Last March, as the world was quickly shutting down various business sectors, my husband and I looked at each other and asked if we should stop going to our local gym for a while until things settled down. Later that night, our phones gave out news alert after news alert- not only had the gyms closed, but a lot more places that we hadn’t anticipated were also closing. We took advantage of the extra time we had in our schedules because of our own work and social situations, and started exercising together. This usually included simple strength videos and walking our neighborhood together. While it was nice to have this time together, we both knew it wasn’t sustainable exercise, but we also weren’t interested in returning to our gym, so we began planning our own home gym.
I visited our local sporting goods store to discover I was not alone! Weights and home fitness equipment were in high demand! I tested out a few machines, and I admit it, I stepped onto an elliptical machine, and it felt so good. I briefly felt like I’d gotten something back that I didn’t even realize I’d missed. In the meantime, my sister had highly recommended Peloton, which we’d tried out when we’d visited the prior Thanksgiving. My husband was hooked because it had great classes with fun music to make his workouts more enjoyable and he could schedule his exercise according to his schedule, which had been a big challenge at the gym. By the time my husband returned to work for the fall semester, we had a plan together to re-organize our family room to make room for both pieces of equipment!
It was at this point that I realized what I had really been missing for the prior 6 months- and what I truly want to share with all of you today. In various ways, the prior 4 years I’d been going to the gym, it had become a very important part of my life, and it was far beyond exercise. My ultimate goal at the gym was ongoing health and wellness, but various times of the year I’d be more focused on weight loss goals, as well as strength, mobility and balance. The time on the elliptical was often used listening to hypnosis training or other inspirational information, and it was combined with bilateral stimulation. The people I had casual relationships with at the gym were part of my life as we chatted before class or in the locker room. I hadn’t realized until I got some of it back that this place was such an important part of my mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
I wanted to share this with you today as you think about working with your clients on their fitness and exercise plans. Whether it’s a home gym, exercise in nature, team sports, or a traditional gym, there are many benefits that our clients can get out of ensuring that they include exercise as part of their schedule on a regular basis. One of my clients told me it’s like church for him. For me, it’s like therapy. For others, it’s something else, but when you work with your clients to find the ways to make it enjoyable and fulfilling, they’ll be happy to participate in it as a lifelong lifestyle.
To sum up my journey on the “bike that goes nowhere,” in truth it has taken me everywhere by bringing me back to myself!