Today was my first class at Inspire U, a fitness facility that opened up at the beginning of this year. If you live around the Des Moines Metro you have probably heard of Kosama and Farrell's. Both are 10 week fitness programs you can join to get back in shape. What's different about Inspire U you ask? Well you can check them out here, but basically they are similar, yet different. Inspire U is a customizable fitness program for 12 weeks. Most programs you have to wait till the next cycle to join in, but at Inspire U you can jump in at any time and start. There are 6 days of different workouts and no matter if you are a beginner or advanced you can do the same class (with obvious alterations for each). The thing that caught my eye about Inspire U is their approach to customizing and figuring out how your individual body works with nutrition and working out. Not a "one size fits all" program. Plus it's cheaper than a 10 week program and by my math that worked out to a whole lot more bang for your buck.
|The Inspire U Gym|
I emailed Inspire U on Wednesday and by the afternoon Leah- one of the people that started it all- was on the phone talking to me. She outlined the whole program: initial assessments, your life coaches, the classes, nutrition programs, etc. I told her her program sounded a lot like the philosophy of a book I had just read "This is Why You're Fat" by Jackie Warner. Leah immediately knew what I was talking about and started pointing out similarities behind both the book and her program. At this point in the conversation I was excited. She told me the best thing would be for me to come down and try the classes for a week, before I even paid to start the 90 days. Seriously?! I can just try it out?! Now I was really excited!
|This is Jackie Warner, I'm not even going to pretend like she couldn't kick my and everyone I know's ass.|
|Jackie's Book- A great guide to eating better and getting in shape. I highly recommend!|
So today was my first day, I was nervous- I had no idea what I was in for or how hard this could be. I went to the noon class today since I had the day off. I walked inside to see some women standing talking to each other and one turned to me and greeted me with a huge smile. I told her my name and said I was here to try out the program and I had talked to Leah on the phone. This lady, Karen, was super excited I was there, then Leah walked out from behind the office and greeted me with a huge smile. The other women started talking to me and Leah told them I was getting married on St. Patrick's Day next year and here to get in shape! Before I knew it Karen was taking me back to the locker rooms ready to show me around. At this time I had been there 5 minutes and people who had no idea who I was, were already excited to see me!
I followed them to the class area and I had already started meeting more of the people and hearing how long they had been working out with Leah/Inspire U. For every class there is a white board with a warm up and that day's workout. And each workout is customized for beginners, mid level and advanced. Today we were doing dead lifts, press squats, kettleball squats and the TRX (more on that beast later). Crap, I thought, even the beginner weights looked intimidating! Leah set everyone up with weights they could handle and introduced me to the class of 7. I was definitely the Newbie.
And off we go! I did pretty well with my dead lifts, then during the press squats my quad muscles started yelling at me, and the kettleball squats really took it out of me. Holy Crap, I was out of shape! This was a lot of work! If you have ever seen the Biggest Loser, you know how Jillian and Bob walk around and yell/cheer on the contestants. Leah did this to an extent, I would say she was way nicer than Biggest Loser trainers, but she was there cheering us on, checking our form and counting out those last painful reps.
|TRX- TRX Suspension Training or "The Devil Straps" as I affectionately refer to them now, were apparently invented by Navy Seal. And after trying them out, I completely believe it. If you think these things are easy, I Double Dare you to try them, no scratch that, these are definitely a physically challenge.|
I had so many different emotions while doing the TRX, sometimes I felt like I was seriously going to fall over and pass out. Other times I contemplated where the best place to go throw up would be. I drank my water and took breaks but I tried everything. Mental Note: BRING MORE WATER! I wanted to cry, I wanted to stop, but I wouldn't let myself. At some point after doing some reverse crunches, I laid on the mat face down and thought "THIS SUCKS HARD! But I need this." It was frustrating at times because I knew my body was capable of more. I'm not saying that in my peak I could ever not break a sweat and all of this would be easy. But it was upsetting to me to realize how far my body had fallen out of shape.
