Homegrown Texan

Born and raised in Texas, I've found the home of my heart and soul in the Pacific Northwest. I love trees, cool weather, and rain. I'm a back to basics kind of gal just trying to raise my family and find a bit of time to slow down in this hectic life.

So the last couple of months I've been working out at Curves.  Some may think of this as an old lady's club, and that may be true (I've only seen one person from my generation or younger there).  But you can get as much out of it as you put into it.  Plus it's close and I can get a workout done in 45 minutes (including travel time), which is about all I can manage to arrange to commit to in my morning schedule.  After 2 months, I can see more arm muscles than I ever saw even after training with free weights (I've always had poor arm and upper body strength).  I've lost a few pounds, and I'm sure I've gained some muscle.  Still haven't lost all the belly fat that I'd like (yes, I gain weight like a guy, so I have no butt and a beer belly).  But overall I've been doing well.

I do Curves 3x week (per recommendation), MWF.  I could take TTh off, but with previous workout attempts I've learned that those days off just serve as continual reminders to myself of how nice it is to sleep in an extra half hour.  This is a reminder that I do not need.  I had been walking at the park, but walking isn't quite doing it for me.  I hate running (call me crazy, but I always feel like my eyeballs are jolting around in my head, which quickly gives me a headache).  But the walking, while nice, wasn't feeling like enough.

So I this morning I took my shiny new helmet and not so new or shiny bike and went for a ride.  I had half an hour, so thought I'd ride out for 15 minutes and then ride back.  7 minutes into it I realized that I was just not going to make it that long, so I reduced my ride to 20 minutes total.  I was relieved to find on the way back that my outbound route had a slight uphill grade.  So the ride back was easier, and I learned that I wasn't quite the wimp that I thought I was (and I got back 2 minutes early).  I ended up going just over 2 miles (according to Google maps).  2 miles in 20 minutes works out to 7.3mph, which is pretty pathetic; I can't believe I'm that bad.  I had been toying with the idea of going on some local "beginners" rides on Saturdays; those say they are 12-15 mph for 15-20 miles, which apparently I'm not up for.  That said, I did pace myself a little more than I probably needed to, so I think I can do more.  Since I'm working out before work, I was a little paranoid of pushing too hard then running out of steam and ending up getting back late.  I just can't believe I'm so bad  that I'm not even beginner level.  I'm going to have to suck it up some weekend morning when I'm not under weekday morning time constraints and see what I can really do.

In any case, it's a start, and I'll only get better.  It did feel good to get out and ride.  I did some long bike rides as a teenager at summer camp and *loved* it.  I'm also glad I worked out for a couple of months before trying this; I could feel the strength in my legs and know that a couple of months ago I'd have been dying.  And, unlike with walking, I really have the potential to push myself and up my endurance level, which is what I need to be doing right now.


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