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Nothing like waking up to 2011 sore as sore can be.

I had mentioned the other day that my mom and I had just completed a 3 week long “Butts and Guts” challenge through one of the fitness instructors, Rebecca, at our local gym, Elite Fitness. It was a nice way to end out 2010 but…

I.can’t.sit.down.

I have come to love, in a new way, working out this past year. I have never liked the gym but fully accepting that I will no longer be dancing in any real capacity, I finally mustered up the courage to learn how to make things work at the gym, for my health and sanity, this year.

I’ve loved loved loved spin classes over the past several years, enough to get me on a real road bike and enjoy the sensation of wind rushing past me. Northern Virginia is surprisingly home to many great biking trails. The only downside to biking outside is that I enjoy company and my best friend Adam broke his leg this past year, making riding with me impossible and Brad hasn’t quite found a love for it (i’m still holding out hope).

I bought a duo-training session as a Mother’s Day present this past year to encourage both of us to be gym partners. We chose to use it to learn how to use the machines and weights better and it was a fun way to do something different together. Testing the weight lifting waters a little more, I became hooked on Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine and completed their lifting part of the 2 month Hers Transformation challenge. It broke down exercises in an easy to follow format and because each week was the same for a month, it gave me the confidence and experience with several exercises in each body group. I was surprised, very surprised, to learn that I enjoyed weights. Sure, I was the only girl in the weight section at our school gym most days, but I found great physical satisfaction in pushing myself to feel sore again, to awaken muscles that had been quiet for so long. And most days if I did the sets close together my heart rate got up to break a light sweat and the ability to work out effectively for 30-40 minutes was ideal to fit workouts in during my school day.

I also have started to jog. My goal was to be able to work my way up to a 3 mile run without feeling pain in my hip or knees. I have never had a real desire to run, it doesn’t jive well with my joints and have never quite understood the ‘fun’ in it. But–nearly all my GWU PA friends are hard-core runners and it is something that Brad will do with me. I had to take it really slow—starting at a 10 minute 1 mile, adding 1/2 a mile every couple of weeks, speeding up the time to an 8 minute miles, etc. Only a couple of times did it bug me. I will be really happy if I can sustain a pain-free 3 miles.

Back to the Butt and Guts Challenge–the reason I wanted to sign up for this was that I….hate, loathe, despise, avoid…working out my abs and glutes. Abs make me feel nauseated during and after my workout and glutes are always the worst kind of uncomfortable when sore. So, what better than a boot camp style challenge to force me to get those muscles working. Oiy. Yesterday was our final session and my legs literally were shaking so badly I had to stop the exercise. Damn pliés. Amazing how much strength I have lost and failed to regain after hip surgery. I need to strengthen those! I also found that using a sponge ball for abs was a great way to reduce my low back strain and fire up both the upper and lower abs.

New workout goal: get my butt and abs back into shape! And if my schedule permits it, try to make some of the Balletone classes at Elite. Thanks Rebecca for pushing us and thanks to my mom for being my workout partner in crime.

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