For most of my life, I actually led a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I didn’t eat unhealthy food in excess ….(minus my bubble tea addiction)…. and was lucky enough to have a decent metabolism. It wasn’t until I started college that I considered going to the gym or working out. I didn’t actually want to go to the gym, but it seemed like it was something everyone else was doing.
When I first started working out, I would go on 15 minute jogs by myself on the treadmill. (They were 15 minutes because I got bored quickly. Also, I’m not a fan of running.) The only way to get me to run longer was if a friend jogged with me and talked my ear off. I would sometimes go to the gym, but would get annoyed by the gym buffs or lose motivation after 30 minutes. The problem was that these workouts weren’t really stimulating to me and I hadn’t found what I liked.
But the truth is – I found that working out helped me manage stress. At the time, I was a biochem major and classes were tough. Regardless, it was really hard to get the motivation to hit the gym.
One day, I signed up for a free week of CorePower yoga with a friend, and I absolutely loved it. The workouts were challenging and mentally stimulating. I didn’t have to formulate my own work out- I could just follow along. Also, the instructors showered the students with positivity and – let me tell you- it felt good. I liked it so much that I considered getting a membership. One look at the steep price point, and I was back to running on the treadmill for 15 minutes at a time. However, I found my treadmill workouts to be stagnant and not as effective as going to CorePower yoga- mainly because I didn’t enjoy them. (And 15 minutes doesn’t do that much.)
So I sucked it up and got a membership for $115/month. For a college student with a free on campus gym, that was A LOT. Heck, to a lot of grown adults today NOT in college that’s a lot. When I would tell friends, they would scoff at me. It burned a hole in my pocket, but you know what? It got me to work out 5x/week.
There’s something about having a financial stake in something that kept me accountable. I knew that if I went any less than 5 times per week, I would be spending more than $7 per class- that’s 2 bubble teas!! Because I was spending so much on this membership, I didn’t NEED to go with a friend.
So I moved to California on search for something similar, but no such luck. I didn’t have a CorePower studio close to me here. But it didn’t matter. I had gotten into the habit of working out regularly, so I picked up other activities in its place.
Then one day – to my delight, a CorePower yoga opened up close where I lived. I quickly joined and was excited to get back into it. A few years had passed since I had been to CorePower, but I had nothing but memories of positive affirmations and “keep going”s. After a few months of going to classes, I noticed my attendance was dwindling. I wasn’t as motivated to go to class and found myself upset if a class wasn’t “like it was back in Austin”. Also, I had developed new hobbies: cycling, rock climbing, hiking. I didn’t necessarily NEED CorePower for the work out motivation like I used to. I actually found physical activities that I enjoyed that weren’t just working out just to workout. After not attending class for an entire month, I decided it was time to stop paying for something I don’t use and cancelled my membership.
My point is: if one of your new year’s resolutions is to work out more, consider paying for an activity you really enjoy. Sometimes it takes some motivation or financial incentive to set a habit. Once you make a habit of focusing on fitness and you find the activities you like, you’ll work out more consistently. Maybe you’ll even be able to cancel that expensive gym membership. Just my 2 cents from experience.
Do financial investments get you to workout? Share your thoughts on this.