts and consider making a change. If you still love the gym and have the dedication to go, then by all means, keep going! But if you’re in the same boat, bored, unmotivated, uncommitted and flat out lazy, try new classes. Tell yourself its ok if it takes a while to find your perfect fit because you will otherwise, we’d all be at the same one place every day. There is no one-size fits all but I can tell you that as I’m (slowly) edging toward my wellness goals, I now look forward to my hour workout every day. Its my time for myself and it helps me to make better choices after.
There’s no harm in taking some time off but we’re armed with so much data about what exercise does for us so give it a try. And listen to yourself and your body to see if you need a change. Don’t be afraid to try new stuff, that’s where the best growth happens.
If you do want a run/strength/pilates style, I recommend Tread Barre and Pilates Barre. I also like Orange Theory, I just don’t like the rowing component but people LOVE it! As for Pilates, I love Session and BodyBar. Lastly, I always have a 5 pack at CorePower. Yoga helps to stretch me out and strengthen muscles so I’ll go a couple of times a month. Hope this helps if anyone is looking to work on their health as we enter this busy holiday season. Plus if you’re looking to try new stuff, what a great gift to put on your list this year!
Have a great day everyone!