Um, March is the beginning of the new year, right? Like, it’s normal to begin improving yourself at that time? Gyms see their biggest increase in membership in March, right?
Okay, I know that’s not true, but I need it to be to have a valid reason for what I’ve done. I’ve started a fitness program. I am one who is getting fit.
When we moved to Poland in 2011, I realized that skinny jeans were a must if I was to become fully Euro, and I also knew that my body needed some tweaking to pull that off. Luckily, just carrying groceries up three flights of stairs and not liking new food in a strange country helped me lose some weight.
But still, the urge to be fit was there. It was some sort of call from the dance classes of my youth and the cloggy places in my arteries. I had shed my fast food habit (because they have only one option here), and my body was getting all, “Hey, what if you actually used this time to get TOTALLY healthy?”
The October before we moved I went with several friends to a women’s fitness retreat also hoping to kick-start some healthy. It began with a night around the campfire drinking beer and belly dancing. (Also? Me falling down the hill on the way to sign in and getting to hear the director say, “Hmmm, we didn’t think we’d need first aid at registration.”) The next day we did a million cool fitness things. There was yoga, Zumba, rock climbing, canoeing, trail running, and the like. We were all, “Girls are powerful, and they can be so fit even after a night of drinking!!!!!” It was so great that after the lunch break I took a nap and missed my sports massage. I was totally pumped and ready to try these things in a non-retreat setting. But we were moving, and no one can take a small excuse and ride it out like me, so I decided to wait.
Then, it was the dead of winter in Poland. I was not going to be a hero. What if I got cold or wet while running? Um, no thanks.
Then all of a sudden it was summer, and who the hell STARTS working out in the summer? It just isn’t done.
And then before I knew it, it was winter again. See above.
But low and behold, it is spring, and I’m ready to really do this healthy thing!
But first? Shopping!
My first purchase was a Zumba DVD set. I liked this class so much when I tried it at the fitness retreat. Also, someone had told me I looked good when I did it, so I let vanity drive me. The DVD set came with some hand weights and five different workouts. (My husband saw the weights and asked if I bought Shake Weights. He thought he was about to make his fortune on YouTube.) It includes an ab workout and toning with the weights in addition to the funky and awesome dancing.
Next I needed shoes. Duh. I got Zumba shoes AND running shoes. Why two different pairs you might ask if you are male? Well, the Zumba shoes need to be flexible for the kick-ass dancing. Also, I Zumba inside, and we do not wear shoes that have been outdoors inside. Too many people in Poland let their dogs relieve themselves right in the middle of the sidewalk. I had no clothes for these new activities either but quickly added them to my haul. A GPS/running app was added to my phone, and I was fully equipped to be fit.
I started with the hour-long Zumba instructional video. I had to roll up the area rug and got winded. This made me nervous. Still, I proceeded. I did not warm up and neither did the people in the video. We just went right to learning moves. They really broke down each step, and we just did it up to speed for a brief time. I felt like I might have needed medical attention afterwards. But I did it! I Zumba-ed! And I still have the hip pain to prove that I did not warm up or cool down properly.
The following week, I did the 30 minute real workout. Again, it was not a pretty sight as I began sweating the second the conga beat got me. A man I can only assume invented Zumba appeared in this one and told me to really feel the music. I totally did. But, to be honest, my favorite part was when one of his perky back-up dancers corrected his pronunciation. Take that muscle man; I talk gooder than you!
Then, I moved on to running. I chose the first day of spring and was rewarded with clouds and a random mist hitting me in the face. But I couldn’t back down. It was written in ink on the family calendar. I looked super cute and very sporty with my pink running jacket and earbuds streaming motivational running music and my new white shoes announcing my rookieness. I am proud to say I ran/walked a little over two miles. And I had to go uphill on the way back to my house after. I’m not even making that up to sound like I had rough when I didn’t because it’s like 100 steps up that hill, and I was tired and wheezy and red-faced.
Though I limp now after sitting too long, thereby angering my left hip, I think this is going to be great. I’m aiming for working out three times a week. Then, I’d like to run a 5K with a decent time and then a half-marathon.
I’d also like to eat all of the things on our visit to Texas this summer and not gain seven pounds like I did on our visit last December. Because that is what being healthy is all about.