I loved watching Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week; a magical week that brings out the kid in me. A few things I learned about sharks over the years; they are not indiscriminate killing machines as portrayed in the 1975 movie “Jaws” and humans don’t rank very high as desirable shark food. We are at the highest risk of shark attack when their preferred prey is close by, such as seals.
How do seals protect themselves against sharks to live longer lives? The same way most animals protect themselves from predators; they travel together. There is real strength in numbers and it holds true in many areas of life; exercise is no exception.
Post college, my fitness regimen has been a solitary, sometimes arduous trip to the judgement free zone three to four days a week, put in the headphones, listen to the same playlists, go at a respectable medium pace on a treadmill or bike. If I broke a good sweat for 35 minutes, I was content with my effort and nobody was motivating me to do more. My hurdle has always been that motivation to consistently push myself and truly make that precious hour at the gym count. Even though I was going to the gym, I wasn’t losing or even really maintaining my weight very well.
Need for Change
I got to the breaking point this February when I hit a new high on the scale and realized changes were needed or I was gonna need a new wardrobe. I decided to try the new spin studio over on Crown Street and quickly figured out that I’ve been denying myself a fun exercise experience for years. I am social, I am a team player, I am competitive, and I love to sweat and the judgement free zone wasn’t helping with any of that.
Hooked on SHiFT
After my first ride at SHiFT, I was hooked! Its social, its challenging, its filled with positive people and the workouts, although demanding, scale to your current fitness level. But the best thing about SHiFT (aside from the cold lavender scented towel at the end of class) is just like the seals have learned, its easier and when you go TOGETHER.
Power of a Team
Since April, I’ve SHiFTed 3-4 times per week and felt consistently challenged and motivated by each instructor to dig a little deeper and go a little harder. I love the results – I spend less time “working out” and I’ve lost 16 pounds (approximately 7% of my body weight) AND my strength is noticeably better. The rides at SHiFT also help my mental stability; I burn off frustration & stress from work and by the time the ride is over, I feel a sense of real achievement and renewed positivity. It IS easier to workout together and SHiFT is a world-class facility that gets me excited to workout.
When you need a little motivation, remember Tracey Jordan’s inspirational advice: “Live EVERY week like its SHARK WEEK!!!” Check out the clip.
Written by SHiFTer and Executive Director of the New Haven Town Green, Win Davis.