July 22, 2009

Stu goes to Yoga, and other tales of personal fitness...

Let’s face facts: I’m two things, concretely. Frugal, and pushing 30. These two things may not seem connected, but I’ll get there. Some months ago after using up a month’s free pass at the Steve Nash Sports Club in downtown Vancouver which was given to me, I decided I was so in love with the place that I had to buy a membership. Enter: frugality. At more than a $100 / month for membership, however, this was not a bullet I was willing to bite. But, I’d been tired of my old gym membership at a local ‘Fitness World’ for ages. And after the multi-floored, fabulously equipped, sauna and steam roomed opulence of the Steve Nash club, I could not go back to my regular gym. I just couldn’t. But I couldn’t bring myself to pay that money, either. So began an internal dialogue and debate that ran on for a few weeks.
“You’re almost 30, Stu. Your knees are a mess and you know it. You gotta keep up the leg strength to keep those knees in functional order. You’re not even at the trey-decade mark and already you can’t jog anymore!”
“Yeah, but, $100 a month at a minimum? You gotta be kidding me”
“You wanna go back to the fitness world? With their one bench press station, one rowing machine, just to name a few...”
“Yeah but...”
“Yeahbutnothing. The overcrowding, the complete lack of machines to or weights to work your legs? You NEED Steve and his club, Stu. You NEED it...”
“Oh, well if it’s a need, then maybe...”
“C’mooooon, think about it. The two levels of premium equipment, the complimentary towel service, electronic lockers and toiletries, AND all the fitness, spin and yoga classes are included in the price! If you use those service as well , this membership practically pays YOU!”
“Hmmm... Yoga, hey? Namaste...”
“That’s the spirit!”
“But a hundred dollars a month?”
“THAT’s IT! I quit! You do what you want, but I’m outta here!”
And so, with that, I knew that I had to find a way to pay less. And, I’m happy to say that where there’s a tight wad, there’s a way. I got a membership at the club for $60 bucks a month, which on the surface still seems a bit steep for a gym, but hey, as my brain told me, if you actually attend some of the classes, it totally makes it cheaper than having a gym membership, having to pay extra to attend fitness classes, and having to go to a yoga studio somewhere else anyway.
And so, I drank the punch, and as of last night, I attended my first ever yoga class. I arrived ten minutes early; there was another class in the studio before my sessions for beginners. Looking through the glass into the calm, exotic space on the other side, it looked like a cross between a very concentrated workout and nap time. Me like.
Soon enough it was my turn, along with eight others looking to get their downward dogs on as well. Over the next hour, my body reminded me that I’m almost 30 at least a dozen times as I tried to gumbify myself into Ardha-matsyendra-asana-like pretzels, or maintain my cool through an Utkatasana stance.
But seriously folks, after the hour, I was hooked. I want some more. From controlled breathing through each new pose, to the dark stained bamboo floors and space awash in soft light, I was right into this stuff. Can’t wait until I can do it again!
“See, what did I tell you. The membership is totally worth it, right?”
Yeah yeah yeah, you’re the best, I’m the worst.”
“Dude, you just came from a yoga class. Don’t think like that.”
“Oh right. I mean ‘Namaste, Namaskar’”.
“That’s better. Now hit the showers. And maybe the steam room, too. Hey, how are those knees, by the way?”
“don’t harsh my mellow, brain.”
“oh. Okay. Well, we’ll keep working on that. Don’t worry, you’re not 30 for another three months.”