Marge’s Story

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Pictured: Maggie crushing burpees over the rower at limitless performance

Flablete profile: Marge

Call me hashtag-inspired by Taylor and Meghan’s posts either that or I’m a good recycler or I really like George and want to get her good grades. I wrote something for a promo piece at my gym who were featuring all the different reasons why the ladies like to work out there. It got me thinking about life after varsity sports and staying sweaty.

They asked us what kept us from being in top-shape before joining this gym. I answered: “In between playing hockey at university and starting here (~4 years) I struggled to stay motivated by myself in the gym. Doing lifting and running training with my hockey team/other varsity athletes in University kind-of shredded my motivation to work out by myself once that was over. I would usually still get to the gym when I was working out on my own, but I didn’t push myself to increase weights or reps and I definitely did not target my weaknesses. I knew lots of lifts and exercises but I would only put together work-outs that included my favorite things to do- the ones I was already good at! I also had no real strategy for my workouts from day to day or in the long term which made measuring changes or gains pretty much non-existent (or limited to the scale). Also I struggled to stay balanced in that if I was focused on training for running a race, I was only doing cardio, or if I was focused on building muscle, I was only lifting weights. Left to my own devices, I lacked a good balance between strength and cardio.”

This got me thinking, what is it about the end of varsity sports that has us all running for a solo treadmill mission once its done? Half the reason we liked hockey was the social aspect of it, hanging out with the girls, the laughs. Yet then we pick the most painful form of exercise after the fact, join a $10 gym, run on the treadmill, lift a couple of dumb-bells and go home. The paradox! The madness! We removed the fun part of exercise (friends) so of course we hate it and don’t stick with it. After I got sick of solo treadmill missions, I turned to yoga, spin classes, and body-pump classes. Added in some other people, figured a group setting would keep more accountable. I think it was better than by myself, but still easy to go through the motions.

Then I realized, the other half of the reason we liked hockey was the competition (although, we could’ve used a bit more of that while I was there). I had nothing to fill that competitive void, no George or Cat or Kelly Feehan (was the queen of this) adding weight to my bar when I wasn’t looking. No rugby players to race down the turf. I think the best equation for me to keep sweating after hockey was over was a 50/50 split between friends/competition–> fun. I found that a local gym here in KW with all kinds of challenges and very fit people (even many former varsity athletes) to chase around keeping things competitive. For now, I do group classes with a mix of cardio, gymnastics, plyometrics, and weightlifting. I figured out what many people already know about exercise: it has to be fun or you’ll never keep doing it!

Maybe this type of exercise won’t be fun for me forever, maybe I’ll run races, or play soccer or start biking or who knows! But sweating is good for my sanity so I’ll try to keep doing it.