Recently I have been able to spend some time at a local YMCA working on observation hours for one of my Exercise Science Classes, and let me tell you, it has been truly amazing. I have never enjoyed working out, honestly I have hated it. However as you may have seen in an earlier post that I am training for a 25k, I know I’m crazy, but it’s for a good cause and my health as well. That being said, going to fitness classes at the YMCA has been some of my best moments recently- everyone is so welcoming and so uplifting, there’s just a huge celebration and support in that community. It is seriously something truly beautiful.
The first class I got to attend is called SilverSneakers, and it is actually built for senior citizens. (I’m only 19) So everyone said that I was too young, and asked me why I’d want to hang out with them “old people” Observing and participating in their class taught me so much more than how to help older people to exercise, they taught me how to love life at every stage, they taught me that the saying “You’re only as old as you feel” is true, they taught me that loving family, loving friends, loving people is the most important thing in this life. Many of the people who attend this class are widows, or widowers, and they are dealing with a lot in their lives, some have had hip replacements, some have had wrist surgery or knee surgery or rotator cuff surgery, yet they come in every week, sometimes multiple times a week to work out, and to fellowship with people going through the same things. It was truly beautiful to see.
I also attended a couple cycling classes, which kicked my butt, let me tell you. The first one I did was so difficult, and I honestly had no clue what I was doing, but I worked hard and felt great when it was over. The second cycling class I went to was at 5:30 AM ! You heard me right, 5:30. I woke up at 4:45 AM on a MONDAY to go to a cycling class, but I felt so good after it, I was amazed, there truly is a runner’s high, or work-out high that you get from exercise, and it was totally worth getting up before the crack of dawn. I did so much that day that I got over 20,000 steps on my fitbit. It was awesome.
The last classes I want to talk about are Zumba and Fitness dancing. These were so fun, and the teacher was just great. She brings a disco ball lamp to have a little bit of light in the room, but then turns off all of the lights so that no one will feel self-conscious moving and dancing. It was only women in the class, and it was truly amazing, it was just a celebration of the human body and how it can move, and it was very empowering. It was a group of women celebrating their beauty and empowering each other, it was so beautiful to see and to be a part of.
All in all, I think group fitness classes are a great thing to be a part of wherever you are. Whether it be a college, a residence hall, at work, or at a YMCA, really look into going to something because not only will you be working towards being a healthier you, you will build amazing, uplifting, and empowering relationships.