Working Out Back in My Old Stomping Grounds …

And by “my old stomping grounds,” I mean my first “real” gym. I’m visiting with the family in Illinois for Christmas this week, and naturally – me being me and all – it took all of two days for me to join my brother, Eric, on a (somewhat lengthy) trip to XSport Fitness in St. Charles.

It’s awesome to be able to go back to my first XSport when I’m home. It’s almost like a kind of homecoming for me, as crazy as that seems. It’s interesting to see how things have changed in the five years since I left – and even more so in the nearly 10 years that the club has been open. Plus, it’s kinda cool to be able to compare the equipment that they have in St. Charles to the equipment we have back home in Alexandria (because, yes, there are some different things, and yes, they have definitely updated the equipment in St. Charles since I was here last Christmas).

It’s always funny to come back here, because I always recognize at least a few familiar faces, even though it has been years since I’ve lived here. They may not be people I ever really knew, but when you are a regular at the same gym for long enough, you start to “know” people, even if you never actually talk to them (which is part of why I sometimes refer to people by descriptors – I don’t really know them, I just see them every single day).

The best part, though, was probably something I didn’t anticipate at all – I ended up bringing out my teaching pants as I was doing my stretches and abs. There was an older lady (who, I found, was in town from Florida visiting for the holidays) who I got to talking to … and ended up giving her a couple suggestions for ab and back exercises on the Swiss ball. I also got to chatting with this guy who turned out to be a fellow instructor – he said he teaches the bootcamp class – which I thought was kind of cool. You know us instructors … you ask for suggestions, we’ll give them to you, and we always like to meet fellow instructors (cause we’re a special breed and all)!

It definitely feels good to keep some semblance of my routine intact throughout the holidays, because I have no desire to take it too easy while I’m home. I don’t want to be playing catch up when I get back to Virginia – especially since the New Year mad-house season is just a few short weeks away. (Boo!!) My intention is to get at least a couple good workouts in while I’m home to make up for the cookies I spent most of yesterday afternoon baking (amongst other temptations I’d never face back home, because there are definitely certain foods I keep out of my apartment on purpose). I did about 7.5 miles (5k running – just over 26 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of quarter-mile intervals, side shuffles, and a little hill walking) on the treadmill in my parents’ living room yesterday morning, then Eric and I spent about two and a half hours at XSport this afternoon (I did some arms, an hour on the elliptical, and abs).

And it felt great to get back to the club where it all began … I love (LOVE) XSport Alexandria, and especially all my awesome classes and friends there – but because it where I fell in love with fitness, and where I first became an instructor, XSport St. Charles will always have a special place in my heart.