|I found this photo searching for cheesy workout pictures. I had to include it because its so vintage. And at least this chick has short hair and its out of her face- sheesh! Take some notes push-up girl!|
After spending the later part of class telling myself "Don't throw up, Don't throw up, Don't fall down, Don't fall down, Stop don't pass out, Breathe, BREATHE!" We were finally done. As we were stretching Leah came over and sat with me and asked me how I was. At this point I was telling myself "Don't cry, Don't cry, DON'T CRY!" Side Note: I'm a cryer, I'll admit it, tons of things make me cry and I've always been this way. Commercials make me cry, animals make me cry, being extremely happy makes me cry, even greeting cards make me cry- hence why I usually pick out cards by myself! Hell, recently I started over the first episode of Band of Brothers- before the show actually started, just hearing the vets talking about it made me cry. I don't get it but old men, especially veterans, make me want to bawl. I cry, I've accepted it, BUT I don't like crying in front of people and especially in front of strangers.
I told Leah, that I felt like jello, and then as the flood gates opened I told her it was upsetting that I was this out of shape. And how I have looked at pictures of me trying to determine when this all happen, but it's hard because it was so gradual. She immediately told me how awesome I did, and reminded me that she would never normally put a beginner in the TRX but I was doing great. She said you didn't stop, and you didn't leave, you did it all as best as you could. Karen came up to me at this point and told me how she struggled at first, and could barely even do a sit up, now she was kicking ass and she's in her late 50's. She told me the first day sucks but its about the second and the third days, etc. She said "We'll see you next time right?" I told her "Definitely!"
Leah asked me how long it had been since I worked out. I told her really it had been maybe August, I had been doing yoga but nothing like this. I talked to her about my knee and foot surgeries and every time I felt like I was getting back into things I got hurt and subsequently gained more weight. I told her about how I finished school and had all this stress still that was misplaced now. I told her how I was scared I wouldn't be in shape for when Bob and I had kids, and if they had MD, I needed to be able to help them and be physically able if they couldn't be. (I'm practically sobbing at this point, and I never even got into all the pain and stress with my Dad getting sick a few years ago.) Leah was amazing and every time I apologized for crying she told me not to be sorry. She sat there with me and gave me one of the best pep talks ever. She told me I stress about things I can't control and I have to stop and give it up to God, the universe, or whatever I believe in and let go. I can only stress about things in my control and happening in the present. And we talked about how overly stressing makes it hard to lose weight, and working out like this will be a great stress reliever for me.
She could told me she could tell I'm a Type A person that has to be driven and we need to make goals for me to accomplish even before my wedding. She said "You're a person that tries to be strong for everyone and when someone asks if you are ok, you say 'of course I'm fine' because you want to be strong." (Jeez, this woman had me pegged.)
She told me I'm gonna hate some classes/days and it will be hard but it will get better. And before I know it I'll be doing more and more each time. She told me to go home and write on a note card, 10 things I love about myself and if I couldn't think of 10 call her because in knowing me for an hour she could rattle off 10. She told me to post things where I could see them everyday, sort of my own mantra. She's very big into positive thinking and how it can make someone working out that much more successful and if I can make myself think healthy, fit, thin, beautiful. I will feel it and live it.
|Your abs look good in the future too.|
She gave me a great big hug and told me I could talk to her anytime I needed too, and that I did an awesome job today. I was so overwhelmed at this point, part of my emotion was from the rough workout but I think part of it was that I had felt that maybe just maybe I had found a place where people would be supportive and I wasn't alone in this journey. I have great family and friends to talk to, but there is something unexpected and pleasant about finding a place with people that don't really know you yet, but are ready to help you and cheer you on. I talked to more of the women as I left, and they told me I did a great job and were talking to me about the classes and the dynamic of the place. Everyone kept telling me how great I'm going to look in my wedding dress (they were all helping me debate green or white wedding dress for St. Pattie's Day).
The positivity of this place was very genuine and like I said before, overwhelming, in the best way possible. Walking out of there I was already stiff and sore, but felt great, like my body was re-awakened. I knew as the day went on I would feel more stiff and sore, but I was ready to go back the next day and do more. This was more about looking good in a wedding dress in a year, but about a lifestyle change. I may never be able to determine when my body started down that slippery slope. But I have spent the last year slowly climbing back up it, and today was another turning point and milestone in my journey to be fit and healthy.