Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is it worth it? Lemme work it.

Some of Fermi's recent posts have got me thinking about summer workout programs. Well, workout programs in general. For me, summer is a big deal because I have June and July off and there is NO structure at all to my schedule.

I am intrigued about other people's routines, because this is something I've never established for myself, for whatever reason. Call it personality: type B, a "P" for "perceiver" on Myers-Briggs (meaning that plans make me nervous and I like to keep things open, responding to them as they come up).

The biggest reason is that I've never had to establish a workout routine for myself in the past because I was so heavily involved with dance from the time I was seven until the time I was eighteen. I had formal technique classes four times per week for all these years.
At the height of it:
M: 2 hour pointe class
T: 1.5 hour ballet class
W: 2.5 hours, tap and jazz
Th: 1.5 ballet, sometimes hip hop
F, S: sometimes practice for competition pieces or dance review pieces

What I should have done when I was a freshman in college was double-major in dance. That way I would have gotten into the LSU dance world early and made friends and kept a dance routine. I think I thought that LSU didn't have any decent dance to offer me, and I was clueless about how to get information, see a counselor, work the system, so I didn't dance for about a year and a half until I met Ann and started taking class at The Dancer's Workshop. But they are a ballet school, so their modern classes are easy, boring, and under-attended, and there's no jazz or hip hop to speak of.

I have always taken ballet, but I don't consider myself to be a ballerina. I have more of the body of a jazz dancer (I'm somewhat stocky with shorter legs and a big booty). I'm more talented in modern and jazz because I'm good at moving sharp, boogying hard, and being aggressive with jumping/turning. So I miss being able to do these things! I literally haven't been to a great modern or jazz class the entire time I've lived in B.R.

Long story short, I did get involved in LSU dance my last two years there and I ended up performing and choreographing, and it was fantastic. Now I'm working on getting into a modern piece that Dancer's Workshop is doing, and I also want to audition for Of Moving Colors. I'm trying to believe that I can do this on top of teaching duties.

Now for the point: here are some things I've been doing very inconsistently all summer as excercise.
  • routines on this yoga dvd-->
  • walking the 2-mile loop in my neighborhood
  • attending (slow and boring) modern class on Tuesdays
  • riding bikes (about 3 times total) with people
  • walking the big lake (4 mi) about 3 times total
I joined the YMCA yesterday. I paid a bunch of money for a semester-long membership to force myself to go. I felt very worried after I paid--what if I don't show up enough to get my money's worth? What if I should have done the LSU alum discount at the rec instead? I guess I can still do that at the end of the semester if I don't like the Y. But I am excited to have a workout routine for the first time in my life (except for the few times I used to go to the rec with J. and Chelsea back in the day).

What do you guys do to workout? How do you not get endlessly bored when doing a video (they say and do the same things every time!)? What motivates you (besides fears of weight gain)?


Fermi said...

Tino: If I was doing a yoga video, I bet I would get bored, too! ;) I attended some Yoga classes at That Awesome Health Club but stopped because I just got too bored. I imagine that a video would be even worse!

I actually am very new to the workout-video genre, but I used to go to body pump classes at That Awesome Health Club and the instructors would basically say the same thing every class, too. With videos this is taken to a new extreme of identical diction, but from what I have read on Amazon reviews, the key is to have a personal library of videos. I have five now and I am going to leave it at that for now. That way you can watch a different video at times and not get so bored.

Also, when I workout (with weights) I try to focus on my form and how my body feels so I am concentrating most of the time.

For me cardio is 30 minutes of the Precor Elliptical machine because I can ramp it way up so that I don’t use my calves so much. (My calves have lots of scar tissue in them from when I ran in High School.) It is important for me to have something I can do every day where I can listen to my Ipod and zone out while I do it. The Elliptical fits this need.

On top of that I walk my dogs AM and PM or sometimes twice at night. I don’t count that as “exercise” but more of as some impact work for my lower body so I don’t get osteoporosis.

Skuh said...

LARD, you got a lifetime?
Lately, all that has motivated me is fear of gaining (more) weight, and it is occurring to me right now that that remains to be the poorest of motivators for me. From henceforth, I will work on re-shifting my focus back to where it was: health, happiness, patience and grace. Health is a process -- a living, breathing, evolving organism even -- that is so much deeper and more than having an ass that looks money in a pair of jeans from Banana Republic. Back in the day, it was the commitment to loving and caring for myself that kept me motivated. Also, a cadre of health problems at a young age and FEAR of being another statistic of the perils of obesity kept me motivated. But mostly, it's loving myself and making sure I am doing the things that keep me happy and feeling good that keep my ass in the gym.
I happen to like videos. I haven't been doing them lately, as it's been a struggle to do lots of things regularly in this time of upheaval, but I find doing the same video over and over helps me to move deeper into my body through the moves. I have a completely different perspective on Pilates after doing my Suzanne Deason DVD for the hundreth time, as compared to the first time. And the different perspective on the exercise itself provides me with a renewed perspective on my body, its myriad muscles and how they all work together.
Oh shit! I would love to write more, but I've got to skeedaddle off to twerk.
Keep up the good work and remember: if you were dancing many times a week every week for years one end, you can certainly get regular exercise now that you have to create and maintain your own workout schedule.
Call me sometime, Tino.