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Prior to my enrolling in the BFIT program—Better get Fit Instead of watching Television, doofus—I was just a ticking couch potato with a questionable ticker and sedentary lifestyle.
Sure, I relished my days in front of the Today Show, Dr. Oz, the 6 and 11 o’clock news, and tapping away at the computer in between, but that was January.
This early May morning, as I sit once again on newspaper deadline in front of the computer and TV waiting for the Today Show to come on and talk about healthy lifestyles, I reflect on what I’ve learned these past few months via the BFIT program at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center at Brunswick Community College.
BFIT, by the way, is actually an acronym representing four lofty missions—Believe in yourself. Focus on your goals. Improve your lifestyle. Train to achieve your dream. Just wanted to throw that in before the all-too-fit trainers at the fitness center decide to correct me themselves.
They’ve done enough of that already.
My venture into BFIT-land began in mid-February with fitness center director and trainer Ashleigh Terry testing me to see how many pushups I could do and laps around the track I could accomplish without collapsing and/or getting all out of breath (about one and two, respectively).
After that, we proceeded to the weight room where my muscles were further put to the test with a variety of machines that showed no mercy. The good news is there is an overhead TV in this room. But anyone wishing to watch it is expected to be in motion on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bicycle or one of those relentless machines.
In the early days of my fledgling fitness regimen, I tried doing laps in the fitness center’s indoor pool, which went swimmingly except for having to get wet.
The fitness center has all kinds of ways of shaping up as well as dressing rooms, so nobody has any excuses. You just have to remember to pack some kind of fitness bag, because working out requires accessories.
My first few days, I started lugging a heavy fitness shopping bag, which was a workout in itself. It was outfitted to the brim with all the things I’d previously forgotten to bring—fitness clothes and shoes, bathing suit, ponytail band, lock for the dressing room locker, toiletries for the dressing room shower, towels, hairbrush, hair dryer, daywear/change of clothes, cosmetics, bathroom sink.
Just kidding about that last one—the modern fitness center dressing rooms are equipped with sinks of their own. It just felt like I was hauling a sink in that heavy bag.
Today, while my pushup level remains unclear and probably not as good as Michelle Obama’s, I’ve become an avid Spinner.
Spinning class is an intense workout on a stationary bicycle. It may sound easy, but this ride takes on a different spin when Ashleigh or one of her colleagues—Neil and Terry—are at the helm.
“Pedal, pedal, pedal; push, push, push” is their mantra. Regular bicyclists don’t ride this fast or sweat this hard on the road.
Fortunately, this hour-long ride is done to music—to fast-beat rock and catchy workout tunes like, “C’mon, work it, work it, work it, work it; c’mon, work it, work it, work it, work it.” Something like that.
Students arrive at this class knowing they’d better be ready to roll.
After a few mis-starts, I’ve finally remembered to bring my own water and a little wipe-your-brow sweat towel to keep handy during the rides. Fortunately, the fitness center provides big ol’ electric fans that blow and rotate constantly during class, so we can survive it. That’s also one less thing we have to tote in our fitness bags.
With Relay for Life season upon us once again, last week I took part in one of the fitness center’s 100-minute Spinathons. I survived it, and I almost loved it.
The lesson in this exercise class is fitness can be fun, even if we’re just spinning our wheels.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.