we’re going to the Y-M-C-A!

22Sep09

Even though we didn’t exactly keep up with our goals during The Challenge, Ash’s willingness to put her money where her mouth is and join a gym inspired me to join a gym myself. I finally took the plunge and joined the only gym in Jefferson City with an indoor pool…the Y-M-C-A (just in case you didn’t catch that, that was sung, not said). I definitely plan on singing that song every time I go. Let’s see how long it takes them to revoke my membership. I love how cheap it is ($25/month for just me), and all it offers for that minimal price (all the pilates, yoga, swimming, rock wall climbing, basketball, weight lifting, treadmill running, indoor tennis and racquetball playing and hot tubbing I want).

The only form of exercise I’ve ever really liked and seen results from has been swimming. I swam in middle school and two years in high school, and while I was never the best on the team, swimming was something I could enjoy without being the best. Unfortunately, you need a swimming pool to swim, and if you aren’t a student at a university, you have to pay for membership to a pool. I’ve had myself convinced that I don’t need a gym membership when running and aerobic videos are virtually free and strength training can be done with cans of creamed corn. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it.

Swimming is just so much better for the body. I should take this moment to note that I am in no way a professional exercise guru or personal trainer, and the knowledge that follows is all from my own reading, a paper I wrote in P.E. and personal experience.Swimming is essentially running with zero impact, but it’s also more than running because (in my opinion) it builds muscle better than running. Running mostly works out your legs while swimming works out the arms, legs and the core at the same time you’re getting in your cardio workout too.

Things that suck about swimming:

  • Having to wash your hair after you swim. If you’re pushing yourself, you always look awful after swimming laps so you have to do a full “getting ready for the day” maintenance routine.
  • If there is lightning, even if you’re in an indoor pool (if you have responsible lifeguards), you can forget your workout. This happened to me yesterday.
  • There’s no music to distract you. Sure, there’s usually a stereo on deck, but you can’t hear that when your head is in the water. We need a waterproof iPod. Without music, all there is to drive you is silence, your own thoughts, bubbles and pain. That’s hard for me. I usually pass the time focusing on form or counting out my strokes to keep a rhythm. I can also always focus on my mantra to get me to the gym, “Hot body; hot body; hot body; hot body…”
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