Exercise Goal: Strong Like Ox!

So I’ve had a lot of different exercise goals over the years.  Weight loss (duh, everyone has had that one), stress relief, physiotherapy, health, but now I’ve found I want to be strong. I was following the health goal for a long time, trying to keep a healthy heart and mind. Now I feel like I want to be strong AND healthy. I want to be able to support my bones and muscles and gain some muscles to stick it to my really low metabolism. More muscle means more fuel I can burn. I like that idea.

I have a lot of injuries. When I was a dancer I got dropped on my knees. When I was a musician I ripped some tendons and compressed nerves. In fact, it is always  fun at dinner when my arm or hand decides to spasm and I throw something. My husband knows when to duck 😉 Anway, I’ve always been pretty wary of overusing my arms since I find them handy to type at my day job and well, to do things like brush my teeth. When my knees hurt I can just sit.  I do have days in the month where I literally cry doing those things, or just lay in bed. They are not everyday like they have been in the past, but some days I just can’t function.

But I want to get strong. I want to do push ups. Crazy! I really loved doing Kettlebell workouts but I don’t push myself at home. At all. In fact, I don’t push myself at the gym either. I get lazy and either do cardio or a few free weights and then just default to machines. Easy. But not making me strong.

So I let my gym membership lapse since they kept raising my rates and after 12 years I was at the same fee as almost every competing gym and that’s just BS. I didn’t renew and this summer I have been hiking but since my weight routine is at home, it has been neglected. I have a few options, and they are pretty financially scary.

  1. I can get a personal trainer at which ever new gym I decide to join. None are standing out for covering amenities, convenience, hours and programs all at the same time.
  2. I can join a local Krav gym that has kettlebell sessions, no cardio equipment for “off hours” just classes.
  3. I can look into the crossfit gym that is really close to my house.

The easiest one, but the most gamble is the gym membership plus whatever yahoo I get to get me in the weight room until I interview every single PT in the place. I’ve been going to gyms since I was 13 and I’ve seen them all. Do I trust who they assign you? Nope. Do I trust their credentials? Nope. Do I want someone to say “go run on the treadmill” while they charge me for the hour? Nope. I want specific training. I know how to do the exercises honestly, but I need someone to stand there and make sure I do all my reps and don’t wander off after seeing something shiny. Sad but true. I also need someone to monitor my workouts and mix them up a bit. I get into habit too easy.

The second one is probably the one I’m most interested in, because of the class schedule. If I do these classes, I’ll have to pay for that, buy my own kettlebells (I have an 8kg and a bunch lower)  plus tack on a gym membership if I want to get in other forms of basic cardio that aren’t a class available for purchase here. Winter is coming and hiking will be phasing out. We have a gym at work, but it sucks. I’m a cardio machine snob. If it is rickety, I won’t be on it. Then again, kettlebell workouts are pretty cardio intense, I can probably due without a gym membership for awhile.

The last one is the scariest. While crossfit looks expensive, it will probably be the same as KB plus gym fees. Plus, it is a definite push,  and it is also close to my house and very efficient.  But I’m pretty intimidated. I hear both good and bad things about the program and I know it varies from gym to gym. I don’t want to be in the cult of paleo, I don’t want a drill sergeant yelling at my face, and I don’t want to cry or puke when I work out. I know these are all generalizations.  I want to get strong and I am dedicated to that, but I don’t want to hurt myself. I’m not saying I want to be babied, but I don’t respond well to threats or negative language. I don’t have a huge competitive streak but I can be stubborn. I can schedule an open house tour plus, there is a weekend class that is mandatory, which is a good thing.

I’ve got choices, now I have to make a decision!

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About The Author


I'm Shannon and I love to bake, hike, play video games and have fun. I currently live in the Bay Area with my husband and cat.

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