After hardly working out in two years, I am on a new fitness kick. This got me thinking about my different fitness eras, the many different workouts I have committed to over the past 20 years.
My Running Era
I joined the Cross Country team during my senior year of high school. I didn’t want to, but my brother and sister decided to join the team, which meant that I could either drive them to and from practice every day, or join the team myself. The experience taught me how to enjoy running, and I kept running for many years.
The main reason why I liked running was that my family lived about a quarter mile from a stretch of beaches. Running along the beaches and back home was about 3 miles. It was perfect. Throughout college, I would run almost daily during the summers. At school, I would run on the treadmill, which was far less fun.
My running era had a brief comeback when I lived in Old Town. I loved running along Lake Michigan, but this activity was limited by both the weather and IVF restrictions.
The No Workout Era
After college, I went straight to grad school in New York City. I had no time since I was working at a restaurant full-time while also attending school full-time.
The Hot Yoga Era
When I lost my job during the recession, a friend who was also unemployed gave me a great nugget of advice: find something to do every day to structure your days. I found hot yoga and went nearly every day for three months. I found the class to be very relaxing, and I definitely increased my strength and flexibility, plus I slimmed down. Eventually, I found a job and didn’t have the time to devote to yoga anymore.
The HIIT Era (Fit360 and TRX)
Before I got married, I decided to get into better shape. So, I joined a gym that offered high-intensity interval and TRX classes. I liked how the classes combined cardio and strength training. At one point, I went to 45-minute classes five times a week.
I started the classes about six months before my wedding. The workouts, combined with a brief flirtation with a paleo diet, helped me to firm up and lose 10 pounds. I kept going to that gym for several years, although I attended fewer classes per week. I stopped going shortly after we moved to a different neighborhood.
The Pure Barre Era
When we moved to Old Town, I started going to Pure Barre. I went to classes for several months but didn’t see concrete results. I became slightly more toned and more flexible.
The Flywheel/Peleton Era
This era coincided with my IVF era and pregnancy. I loved Flywheel and would still be going if it was still in business. I didn’t immediately love spinning, but I grew to love the people and the overall experience. I started going to Flywheel around the time that I began my years-long fertility journey, which involved taking medications that can cause weight gain. I didn’t exactly lose weight, but it did keep my weight in check during a medically complicated time. There were long stretches of time when I was not allowed to work out due to fertility treatment.
Attending Flywheel classes also had a social aspect since Charles and/or friends often joined me. On Sundays, Charles and I would go with our friends Jenn and Bob and we would eat brunch together after. It was the perfect Sunday tradition. I went to Flywheel from 2016 until the start of the pandemic.
In May 2020, our Peleton arrived. I ordered it because I needed something to help structure my days while we were stuck inside. I was pregnant and getting stir-crazy. I used the Peleton five times a week until Gwen was born. Then I took a long break.
My Current Fitness Era: [solidcore]
I was very lucky, and through breastfeeding, all of my pregnancy and IVF weight melted off without needing to work out. I pumped, overproduced, and burned about 1,000 calories a day for a year. I was thinner than I had been in a decade, but I was also so out of shape. Without childcare or spare time, I didn’t prioritize working out, and over the next year, some of the weight I had lost started to come back.
In February 2023, a friend asked me to go to Solidcore with her. I didn’t even know what it was, but I showed up. I had expected a high-intensity interval training gym – and learned that it is a high-intensity, low-impact pilates class. So far, I have been to 14 classes. I already see a difference. It is a full-body workout, but there is a focus on the abs and core, which have slimmed down. My jeans are fitting better!
To commit to working out regularly, I purchased an unlimited Solidcore membership for the month. It’s $359 a month, but if I make it to 20 classes in a month, it comes to under $18 a class. For me, I think that is a realistic goal. Sometimes, I add a 15 or 20-minute ride on the Peleton to get some cardio.
I’ve learned that proximity is the biggest factor for committing to a fitness studio. I will not stick with it if I can’t walk there in under 10 minutes. The instructors matter. Their tone of voice, how much encouragement they provide, and their choice of music matter. Consistent class times are important to me – especially as a parent. I need a class that fits the time when Gwen is in preschool. Right now, Solidcore is meeting these requirements.
I am not someone who weighs myself; I want my clothing to fit. I love food, and I don’t want to diet. My overall goal is to feel healthy and confident.
Have you been through different fitness eras? I think most people have, especially as fitness trends come and go.