Whole Life Challenge

New Beginnings at a New Gym

The gym I’ve been a member of for nearly a year was closed over the weekend. Which was weird, because it’s never closed. And that’s the thing: it was closed…unless you are a Mr. Olympia competitor. If you were one of those giant, perhaps chemically-helped folks competing at the Olympia tournament here in Las Vegas over the weekend? You could go in my gym and lift weights and get your photo taken. Without paying the same membership fees I pay.

I get it. My gym is filled with these giant people at all times. It is a destination for people with big muscles (and I’m not talking about myself, even though you might think I am). They paint themselves as a gym for the heavy lifters and the glamorous. The gym has a nightclub feel to it, especially at night when the lights are turned down low and the last great supply of black lights from the early 1990’s are turned on.

But I’d like to be able to work out when I want to work out. So when I go to the gym and it is closed to me because I am not a Mr. Olympia athlete, well, you can imagine it was not all that pleasing. So I asked the manager to refund me for the days the gym would be closed. It seemed only right. Here is what he said:

“It’s only a couple of days a year. You’ll survive.”

Really? I try to respond to things with understanding and peace these days. In The Four Agreements (my new best book in life), one of the tenets is “Don’t take anything personally.” But this one made the hot ginger blood in me start to boil.

So I canceled my membership immediately, and I drove over to Lifetime Fitness and signed up. I used to be a member of a Lifetime club in Katy, and I loved it. To this day, I’ve never had a better experience with a gym or fitness club. It is much more expensive than what I was paying, but when you consider all the things you get that other gyms don’t provide, it is a no-brainer. Plus, it’s just a gorgeous facility. You actually want to go work out, because you feel as though you are in a resort.

And one of the things I’ve discovered about myself is this: the more skin I have in the game, the more likely I’m going to be to utilize something to its fullest. That’s the way things are with the Whole Life Challenge. Because I paid $50 to enter that contest, my brain constantly tells me that I have to make sure I get my money’s worth. Lifetime Fitness is significantly more expensive than my old gym, but paying all that money each money will make me use it more than I ever would at a cheap gym.

And there are so many classes at Lifetime, too, and they are all included. Squash. Yoga. Hot yoga. Crossfit. Spinning. In short, there’s a class for everything, and they’re all included with the price of the gym. I started with a hot yoga class yesterday, and it will be part of my new routine (which I’ll list below, for those who are interested).

In short, I’m thrilled to be at Lifetime. My twice-a-day gym visits are much more pleasing now, which means I’m much more likely to keep doing it, even after the Whole Life Challenge draws to a close.

Below is my new routine. Not listed are the 5-6 dog walks I take Belle on each day; those tend to total about 6 miles of walking. This seems like a lot, but it is so very perfect for me. Focusing on these multiple daily sessions has helped me change my way of thinking in a drastic manner, and I believe yoga is going to help me take that to the next level.


Morning: Weight training (squats, bench press, barbell row)
Afternoon: Running

Morning: 6 mile walk
Afternoon: Hot yoga

Morning: Weight training (squats, overhead press, deadlift)
Afternoon: Spinning
Evening: Hot yoga

Morning: 6 mile walk
Afternoon: Swimming for distance

Morning: Weight training (squats, bench press, row)
Evening: Hot yoga

Morning: Restorative yoga

Morning: Walking