The 7 Phases Of Starting A New Fitness Class

The 7 Phases Of Starting A New Fitness Class

The pain and the struggles are balanced by the success of making it through a class.

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I am fortunate enough to live close to one of my former college roommates and someone who is, furthermore, one of my closest friends. We found each other to be good partners in the gym and started working out together. She recently tested that friendship by getting me to join this particularly difficult core and body-sculpting fitness class with her.

I'm kidding. But, really, I struggled in that class like no other, and the surrounding chorus of grunts and huffs confirmed that I wasn't alone in that experience. At the end of the day (although definitely not at the end of that one), I'm glad I pushed myself further and actually had a good time.

Starting workout and fitness classes can be the worst, especially if you know no one else there. Thankfully, I had my friend, but I still felt most of the symptoms of experimenting with new classes and gyms. In particular, I felt the phases one usually goes through when starting a new fitness program. The struggle, as always, was real.

1. Taking in the other people there

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Walking into a new class is intimidating on the first day of school or, even, in college lecture halls. But, add buff fitness buffs and 20-pound weights to the mix, and the whole thing can be a bit overwhelming.

I generally avoid set classes for working out for the very reason that I get nervous working out in such close proximity to other people, especially other fit people. I felt happy this time because of my friend and the general openness of the other students. In general, though, this part adds the most pressure.

2. Immediately loving your trainer's vibe

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When my trainer walked in, I immediately felt like I was in the most capable hands. This isn't usually always the case, but if the trainer doesn't make me feel comfortable, the rest of the phases below usually don't happen anyways.

There's something about someone about to be impossibly happy about the worst kind of pain and physical exertion that brings me comfort. I don't know about you, but trainers that smile through the struggle are the best kind.

3. Wondering what all the fuss is about

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The biggest element that throws me off at the start of a class is the dynamic stretching. I'm led through a false sense of security before the real mayhem begins. I always find myself, somewhere around the halfway point of a fitness class, hating the start-of-class-me for being so naive.

4. Realizing what all the fuss is about

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Like I said, eventually the "work" part of the workout kicks in and my arms turn into jelly doughnuts. I get exhausted from the constant changes in the workout, and in particular, I start getting angry at the peppiness. My anger is uncalled for and I generally end up regretting it by the time I get to stretching.

5. Trying to both breath and see your form in the mirror

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There's a point in the workout when I get serious. I start checking my form and making the corrections that I need to make. My favorite kind of trainers are the ones that walk around and make minute changes to forms and positions. I was lucky enough to have one of those this class, but trying to both succeed and survive became a trying battle.

6. Stretch while feeling your body go into a different dimension

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Stretching is golden. Stretching is bliss. Stretching is golden bliss.

I always imagine myself to have gone through some rigorous ballet program in the last hour (which included my trying to clench everything to stay up during a 30-second plank). Then, the stretching allows me to truly reveal my graceful form.

In reality, I look like a mediocre dancer who started taking classes out of necessity for their cousin's wedding. Either way, it feels awesome.

7. Feel a strange urge to come back the next week

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Like I said, by the end of the class, I felt awesome and truly felt like coming back. The entire class is a rollercoaster with wildly swinging emotions.

I am excited to go back the next week and push my physical ability further. But, I also know that I'll be seriously craving a sofritas bowl and a nap immediately after. And, really, is that so wrong?

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12 Things Only Low-Maintenance Girls Understand

I promise we aren’t lazy, just easy going.
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Sometimes low-maintenance girls are looked at as lazy or sloppy. But in reality, I think low-maintenance girls are just so confident in who they are that putting in that extra effort isn't important to them.

Here are 12 things that only low-maintenance girls understand:

1. Leggings or sweat pants and a T-shirt is your normal everyday outfit

Why spend the day uncomfortable in some tight jeans or mini skirt when you can lounge around in some comfy clothes? We aren't here to impress anyone, we are just trying to sit back and chill.

2. Makeup is a special occasion

If you catch a low-maintenance girl with makeup on, take it as a compliment. We are trying to touch our face and rub our eyes as much as we'd like without makeup getting in the way. Not to mention, we wouldn't dare spend over $15 on some foundation.

3. We would rather stay in with a movie then go out for the evening

Something low-key and low stress always sounds better than spending the time, and the money, for a night out. I am perfectly content with taking advantage of my $7.99 monthly payment for Netflix.

4. You're always the first one ready

While your friends spend hours doing their hair, makeup and then finding the perfect outfit, you sit around and wait. Your 10 minutes thrown-together-look gives you time to nap while everyone else takes their sweet time.

5. When you say you "don't care what we do," you really don't care

Seriously, a date night off the McDonald's dollar menu is fine by me. I am not expecting you to wine and dine me on a big extravagant evening, I'm just trying to get a Big Mac in my mouth.

