You know those women who can spend an hour running full-tilt intervals on the treadmill and walk out of the gym looking slightly dewy and pretty much date ready? I am not one of them.
I am a sweater—and I’m not talking about the cashmere variety here. Sure, part of me envies those ladies that merely get their glow on while working out, but the other part of me wears my sweat with pride. When I end a session looking like I just lathered myself up with baby oil, I know that I just pushed myself to the max and my sweaty sheen is my own personal badge of honour for doing so. Sweat may stink, like Holly suggested in the previous post, but it’s also our bodies’ way of showing we are working hard and (hopefully) getting results .
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Meghan Jessiman an editor at the Calgary Herald’s Swerve magazine by day and Alive Personal Training junkie by night. Just over a year ago, I decided to try a cardio kickboxing class being offered at our office gym on a whim and that is where I met Ben, one of Alive’s owners and my exceptionally enthusiastic kickboxing instructor that fateful day. The rest, as they say, is history. After a few weeks of classes at The Herald, I found the courage to drop in on a Saturday morning class to see what the gym was all about and that was that: I was hooked.
Alive was truly unlike any other gym facility I had ever experienced. Everything Holly wrote below is one hundred percent correct and it was evident upon arrival. Yes, ultimately everyone enters the gym to work on their personal health and fitness goals, inevitably however, by the time they throw in the sweat towel and head home they have engaged with a community of people that are there to support one another and, most likely, they have a had a few good laughs.
I’m not going to get all clichéd on you here and say that at Alive we are like one big happy family, but it is an amazing community to be a part of. These people will and do pick you up when you are down and they do celebrate your accomplishments. They do take the extra second to give you a fist bump when passing through the cardio room, notice when you get a new workout top and bust out a couple dance moves when the going gets tough. As a result, they become more than just the dude beside you in Kendra’s TRX class; they become your friends. You find yourself mysteriously looking forward to your workouts because you get to suffer through it (and reap the benefits) alongside your buddies. Not too many big box gyms can boast that claim.
I’ve already written a couple articles about what the Alive experience has done for me. In a nutshell, I found a competitive drive and an athlete laying dormant inside me once I started this fitness journey—turns out I was the fricking Mount St. Helens of cardio kickboxing. But everyday I am at the gym (and I am there an awful lot of days) something remarkable happens. Be it an achievement milestone of one of the other members, a great discussion about healthy fats or a funny story that came out of a training session, I’m going to do my best to put these experiences into words and hopefully initiate some further discussions—or at the very least thought—about why we workout the way we do and what makes our gym so unique. To those of you that know me already, I hope you enjoy the blogs to come and getting to know me a little bit better. And to those of you I have yet to meet, come introduce yourself next time you are in—I will be the girl sweating in a profuse and very unladylike way!
Photo courtesy of State of Grace photography