I never expected to get addicted to working out but I have. A few years back, I paid a trainer at the gym in our old office building to get me set straight before my wedding. I had a year. So, I would see him three times a week and take the free classes offered at that gym three to four times a week. After a year, I thought I would totally keep going after the wedding because I developed a habit, right? I signed up with another trainer after my original left and I even continued to take the classes even though the trainers/teachers of the classes had changed. But everything seemed different. The personal training wasn’t the same and the classes weren’t the same. Everyone told me it was because I had reached my goal – my wedding day – and so I had lost my motivation. That may have been true, but I still wanted to work out. I really did. I just didn’t know how to get motivated again so I canceled the gym membership and stopped seeing the personal trainer. I figured that after a year, I should know what I was doing at the gym and therefore be able to go to the gym by myself or even stay home and workout on my own.
At the end of the day, going to workout at the gym was still too intimidating and with regard to working out at home, I was never more consistent than a couple of weeks. So last year, I tried personal training again. This time, it was someone who could come to my home gym so the sessions would be at the times most convenient for me. Totally setting myself up for success, right? Eh. Not so much. There was still something missing. The quality and attention I had been accustomed to just wasn’t there anymore. My insecurities set in and I just couldn’t keep paying for someone and for sessions that just didn’t motivate me or push me to progress in any way. Don’t get me wrong, the trainer was a great person but, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. And then, something magical happened. Orangetheory Fitness entered my life.
“Work harder, dig deeper!”
Over the summer I noticed a new storefront with the name Orangetheory Fitness over the door and got curious. It was about a block and half away from my apartment but I was too scared to walk in on my own. I don’t know why, I was just too intimidated. But, after a few weeks, when I was out with my husband, I dragged him in with me. We chatted with the people up front and I signed up for a free class the following day. Alex knew if I didn’t go right the next day, my insecurities would kick in and I would never go. I don’t know what it was but everything about the OTF gym was uplifting. The people at the front desk were very genuine and there were even motivational quotes painted all over the ceiling beams, the walls, the TV screens and the windows. And as bizarre as this may sound, the dimly lit workout area was actually quite comforting.
My first class was incredible! I loved wearing the heart rate monitor and having my “zones” show up on screens above me as I worked out because I was able to be a part of the class but work at my own pace without feeling like I was behind or, like I was in bad form. The music kept me energized and the dimmed lights kept me focused. The trainer was constantly attentive to everyone in the class regardless of the station they were on but it was such a great plus to have the exercises being displayed above you on TV monitors for continued reference when working on strength training on the floor. Everything just seemed to fit in seamlessly. Part of the class you were on the treadmill and the other part of the class was split between weight training on the floor and a water row machine. I was not a treadmill person because running in place just seemed boring and pointless to me. But as a power walker, I’ve learned to accept it as a good exercise.
“Don’t just wish for it, work for it.”
Initially, I signed up for 4 classes a month but, when Alex saw my enthusiasm after the class, he quickly wanted me to go more often and went for a free session himself. Now I can say that I’m addicted to working out. I love the program so much that I force myself to find the time almost every single morning before I go to work. It always felt good to start my day out with a workout but that was when I worked out at home. Now I actually have the motivation to get out of bed, walk the couple of blocks in the rain and snow, just to make it to the 7 o’clock class. It’s amazing. I love that personal time. I love working out and competing with myself and I love that I’m not alone. The trainers (some more so than others) have us even cheer each other on during the sessions. The classes are definitely not static. They are engaging, motivating and rejuvenating. Plus, I love trying to get that perfect pyramid every time. After all of these months, I’ve only gotten close once. But I won’t stop trying.
“Be stronger than your excuses.”
Orangetheory Fitness motivates and pushes me to be a better person. I enjoy it so much that I have no excuse not to go work out at 7 a.m. and my life is more hectic now than it ever was. And maybe that was the changing factor – the new chaos. There is no way someone can survive being pulled in so many different directions if there is no sacred place where she can be alone to rejuvenate, to make herself the top priority. So when I wake up in the morning, my wonderful husband pushes me to keep going despite how tired I am. Once I’m at the gym and I’m on the rowers, I have to focus on controlling my breathing and staying in a rhythm. On the floor, I’m building my strength and I see the difference as my body slowly transforms week to week and I go for those slightly heavier weights on strength day. On the dreaded treadmills, I’m looking myself in the eye when I stare at that mirror and I dare myself to work harder, dig deeper and stay focused. If, after all of that, I still lose focus, I pick a quote from their wall or I rely on the trainer, the persons on my right and my left to cheer me on and keep going. Because even though I go to Orangetheory for me, we all seem to be there for each other – from the staff to the other gym-goers to my husband – we are all in it together.