I Worked Out With Richard Simmons For Four Days And This Is What Happened...

I Worked Out With Richard Simmons For Four Days And This Is What Happened...

Will working out with Richard Simmons change the way I work out?
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As I was watching a late night episode of Whose Line is it Anyways? , a guest star caught my attention, Richard Simmons. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about Richard Simmons, maybe because I have never watched a workout tape, but it sparked an idea.

I have a love-hate relationship with working out. I competitively rode horses growing up and after a few accidents, I have had ongoing issues with torn tendons and previous injuries. I don't love "gym culture" and I have to always be careful with which equipment I use in order to not reactivate a previous injury. I do love the concept of working out. If I am not consistently being active, I can get really frustrated and annoyed.

The mental and physical health benefits of working out are very important, especially as a full-time college student and part-time corporate office employee. I feel very stuck in a rut with my current workout routine and have been seeking alternatives. Could Richard Simmons actually be the answer to my work out problems?

The Mission:

I've decided to spend four days working out to Richard Simmons videos he posted on YouTube in 2013. These five-minute clips tailor to different areas of the body and can be combined to create a good fifteen-twenty minute workout.

Why four days? The super scientific reason of I am leaving town in five days and won't be able to keep up with videos while I am gone. I want the consistent experience though to see if I feel I am gaining anything or if I am getting tired of them.

Concerns:

My concerns for the Richard Simmons tapes are the fact that they could be boring. While I know Richard Simmons is a blast of colorful energy, I don't know if I will get the level of work out I usually aim for. I like to feel like I have worked out the next day and build up a nice sweat while I am doing it. Besides Richard's personality, I don't know how much reward will be received from this fifteen minutes compared to other methods.

Potential Rewards:

On the other hand, I think these videos could be a really fun way to mix up a workout routine. As someone who has limited ability to decide to join a cross-fit class or run thirty miles in the woods because of injuries, Richard Simmons might become a nice change of pace.

Day One:

I started off a little bored. The videos were hard to follow since they were not designed like normal work out tapes where you can see everything the instructor is doing. My original plan of only doing three videos went out the window. I wasn't building a sweat so I decided to do the first cardio video twice.

I moved on cardio two, then Richard told me how proud he was that I decided to spend my time working out over sitting on the couch, so I did another. By the end of it, I had a good heart rate and a good attitude. I don't know how much of a work out I got, but I'll be interested to see if I feel sore at all tomorrow.

Day Two:

Richard's voice was in my head last night, seriously. I ate clean all day, even feeling too guilty to eat a french fry with my friends after a late night basketball game on campus. I did two cardio and two strength videos, along with the warm up and cool down.

I didn't break a huge sweat or feel that tired. I didn't wake up sore either. It's a different mental and physical satisfaction compared to going to the gym. Instead of "Man, that was a good workout." It's more "Richard is proud of me." And today... I am okay with that.

Day Three:

I wasn't really in the mood to work out with Richard today, but alas I was committed. The best part was listening to his motivational words during the cool down. I do find the videos easier to follow since I have done them a few times. The warm-up is still my least favorite video. I did feel proud afterward, but mostly because as I have mentioned, Richard is proud of me.

I don't know what else I need in a workout besides his encouragement, honestly. I do feel my lifestyle slightly shifting a bit. I eat pretty healthily, but I am much more aware of my meals throughout the day. I am thinking "Would Richard approve of this?" If I think he wouldn't, then I don't eat it. Am I losing my mind?

Day Four:

I'm both sad and relieved this experience is over. I feel more connected to Richard as a person compared to as a workout instructor. It was almost a struggle to turn on the videos this morning as I knew I was going to be listening to the same thing over and over again.

I mixed up the videos a bit to see if it would feel fresher but I still knew everything that was coming. Richard says in the videos "See what you are doing! You could be on the couch or getting a snack, but you are working out and loving your body." That made me more interested in working out as a whole.

Reflection:

Overall, I am happy with this four day experience. I think it would've been more productive if I went to Goodwill and found one of his hour-long work out tapes for $5, compared to flipping through the same five-minute videos.

The best thing that comes from Richard's videos, as I mentioned a thousand times, is his little reminders of your self-worth. I do think I am more interested in Richard as a person and a brand compared to a work out routine. If I ever need a pick me up, I am ready to do some colorful cardio with Richard again!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

Or need a new phone

The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

You make a good breakfast

You read a few pages of your favorite book

You get your mind ready for the things it will accomplish today

Before you know it you've worked an entire day

Your job is done

As you pull into your driveway,

you take a few breaths

Feeling grateful for another meaningful day.

Some days,

This is how it goes

You are not alone.


Every day is a gamble,

Every day is a gift

The key to getting more good days

Is believing that everyday is one.

You are not alone, this is just how it goes.

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