6. Your messy bun isn't a fashion statement, it's actually just your hairstyle

We aren't about to spend time curling or straightening our hair everyday. Every day is a good day to throw your hair up into a ponytail or bun.

7. The extent of your jewelry collection is one pair of earrings and maybe a necklace

Who needs more than one pair of earrings? Diamond studs match everything… right?

8. And your shoe collection is even smaller

Should I wear flip-flops or Converse?

9. Shopping isn't exactly your favorite thing to do

Who has patience for finding the perfect designer brands or finding the best fit? I am perfectly content with my T-shirts and leggings. One size fits all.

10. Your favorite gifts are the sentimental ones, not the expensive ones

A homemade card or a small gift that makes someone think of you is forever better and more meaningful than an expensive present. I don't want your money, I just want to know you thought of me.

11. You don't put in the effort to chase after a guy

I'm awesome and I know it. If a guy is worth it enough to be in my life, he can come after me. I am not down for any games or players. Just someone who embraces my low-maintenance qualities.

12. You are always the first person to help someone out

Giving your friends a ride or lending them two dollars isn't a huge deal. Just helping someone out gives you peace of mind. Everyone should have time to help a homie out.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.cosboots.com/sale/christmas/christmas.html

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You Can Tell The Difference Between Momentary Happiness And Deeper Happiness

"At the end of your life, go out with a bruised-up, worn out heart that gave too much and loved too strongly and felt too fiercely. Go out with the certainty that you gave it everything you had and didn't hold anything back". - Heidi Priebe

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First level happiness: Momentary

Momentary happiness is waking up early and watching the sunrise. It's the first sip of coffee in the morning. It's a big breakfast before a long day of doing what I love.

Momentary happiness is stepping into the restaurant I love and being surrounded by the people who have watched me grow up these past three years. It's understanding that this thing is about family just as much as it is business. It's falling in love with every early morning and every late night. It's learning that hard work isn't hard if you love what you're doing.

Momentary happiness is hitting a new personal record at the gym. It's that smile plastered across my face every time I enter a team huddle. It's down on one knee, all eyes on me. It's feeling the trust my team has in me. It's the feeling of joy when my number gets called. It's the burning in my lungs because I know that I gave it my everything. It's not being able to move without wincing the next day because the game asked for my hustle and I gave it my heart.

Momentary happiness is the instant you see someone you love and can't help but smile. It's the tight hug between you and someone that means the world to you. It's the weight off your shoulders when you finally express your true feelings. It's holding your breath as you wait for a response. Monetary happiness is being scared but doing it anyway.

Momentary happiness is coming home at night and having your dog jump on you the moment you open the door. It's your parents smiling, knowing you got home safe.

Momentary happiness is driving without a destination and simply reflecting on life. It's taking a step back and allowing myself to be aware of my breathing and existence. It's allowing myself to find pleasure in the little things.

Momentary happiness is getting accepted into college. It's getting that job. It's making the Dean's list. It's acing the test you study so hard for. It's watching your hard work pay off. It's finding your people. It's all the things that make you proud of yourself and happy to be alive.

Momentary happiness was buying my dream car at age 17 without my parents help.

A Deeper Happiness:

A deeper happiness is finding beauty in vulnerability. Not holding back my feelings and telling people how magnificent they are because people don't get told that enough. A deeper happiness is allowing me to feel everything deeply and without explanation. It's finding beauty in the madness and trusting the process.

Life's about getting lost in passion and dedicating myself to the things that matter most. It's wanting success as bad as I want to breathe. It's about taking that jump and seeing if I can land it, and if I don't, it's about being crazy enough to give it one more try. Life's about risking it all even if the outcome is uncertain. A deeper happiness is seeing myself grow into the person I've always wanted to become. Deeper happiness is being able to keep my promises to myself and others.

Life is about being empathetic. Finding out someone's story and attempting to understand their actions. It's about not taking things personally and allowing for second chances, even thirds. It's understanding that not every action needs a reaction. A greater happiness is caring for those around me just as much, if not more, than myself.

Life is embracing hardships and disappointments. Understanding that knowledge comes from experience and disappointments are all apart of the journey. A deeper happiness is understanding that this to shall pass. It's being able to laugh and smile even though things didn't go my way because everything that is meant to be will be. It's understanding that I will be stronger because of my defeats.

A deeper happiness is putting myself in hard situations, situations I know will hurt me. It's helping people get through their hard times. A deeper happiness is being the reason someone smiled. It's being the shoulder to cry on. It's wearing my heart on my sleeve because I would rather feel everything than nothing at all.

A deeper happiness is giving everything I have and being a better person than I was yesterday. Making my friends and family proud but myself prouder. A deeper happiness is leaving my mark on the world. It's about leaving a person, situation, and world better than I found it.

A beautiful, fulfilling life is one that money can't buy.

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