01 02 03 I'm My Favorite: Elliptical Machine - My New Favorite? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Elliptical Machine - My New Favorite?

Last night our cub scout pack met at the bowling alley so the boys could earn their bowling belt loop. It was super fun and I enjoyed hanging out with the other parents and chatting. Usually our meetings are on Wednesday night so that meant that I missed Zumba last night. I also missed on Sunday because of my headaches.

While we were at Subway eating dinner with the family before we went bowling last night I mentioned to Jim that I might want to go to the YMCA after the meeting since I've missed my past two workouts. This is a good tactic for me - once I put it out there I have a hard time backing out. Jim said he could handle bedtime.

After we got home, I changed and gave the kids kisses. I stopped at the drug store to get my new prescriptions (no headaches today :) and then went off to the YMCA. It was around 8:30 p.m. when I got there which is late for me. [Update - I spoke too soon and got a headache shortly after I posted this :(]

When I got there I walked past this sign and laughed and then decided to go back and take a photo.

I have a special relationship with my gym. It's really, really important to me. I've mentioned before but it's worth repeating - we've had a family membership to the YMCA pretty much for the past 10 years. Prior to last year I probably used it a dozen times. I'm at the YMCA six days a week now. Five days for Zumba and one day for karate and ballet for the kids. That's a good solid seven hours a week. When you spend a lot of time in one place it becomes special. You have your favorite parking spot, favorite locker, favorite towel (I always get the dark blue ones).

I actually worked at a recreation center after I graduated from college so I know what it's like to be on the other side of the registration desk and that experience tells me that the people who work at the YMCA recognize me too. They know I go to Zumba. I also see the double takes when I walk in wearing jeans with my family on Friday night for the kids classes and they recognize me but it takes them a second to figure out who I am since I'm not in my Zumba gear.

It makes me feel special and who doesn't like feeling special?

So ... I decided I would do the elliptical last night. I wasn't excited about it. I'm not a fan of the workout room. I find it extremely boring and intimidating. At least I did before. Last night was a different experience.

I had my few seconds of awkwardness when I got on the machine and had to figure out where to put my phone and Jim's mp3 player (thanks honey) and then find the start button. I pushed the button for weight loss and started warming up while I cued up Guster's new album - Easy Wonderful.

The last time I used the elliptical at the YMCA was last winter when my sister-in-law Kim was in town and we exercised together all week. I was about 15 pounds heavier than I am now and I struggled with the elliptical. Last night I noticed I was handling it really well. I wasn't out of breath and I was almost enjoying myself. I was surprised.

I was in a good grove. I was at a part in the workout where the resistance was at an 8 and I was feeling strong. This song came on On The Ocean. (This song could easily be in used for an inspirational montage scene in a movie.)

So I'm rocking the elliptical, in the zone, listening to the awesome song and I glance down at the machine and I see my reflection in my phone. (I'm getting teary writing this now). I wasn't expecting to see that girl looking back at me.

I saw a girl that was strong. Not a girl with a double chin, or a baggy shirt, or low self-esteem. I had to look away before I started crying right there in that room. I regained my composure and looked back at my reflection several times over the next 20 minutes. I can't put into words how proud of myself I am for how far I've come. I'm really, really happy.

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