Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Science of Exercise

You may not know it when you consider my current occupation and pay rate, but I have a Bachelor's Degree. In what? you might ask. In Exercise Science. Now, I'm not exactly sure what comes to your mind when you hear that, but I'm betting it wouldn't really describe how I feel about the education I received. I kind of feel like most people that I've told lately think I should be a personal trainer or something. Not that I couldn't have been, but it's a flexible major and I didn't really gear it that way. Besides, you don't need a Bachelor's degree to be a personal trainer. So what did I end up with? A completely unmarketable degree with no experience. I knew I was going to grad school, so it didn't really matter to me then.

Not that I haven't learned anything about exercise. I definitely have. I know enough to tell you that one of the best ways to live long and healthy is to exercise. But how do I apply this very expensive piece of knowledge? Well, up until a few weeks ago, not very well. I was struggling after we moved here because there were not very many places to run and I couldn't get into a good routine around my weird work schedule. But a few weeks ago, Burke and I joined the YMCA!

It was a major decision, because as far as we were concerned... it is a LOT of money. But we decided to do it facing the prospect of a long, snowy, Wisconsin winter. We signed up during a promotion and saved a good $60 or so. Since then we have gone swimming, ran on treadmills, lifted weights, Burke has tried to teach me how to play racquetball, and I started taking a Zumba class.

Since yoga (which would be my first choice any day) costs an extra 20 or 30 bucks, I decided to give Zumba a try. The first day of the class I was nervous, thinking, "Gosh I wish I had someone to go with me." As soon as the class started, however, I was SO GLAD I didn't know anyone in there! I look like an idiot. It's just dancing for exercise, and it's fun I guess, but I just try to avoid the mirrors at all costs. The whole time I'm just trying to figure out how to get my arms to move like that with my legs and hips, etc.

And swimming? It's a similar story. I took a beginning swimming class at BYU my sophomore year to try and relearn how to swim (because I had literally forgotten since my childhood swimming lessons). By this point, I know HOW to do the strokes correctly, but I still can't go 2 lengths of the pool without stopping. My swimming workouts consist of going one length of the pool at freestyle, rest, then back; repeat with breast stroke; repeat with back stroke.... repeat until I've had enough.

Then there's racquetball. So I like tennis, so I figured racquetball would be great. We've only played once so far, but I just couldn't get the hang of hitting the ball AFTER it bounced off the wall behind me. It was a little frustrating... and imagine poor Burke. Like I said, we've only played once.

Needless to say, most of the time when I exercise, I feel a little pathetic. Even running nowadays... I can do it outside, but on a treadmill I can't make myself go more than a mile or two. Add that to the admission that my degree is in Exercise Science, and well, I guess all I can say is, ya gotta start somewhere.

But I'll tell you one thing I do know about the "science of exercise": pay a bunch of money to join a gym and you'll be much more likely to get your ever-needed exercise.

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