Thursday, September 17, 2015

Habit Muscle Training

In my friend Caroline Greene’s book Matter, she says whatever we have in mind to do, cut it in half, then cut it in half three more times, and start there.

Okay, I didn’t go quite that far, but I did start slowly when I joined a new gym. It was harder than you’d think. First, I had to quiet the voices in my head that kept saying “you’re not doing enough.”

We like to think of ourselves as strong, like we can do anything we put our minds to but the fact is that if we are going to succeed, we must start slow and take the time to celebrate small victories. That's how a habit muscle is built.

I had not been to the gym all summer. My usual gym closed and being truthful, I was just phoning it in there anyway. Summer kept me busy and the crisp fall air seemed like a good time to get started.

One thing I knew for sure was that I had to devise a plan for working out that worked for me. Not necessarily the one that works for my friends. I chose my gym by proximity and because it was a new, clean, large facility that offered many group exercise classes.

To be successful; I knew that I would need help. So I met with a trainer and salesperson at the gym. I got the hard sell to sign up for one hour personal training sessions once per week for a year. I said “that’s not for me.” I want to start slow. He came down to nine months. I said “No I want to start slow.” After he pitched a six month personal training package at once a week, he finally asked “what do you want to do?”

Without judgment or shame, I said a three month package with one half hour session per week.

He suggested a trainer named Hannah, and I’ve just completed my third week of personal training with her. Celebrating my success, YAY! I’ve also attended a Zumba class each week, too.

The class is scheduled for one hour, which is a little too much for me right now, so I skip the first fifteen minutes. When I show up, I start slowly warming myself up. I realize this wouldn’t work in a class that requires mats or special equipment, but it works just fine in Zumba. Celebrating that one, too! YAY!!!

I was hoping to get to the gym and workout on my own once a week. But after caring for my two-year old grandson two mornings a week and gardening some, I wasn’t managing to get there. At first, the voices told me I wasn’t measuring up because I didn’t get there on my own.

Then I remembered Caroline’s advice “Start small, nope, smaller than that.” So for now, I took getting to the gym on my own off my “to do” list. Celebrating Again! YAY!!!!

I told my trainer Hannah that I would be out-of-town next week. She asked “when are you leaving?” Snap, not until Wednesday. Now, I’m scheduled for a training session before I go. I also decided to do an extra Zumba class on Sunday for the one I will miss later in the week.

I guess slow and steady does win the habit muscle race!

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