I’ve never really considered myself a “fitness” person. Not that I haven’t maintained a relatively active lifestyle for most of my life, but I never found any one thing that I loved. I dabbled in a little bit of everything but never felt like I spent enough time doing any one thing in order to excel at it.
The truth is, for so long, every type of exercise bored me. Not that various types of exercise weren’t fun and exciting at first, but after a few months, I would get incredibly bored. I’ve belonged to countless gyms, spent years working out at home, was a member of a yoga studio for about year and I’ve tried Cycling, Crossfit, had personal trainers… you name it. Each and every one of those things was fun for about 3 months to a year until… you guessed it… I got bored.
Not only was I chronically bored but as I am sure many others can relate, I would go through stages of being really on, or totally off. In other words, I would go through periods of time where I would push myself extremely hard at whatever I was doing or I would do absolutely nothing. There was seldom a middle ground for me. I would spend months and months getting extremely into something and would eventually get bored or injure myself which would provoke a total exercise hiatus. I could go months without doing much of anything other than (very) occasional walks.
Those periods of time where I wasn’t active at all were definitely not fun. However, for most of my adult life, I haven’t really gained or lost more than 10 or so pounds. (Likely due to my clean eating habits). So, while those periods of inactivity were pretty miserable, I knew as soon as I felt like I just couldn’t handle it anymore, I would re-join the exercising world. Sure, I would lose some muscle and maybe put on a few pounds during those periods of time, but it wasn’t enough of a change to make me really worried about it.
The truth is, I was accepting mediocrity when it came to my level of commitment to staying active on a regular basis. I knew it was what was best for me, but I just couldn’t get excited about something on a regular basis that wasn’t both fun to do and something that made me feel really good. I saw so many of my friends do the same thing for years on end and I couldn’t figure out why that had never been me.
Cut to April 2016. So, just a few months ago. I was coming out of one of my exercise ruts. The last time I’d worked out regularly was probably August 2015. That means I went 7 months without doing much more than occasional walks. Before I stopped in August, I had been doing the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. For those of you who aren’t familiar, the BBG is a 12-week program (that can be extended) where you are doing anywhere from 3-8 workouts per week, depending on where you are in the program. The majority of it is body-weight based and she has you do mostly bodyweight circuits with some added sprinting by the last weeks of the program. Each workout is 24 minutes long. That may not sound like a lot but let me tell you, it’s hard and it only gets harder as the weeks go on.
I noticed a different in my progress shots after only a month. The changes were minimal but I was motivated by the visual improvement. The downside? I felt like garbage. The workouts were not only excruciatingly hard, but I was doing them in my extremely hot, non-airconditioned house in the middle of the summer. Not only that, but I was also suffering from pretty severe adrenal fatigue, which I didn’t realize until months later. My hormonal acne was out of control and despite the physical changes I saw, I completely gave it up before finishing the last month.
Before BBG, I was a member at CorePower Yoga. That ended for several reasons. First of all, I got bored and second of all, I hurt my hip flexor and it took months for that to fully recover.
Prior to that, I belonged to a 24 Hour Fitness and worked out both by myself and, for a period of months, with a trainer. Why did that end? Well, partly because I moved but also partly because, you guessed it… I got bored.
I could keep going back in time with other examples, but I think you get the picture. Trying new things was fun and it felt motivating to get out of my rut, especially when I noticed physical changes. But after a while, it always ended. And it ended hard.
So what happened in April 2016? Equinox opened in San Diego. Don’t laugh. It’s true. This new fancy shmancy gym is what not only got me out of my rut, but also made me realize why I’ve always had such bad workout experiences. Part of it was absolutely my fault (pushing myself too hard, accepting that month long spans of inactivity were okay), but part of it was not my fault at all.
The truth is, for my entire life I had been trying to fit myself into a fitness mold that just wasn’t me. You know the saying that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Well, that was me with exercise. I knew that picking one activity and working really, really hard at it for a period of months would wear me out or bore me to tears, yet I kept doing it again and again.
Weight training and the fundamentals of Crossfit are great. But I want to get excited about working out, and a sweaty, weird smelling and poorly lit black box is not my idea of a good time. Yoga? Love it. But not having the freedom to do anything but yoga at a yoga studio… hello boredom and overtraining. Working out at home? It’s so cheap! Love it. But sooner or later I start to go stir crazy (especially because I work from home too) and I slowly start to push myself less and less because no one is there to hold me accountable.
Around January or February of this year I remember thinking to myself, “Hmm, if there was a really nice gym like Equinox somewhere near by, that’s the type of place I’d want to join.” Yes, of course it’s expensive and yes, of course it isn’t entirely “necessary.” But when I heard that Equinox would be opening just down the street from me (the very first location in San Diego), I jumped on it. I had a theory about why this might be the answer I was looking for and, it turns out, I was right.
After almost four months of belonging to Equinox, I not only don’t feel bored, but I feel excited to workout literally every single time and I feel like I’m just getting started.
