I have been going faithfully to
Curves every day for 2 weeks; the only exception being Sunday because they are closed and yesterday (the 17th) because my 4 year old got sick and needed to go to the doctor and then my 9 year old had a previously scheduled check up the same afternoon. Both days I did a series of gentle stretching exercises in lieu of my strength/cardio training. I am trying to make exercise as automatic as brushing my teeth, so necessarily it must be a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth.
The Curves trainer recommends that you come in 3 times a week, on say a Monday Wednesday Friday schedule in order that your muscles have a chance to rest and recover. For daily attendees like me she recommends that you focus one day more on strength and the next day more on cardio. I haven't been doing that probably as well as I should, I find that I feel so energized by my workout that I tend to go all out everyday. Perhaps my enforced 2 days off due to my schedule will be a good thing.
I usually workout right after I drop my youngest off to preschool. She goes to school for 3 hours a day so I have just enough time to get home, get a shower and maybe write a blog post before I have to pick her up. This means I am working out mid-morning and most of the other exercisers at that time seem to be women of retirement age. I have heard that the afternoon/evening exercisers tend to be closer to my age; but that's okay, I love talking to older women. Today, when I cracked wise about when I was young, broke and single I would accept a date just to go to DINNER, one older lady laughed knowingly and said, "Oh honey, been there! Done that!" I got a huge kick out of her! One day everyone complimented my workout shoes, they are a sort of Mary Jane/sneaker hybrid that I bought so I could have some semi-cute running around shoes. Having all those women compliment my shoes delighted me to no end.
These are women who aren't fazed by much, they accept life as it comes and sort of just ready themselves for whatever comes next. Since I've been there I have heard talks about them attending memorial services for each other's spouses, parents, even children. Or they talk about a member who has been hospitalized recently, plans are made to sign cards, make dinners, carpool for visits, make phone calls. I mean, if you had a death in the family, do you think your entire gym would make it to the wake? There is clearly a social/support structure here as well as regular exercise; and as in any human activity if there is a chance to socialize there is a greater chance we will repeat the activity. Not to say that there aren't members that come in, work out and get on with their days, but most people tend to linger near the stretching ballet barre while they drink some water, stretch and chat before they go home.
I am already looking ahead to my next type of workout, but my time at Curves isn't over until October 9th. I doubt I will find a MORE welcoming group of women though.