Thirty seconds of lunges. High-five Dara. Thirty seconds of bent-over band rows. High-five Dara. Repeat. Repeat. Jog to next station. Thirty seconds of mountain climbers. High-five Dara. Thirty seconds in plank position. High-five Dara. Repeat. Repeat. Jog to next station. Continue bootcamp-esque work-out for four more stations.
I survived Frosh Fit with the UpbeaT bloggers. Actually, we all survived. Dara, great teamwork! You really pushed it, which motivated me not to slack off. Lori, Cynthia, and Danielle, I was impressed with your positive attitude, especially since you hadn’t been to the Athletic Centre before. From reading all of your posts, I learned that your bodies were in quite a bit of pain on the weekend. I felt like that the first time I went to Frosh Fit, too. And Cynthia, I was sweating and working hard (although I appreciate that you described me as graceful).
Frosh Fit is a free drop-in work-out class for all students and members, which is structured as a circuit training program that combines resistance training, cardio intervals, and core strength exercises. It’s a forty-five minute workout offered three times a week: Mondays at 6:10 pm, Wednesdays at 4:10 pm, and Fridays at 2:10 pm. Participants even get a few educational visits from a nutritionist and a personal trainer.
For me, this recent Frosh Fit experience was quite different from my first session in September. Back then, I was incredibly unfit from a summer of traveling through Europe. So, I struggled through the session:
Five pathetic attempts at push-ups (meant to be thirty seconds). Thirty seconds of sit-ups (where I barely lifted my shoulders off the floor). High-five’d partner (who was doing everything he could to motivate me). Repeat. Water break. Limped to next station. Water break.
While the program’s designed so that all fitness levels, from beginners to die-hards, can go at their own pace, I pushed myself way harder than my body wanted me to. In the end, I got a great work-out, learned some new exercises and was motivated to get into a regular work-out routine. But, my body was in soooo much pain the next day. Sore quads, abs, chest, back, hamstrings…actually, every muscle in my body ached.
After that first Frosh Fit session, when I tried to get into a regular routine, I found every excuse possible to avoid the gym. But, I persevered, and overtime, I started exercising more regularly. For me, the trick was finding a workout buddy to go with. Unfortunately, my class schedule prevented me from being able to squeeze Frosh Fit into my schedule on a regular basis. Too bad, because it would have been a lot easier for me to go to these classes three times a week, then plan the work-outs on my own. But, my work-out buddy and I have been doing yoga classes, and the Hart House circuit twice a week, and managed to find a routine that works for us.
Unlike the first Frosh Fit experience, from which I’d limped away as though I’d just been on the losing end of a boxing match, this time, I surprisingly didn’t feel that sore. I felt like I challenged myself physically, but recovered quickly from the work-out after we did some stretches.
Yes! Finally!! I thought. I’m getting fitter!
Then I thought, wait a minute…what does “being fit” actually mean? How do I know if I’m actually there?
Rosie Posca, strength and conditioning manager at the Athletic Center, tells me that you’ll know you’re getting fitter when you’re “climbing up stairs and it finally feels effortless.” I have noticed that hiking up stairs with my heavy backpack has gotten easier (but not exactly effortless). So, I’m getting there. And readers, if I can do it, so can you!
The challenge now, for me, is to keep up with the routine, so I’ll continue to improve my fitness and will have more energy to participate in the activities I enjoy, like playing sports with friends, or going on hikes in the summer.
It was also really fun to exercise with the UpbeaT bloggers. Being with friends definitely made the whole experience seem less like work, and more social. Hey, Cynthia, Lori, Dara and Danielle, what are your thoughts on having active meetings?