Monday, December 27, 2010

Exercise ADD?

For those of you who know me well, you know that I often try different "methods" of working out, sometimes even embarking on the latest trends. However, most of these methods do not last long. Soon, my ADHD tendencies kicks in and I become disinterested in the latest craze. This has been a pattern for quite some time.

In college, I decided that the elliptical was an interesting piece of equipment to try out. It was easy to, I could watch TV (usually Regis and Kelly) while moving on it, and it was even manageable hung-over! Diligently, each day, I would hit up the "REC" for an hour of fierce ellipticaling (I realize that this is a made-up verb). This clearly was not an effective work-out, as I was about 20 lbs heavier at WSU than I am now (although it also may have had something to do with the pizza and beer). Nevertheless, I have considered the elliptical and evil demon since...and have not set foot on that bad boy again.

After college, I realized it was time to get serious about my health and took up running which I used to do a great deal of in high school Cross-Country. Running was a wonderful release after a day of student-teaching, and began to run 5 days or so per week. After pounding the pavement for several months, I entered and ran in a 1/2 marathon, then another. Then...the boredom began to kick in. I did not really have the desire to run anymore 1/2 marathons nor a full one EVER. I still continued with running, but kept my eyes peeled for new ways to stay in shape.

HOT Yoga/Bikram Yoga was the next adventure in fitness for me. Living in Seattle at the time, Hot Yoga studios were nearly as abundant as Starbucks stores, so I had no problem finding one. By the way, the only real difference I noticed between Hot and Bikram was that in Bikram there is carpet on the floor, and people talk before class in Hot Yoga. This is not allowed during Bikram, unless you want to get the evil eye. In both Bikram and Hot, participants are lead through a series of poses in a hot (scorching hot) room. It is incredibly challenging, and I sometimes felt as though my skin and organs were on fire.

Yoga was great. For a while. When I had the new member specials. After that, things started to get pricey. Really pricey. Most studios did ofter monthly unlimited deals, and encouraged members to attend Yoga classes 4 or more days a week. There was no way I could do that as I began to grow tired of the classes. Each time, class is EXACTLY the same...and I mean exactly. The instructor leads the group through the same 26 poses each time. Not only that, but I also was sick of having to plan when I could eat (you get sick if you eat 2 hours or less prior), and making certain I had enough water. The last straw was when a man ripped one right in front of me during a class. I started laughing and was met with a scowl from the Yoga master, as she informed me that I should be so in tune with my own body that I should not have noticed. That was the last class I attended.

Zumba was another exercise trend I tried out last year. Lots of friends and co-workers were raving about it, so I decided to pop in after noticing a class going on at LA Fitness. I loved it, and did not even feel as though I was working out. I was dancing like I was in a club and felt as though the only way this class could be topped would be if I had a delicious cocktail in my hand!

This exhilaration was sort-lived when the classes became so crowded that I could not shake my tail feathers properly. My last Zumba class EVER entailed a verbal confrontation with a delightful young lady and her boyfriend who walked into class WAY late and kept shoving me and others around us to get a spot. Just like in Yoga, Zumba had a "last straw" for me as well. The previously mentioned boyfriend was literally right behind me with about 2 inches of space (very awkward while performing a hip-thrusting movement). After he accidentally ran right into my ass, I high-tailed it out of the aerobics room.
In late June, 2009 I began a new adventure in fitness, called "Crossfit" and am happy to report that I have yet to get bored and quit. This is due to the fact that Crossfit specializes in not specializing. This means that each day is a new workout and challenge, so it is perfect for those with a short attention span, such as myself. Basically, I get to do a little bit of everything ...running, gymnastics, lifting, and flexibility. Each day a different warm-up and WOD (workout of the day) is posted, and a trainer demonstrates the skills needed for the workout and checks to assure they are being executed correctly. WOD's are also modified as needed. Most WOD's are timed and it really does help a competitive person like myself to have a clock to race against.

Some people have asked if Crossfit is worth the price, since the membership is a bit more than a typical gym. The answer is easy: Crossfit is relatively cheap for group personal training when I began to compare prices for personal training sessions. And, it is really not much more per month than most global gyms. Plus, I am in much better shape than I have been from any other work-out. Past injuries and ailments have vanished, my running times are faster, and I have gained a great deal of strength and flexibility. Perhaps I have finally arrived at a fitness program that I will continue to stick with after so many failed attempts? I will keep you posted.
In case you want to try it out...

Here is the main crossfit site:

The site for my crossfit gym: