Most weekday mornings, I head to the gym for a 8 a.m. class with a handful of women and the occasional man. They’re all at least my parents’ age, if not my grandparents. Apparently, not too many 20-somethings like to work out bright and early.
We do some kickboxing or dancing on Mondays, yoga on Tuesdays, step class on Wednesdays and “body blast” on Fridays. (Thursday is spin class, which I skip in favor of a trip to Central Market.)
And all the grey-haired folks are kicking my butt.
I’ve belonged to the same gym — and taken the same schedule of classes — for more than a year now, and while I’m breathless and red-faced and sweaty, a woman with a granddaughter my age is bouncing up and down without a break.
They challenge me every day, whether it be to kick my leg higher in a step move or up my weights for our bicep routine. A few months ago, when one woman asked me why I didn’t stay for the abs class, I didn’t even have a good reason. So I joined them for abs, too.
I’m a healthier person when I work out in groups. I can’t wimp out on the last few reps, or skip lunges because I hate them. But more than that, the ladies in the morning class have become a group of friends I wouldn’t otherwise have known.
They tell me about their aches and pains and tell me never to get old; I answer their questions about Facebook. They rehash what happened on “Dancing With the Stars”; I assure them I live in a safe area downtown. We egg each other on and get in trouble for talking and exchanging dubious glances when our instructor promises just eight more reps. When someone goes on vacation and forgets to mention it, we rib them afterward for disappearing from class.
They might be twice my age, but I’ve stopped making the mistake of underestimating their strength and energy — they’re in better shape than I am. Here’s hoping I can stick with an exercise routine until I’m their age…
How do you stay motivated to work out? Do you have a group of friends who hold you accountable? Share your tips in a comment below.