So, the “a” of a&o has a confession to make. I hate working out. I joke that I’m allergic to it. Several years ago I agreed (I don’t know why) to run a 5k corporate challenge with my company’s team. I partnered up with a friend and we agreed to run together (although she was a much stronger runner than me). In reality, a 5k is not that long of a run for a person who’s relatively fit and running at a leisurely rate like I was. However, I found the 5k run extremely challenging. During the tortuous run I thought that with each step I was surely inching closer to my demise. Alas, I made it across the finish line in one piece! Almost immediately a strange feeling overtook my body. My arms, legs and face started to itch. My skin felt like it was crawling right off of my body. I asked my friend, “Am I breaking out?” She said that it looked like I was getting a few hives. I was going to head directly home, but it seemed like the hives were getting worse with each passing moment so I decided to first go to my friend’s apartment to get some Benadryl. While we were waiting for a cab I decided to check out my face in the side view mirror of a parked car. I leaned over and screamed. The face of Will Smith in that movie “Hitch” was staring back at me! My face appeared to be twice it’s true size and was lumpy, bumpy and red. After several pills of Benadryl and a few hours of rest, my face looked normal enough to be seen in public. After that experience I was convinced that I had an allergic reaction to exercise!
Despite the fact that I don’t enjoy working out, I know that it’s a necessary evil. High blood pressure and strokes run in my family, so maintaining a healthy weight and heart are very important. Also, as a black woman, I am cognizant of the health concerns affecting the black community. The Center for Disease Control reports that 4 out of 5 African American women are overweight or obese, while one-third of the overall population is overweight or obese. These are statics that are extremely alarming and if I want to be part of the solution I need to practice what I preach!
I admit that I have exercise ADD and am always looking for new stimulation in the gym. This is a huge reason why I stop and start exercise regimens. So, I decided to make an investment in a gym membership to a luxury fitness club which has 20 locations in New York and a TON of classes. I had a corporate discount that I receive for just one location, but the classes are limited at that location and the hours on the weekend are also limited, so I now have access to all of the clubs, a wide variety of classes and top of the line facilities like pools (I love swimming laps), state of the art cardio machines, and well outfitted locker rooms with steam rooms. So, I’m happy to say that now I’m back to working out and loving it. For me, making the investment in a this gym membership was key for creating motivation to work out and to stick with it. I’ve been enjoying every moment of it and relish in the time that I spend in the gym as time that I don’t have to think about anything except for making myself the most fit I can be.
Do you have any challenges in gaining motivation to work out? What do you do to regain momentum?