What I’ve learned about myself is that I can absolutely be a “fitness” person without forcing myself to do anything I don’t want to do and without forcing myself into doing any one thing. Just because I don’t want to bust my ass doing Crossfit WODs every day or just because I like ending my workout with a chilled eucalyptus towel does not make me any less of a badass or any less entitled to being active and in shape. (Yes, there are refrigerators full of chilled eucalyptus towels at my gym).
In my opinion, spending just under a couple of thousand dollars a year is 150% worth it if it means I will continue to feel excited about staying active year round. While yes, diet may trump exercise when it comes to overall health and wellness, there is absolutely no debate that staying active is an incredibly important aspect of making sure our bodies and minds are in the best place that they can be. Just as I consider the food I buy to be an investment in my health, I now also consider my gym membership an investment in my health. Why I didn’t think of this before is beyond me.
Although it might seem like it, this post is in no way sponsored by or endorsed by Equinox. I am just honestly blown away by the fact that belonging to this gym has finally given my fitness routine the jolt that it needed and I am thrilled that it made me realize after all these years that what might be best for everyone else, is not what’s best for me. If you’re thrilled to go to your Crossfit box every day, go for it, more power to you. This post isn’t meant to discourage any fitness routine, but I wanted to share my experience because I think there are a lot of us doing something that might not be right for us and it’s preventing us from fully enjoying working out and feeling the absolute best about ourselves.
Not only am I someone who enjoys variety when it comes to daily workouts, but I am also someone that who appreciates a little bit of luxury. Self-care is imperative to overall health and I feel that my gym membership takes care of not just fitness, but also relaxation and a great deal of my self-care routine.
Curious about what my fitness and gym routine looks like? This should give you a little bit of a taste…
While once in a while I will create a circuit training workout for myself using the weights on the floor, the vast majority of my time is spent in Equinox’s award winning classes. This is not Zumba or low level beginniners yoga people, these classes are exceptional. The teachers are all super experienced, high-energy and the classes are specifically designed to give your body the best possible workout.
I used to think that I had to belong to a Crossfit box to get an amazing WOD circuit or a hot yoga studio to get a state of the art, advanced hot yoga class, but not anymore. My gym offers weight training, yoga, cardio, dance, barre, TRX, cycling and pilates classes, just to name a few. The best part? They’re all amazing.
Not only are the classes amazing but the machines are top notch and there is always at least one trainer on the floor to assist with anything you need, including being stretched out. Yes please. Worried about the cleanliness of the gym? Don’t be. There are always cleaners on the floor and in the locker room at all times. Everything is always so clean and so well stocked that I can’t even believe it sometimes.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, the amenities are worth their weight in gold. As I mentioned, there are chilled eucalyptus towels in small fridges throughout the gym, which deserves to be repeated. Taking a yoga class? Leave your mat and towels at home. Equinox provides free Manduka mats and hot yoga towels (not to mention blocks, bolsters, etc.) that they clean after every single class. Having a smelly yoga towel draped over my front seat was not that much fun when I belonged to CorePower, so this service is very much appreciated. (Oh and the Equinox membership is significantly less than a CorePower membership. So there’s that).
Once you’re done with your workout you get to enjoy a luxurious locker room, complete with lockers that have built in locks (no more having to remember your combination or carrying a key with you), Kiehl’s products in the showers, extra razors in case you forget yours, mouthwash, and very, very best of all… a giant steam room.
Belonging to Equinox is like belonging to a gym and a spa all in one.
I especially appreciate the steam room because it’s an amazing tool for detox and has become an important part of my protocol for healing my hormonal acne. (More on that to come).
There is also a legitimate spa where you can book (paid) massages, facials and other treatments, plus optional Pilates classes and an amazing raw/superfood, dairy and gluten free juice and smoothie bar inside my gym called Beaming. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’ve definitely seen me post about my endless obsession with Beaming products.
Spending time in the steam room after a hot yoga class or intense “Ropes and Rowers” circuit workout and leaving the gym with a cold, raw green juice… there is truly nothing better IMO. It may not be right for everyone, but it is right for me and I am thrilled to have finally found my “thing”.
I know Equinox isn’t for everyone and I also know that it’s not something everyone can or wants to spend the money on. The point is, I think it’s important for all of us to really focus on what’s right for us, especially if sticking to a routine is something you’ve struggled with in the past.
So what’s my fitness philosophy? Do what you love. And, if you love more than one thing, do them all. Invest in your fitness routine because when you get it right, it will more than pay for itself.
Interested in learning more about Equinox? There are gyms opening in Florida, Vancouver, New York, Brooklyn and Los Angeles, plus so many more than already exist nationwide. You can contact my personal membership advisor, Peter and he will set you up with an all access pass to a gym in your city!
Are you struggling with finding a workout you love or are you like me and like to do a little bit of everything? Let me know in the comments below!