Two gym memberships

I’ve been a member of 24 Hour Fitness for several years, but as if 2016, the closest one I live to is the location Downtown. Despite it being on of the larger gyms, it gets ridiculously packed during peak hours, and that’s usually what time I go, shortly after work! It’s hard to find weights and equipment available, and if you do, there’s usually someone lingering around waiting to use them.

Another thing that makes it a hassle is the parking. It’s hard to find parking downtown and the designated parking area for the gym is the parking structure next door. It’s two levels and can be very hard to find parking during peak hours. I’ve driven around for twenty minutes looking for parking a few times.

The gym is also in the same area as Golden 1 Arena! If there’s an event there, it gets even more packed and the traffic in that area is awful! The combination of this hassle would discourage me from going to the gym. Especially on days where I was already lacking motivation.

What even keeps me at that gym?! The Les Mills/Group X instructors!! I’m not leaving that gym because of them and their classes! Body Combat, Body Pump, Yoga, Grit, Cycle! They also have Turbo Kick, but I suck at it. I should try it more often.

But I did discover there’s a new Planet Fitness just a couple minutes from where I live, and it’s only $10 a month! I signed up! I’ve been a few times and it wasn’t packed, so it was easy to use the equipment I want!

The only downsides is they don’t have any loose Olympic bars. I guess their theme is to make the gym comfortable for everyone so they don’t encourage meatheads lifting a million pounds, groaning, and slamming weights on the ground. I get it…it can be annoying.

They have Smith machines, instead. I don’t like using Smith machines for squats because I can’t get the form I want and it feels awkward. But I don’t mind doing lunges with it. I can still do plenty of workouts with what they do have there, so it’s a win for me! I like that I can get a decent workout during the hours I’m most likely to want to work out, and it’s super close to home!

Well that was short lived

I recently posted about the positive outlook on possibly returning to the gym without my back hurting as much, but I have been disappointed. I did something for work that required me to stand on a hard floor for four hours straight, and my back started to die about halfway in. It was very frustrating. It was like the pain was telling me not to get too brave because it’s not going away any time soon. It felt a bit better later, so I decided to do  Body Combat class that evening, but just modifying the moves to protect by back from any more strain. That was Thursday night and my back hurt the whole weekend.

I kept thinking I need to go back to the gym. I went to the gym three times within a week and didn’t want to lose the work I put in by backing away from going. My back was hurting on Tuesday, but again, I bargained with myself, thinking I could just go and do my best while moving cautiously to protect my painful areas. My back hurt the whole time and it was very angry when I got home. I even had to ice it. Today is a special Valentine’s Day Body Combat class that I really want to attend, but I feel myself getting pushed behind that fear of pain wall that is stopping me from going. It’s so annoying.

I’m not ready to go back to the physical therapist again. I have very little faith that they are actually even helpful. From my experience, all they seem to do is guess what’s wrong and use the least amount of their resources possible, and then have you do little stretches that don’t even work.

Day one of many?

After like two months of no gym, due to my back and stupid body hurting, I finally went to the gym! Yep, first time this year! I went almost a year with my back hurting almost every day, so I have been very reluctant to go to the gym even though it’s been feeling decent recently. Can I just enjoy being mostly painless for just a little while? Well I know I needed to return soon so I can get back to where I want to be. I started off today with a tiny bit of elliptical and a 30 minute Body Combat class. Lisa picked harder tracks to fill that 30 minutes, so it was a challenge. I feel so much heavier now. That extra weight sucks. But hopefully I can return to the gym painlessly to help lose some of the extra pounds. If I feel good tomorrow, I’ll go to the gym again!

That back pain

I never wrote about that visit to the physical therapist.

I complained about my back pain, arthritis, and getting out of shape when I posted about the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race I did. I was expressing how disappointed I was and that they were the weakest races I have ran ever since I started racing in 2014. All because I slowly just stopped going to the gym due to the pain I experience. The lower back pain would discourage me. I would go to Body Combat class with plans to “take it easy”, but I’d still grumble in pain and stretch my back in between each track. It felt disheartening to try doing what I used to do and it would just hurt. Body Pump class was out of the question. It just made my lower back ache. Of course I would go on the elliptical, but it’s just not that fun. I’d like to do all my fun things again.

I’ve gained all my weight back that I had before my fitness journey. My knees bother me. My back started hurting to the point where I got sick of it and went to see a physical therapist. He took a look at me and had me move around a bit, says I have an anterior pelvic tilt and I need to do certain stretches every day to correct it. He said having a desk job for 12 years is a likely cause of the pelvic tilt.

I am wondering if doing squats and dead lifts, without any awareness of the anterior pelvic tilt, is partially what caused the lower back pain. I read that it would make the pelvic tilt worse if you keep arch in your lower back. Maybe that’s what I was doing to aggravate my lower back, causing the arthritis problem. When I am able to do weights again, maybe I should start off with Body Pump class, low weights, and just test out my form to protect my lower back and avoid anterior pelvic tilt.

I am afraid to jinx myself by saying anything, but that particular back pain hasn’t been affecting me for a couple weeks. I had the back pain for almost a year, so of course I am terrified of going to the gym and ending up in pain again. But I NEED to go to the gym. I want my fitness back again. Maybe all I need to do is take baby steps and have a lot of patience.