Martha Beck says in her book, The Four Day Win, the hardest part about working out or going to the gym is “getting to the gym.”
I agree! You can have all the greatest of intentions but unless you make it as easy or convenient as possible to get there, it might not happen.
I’ve been practicing yoga at home on a regular basis for almost a year. I love how it makes me feel. I have some weird leg problems that no one seems to be able to diagnose and I’d discovered yoga on top of my regular workouts really helped.
Last spring, I began thinking it was about time I went to a community class. I knew a class would teach me more than I could give myself at home, plus I would be challenged and Earl and I so like a challenge.
The nearest city to our home, Fort Wayne is about 45 minutes away. My daughter lives in Ft. Wayne and she’d heard a lot of great things about a yoga studio close to her house. I go to Ft. Wayne about once a week to do errands (there’s nothing like shopping in the big city:) so I thought this would be perfect.
The yoga studio my daughter suggested was terrific and everyone was wonderful. The teacher, Linda, had a soft lyrical voice that instantly created a circle of calm. I loved it. Let me say it again. I loved it. But I didn’t love it enough to go every week or even on a semi-regular basis.
In the midst of my struggle to get to the yoga studio, I had to write an article about women’s work-out routines.
As I was researching the assignment I realized there was a yoga and fitness studio closer to my home, about 30 minutes away. I called the owner of the studio for an interview. She was great (why are yoga people always so nice?:) helped me create a solid article and we had a wonderful conversation.
I began to reflect on why I wasn’t making to the studio in Fort Wayne. After yoga, I would be sweaty and I’d have to put on my street clothes to do my errands, which would mean packing a bag with a lot of extra stuff. On weeks when it wasn’t necessary to go to the big city, I still didn’t go to yoga because it took me an hour to get there, an hour and a half class and and then an hour home. A sizable chunk of my time. In other words, it was inconvenient.
So, you’re probably thinking I switched over to the studio closest to me right away, right?
Nope. It took me two months to get to there. Why, oh why, you ask?Because I felt guilty not going to the other one. Yeah. Not my brightest moment. I just kept plugging away on my own.
When I finally did go, I was greeted by a very sweet, upbeat instructor, Stacy, who made me feel at home. I was also greeted by five of the most kind, generous women a girl could ask for. Women who made me feel comfortable and who told me not to worry about anyone but myself. Smiling women who told me everyone was at a different level, just go at my own pace. Another kind woman, Ann, reminded me the class was Yoga For Everybody. I’m inspired by the fact that these women are around my age, some older, some younger (I’m 58) and they are all in great shape and limber. Now I’m not privy to their medical histories and only they know the true state of their health, but these women GLOW good health and more importantly, they share a generous spirit.
As for me, I can go to a morning class and come home feeling great in 2 1/2 hours. Now I find myself getting there each and every week and it’s making a real difference off the mat and in many areas of my life. Thanks to the challenge of a class, my annoying leg issue has vastly improved too. It’s exciting!
The other secrets to getting there? It’s so simple. Lots of Mom do this for their kids during the school week all the time. I lay out my workout clothes the night before or the morning before, everything right down to my shoes and yoga mat.
This works so well, I now lay out my workout clothes the night before I plan to workout at home AND I put my them on as soon as I wake up. No toddling off to get coffee or take Earl out until the workout clothes are on my body. This signals to my brain that this morning I WILL do my workout.
The Four Day Win also suggests driving to the gym or studio before your first visit and even go so far as to sit in your car in the parking lot if you need to, all to give you a feel for “getting there.” Since my new yoga studio is on a main street in a little village, I drove by before my first class to get a feel for where I might park and it cut my first day jitters in half.
Anyone else have trouble getting to the gym, yoga studio or even working out at home? What tips can you share with me and others? Thank you so much for being here!
Nancy and Earl