Leave It All At The Gym

If there’s one rule I believe in when it comes to working out, it’s this:

Leave it all at the gym.

What I mean by this is that, when you’re there, you should give everything you’ve got. Tire yourself out. See how far you can push yourself.

I promise it’s more than you think. And I promise, a few minutes after you’ve reached your limits, you’ll feel as good as new. You’ll even be surprised that, just a few minutes ago, could hardly breathe/ hold the pose/ move your legs any faster.

This has actually been difficult for me lately, which has made my workouts challenging – and not in the way that I like. Being injured has meant that I’ve had to think through practically every motion (as in, “Okay, should this be safe? Should I try it?”) when I much prefer just going all in. It’s been good for me to take a step back, I suppose, but man… I miss giving it all I’ve got.

Certain exercises lend themselves more easily to this whole leaving it all at the gym thing than others.

Some don’t lend well, at least for me. The elliptical is one machine that I zone out on and from which I never feel like I’ve gotten something worthwhile.

(From someecards)

Don’t be that guy!

Running is a great example of a way to really push yourself.

You control the speed, where you’re going, how hard you’re pushing, etc. Running is exactly what you make of it.

Another great one? Spinning.

(Photo from Monica)

Though spinning is technically a group activity, it is actually a very individual workout. You control your own speed and your own resistance. You can do what you’re told, or you can go to an easier or harder level if you so choose.

I like to push so hard in spin that I have to close my eyes. I did that a lot this morning.

I’ve been taking quite a few more spin classes lately. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are my PT days, I can only get a workout in if I go super early. Fortunately, my gym offers super early morning spin classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays (as in, the classes begin at 6am), so it all works out. Get it? Works out? Never mind.

Anyway, the point is, taking spin three times a week, rather than one, has really allowed me to evaluate (and then push) my limits.

Today, I realized that I don’t think spinning is ever going to become easy for me. I was pushing so hard but I could also see that other people were capable of far more than I currently am. That’s great, though, because I know I have a lot of room to grow.

This morning, I left the gym basically soaked, which was gross but made me feel very proud of myself.

I definitely left it all (and then some sweat) at the gym.

This, of course, was sort of tough because I went pretty directly (other than showering… I’d feel pretty bad for my physical therapist otherwise) from spinning to PT, and those exercises (and OMG, the freaking foam rolling) really hurt.

The foam rolling today, by the way, was not controlled by me. The physical therapist rolled it on me while I was lying down. It hurt so much that I may or may not have asked her if she had ever made anyone cry before.

I also told her she was a sadist.

You know, all in good fun.

The funny thing is, she told me I’m one of her calmest patients when it comes to the pain of foam rolling. At least I was able to make a few jokes while she was doing it! She said other people have screamed.

In other foam rolling news, Mark told me the other day, after witnessing (hearing) me do my foam rolling homework, that he felt like he’d just heard me deliver a baby.


Oh, I also learned at PT this morning that I don’t just have one bad knee, but two. While this was a surprise to me, my physical therapist said she wasn’t even sort of surprised. Even more interesting? The knee that clicks and crunches (yum) is actually the knee in better shape.

Both of my knees are taped today. It’s such a weird feeling.

Anyway, though I devoured my OOIAJ so quickly that I didn’t realize until I’d already finished that I never took a picture, I did manage to snap a picture of a little treat I was given this morning.

It was amazing. It was from Porto’s. And I honestly have no idea what it was.

It’s probably better that way.

Do you leave it all at the gym? What exercise most brings that out in you?


Filed under Blog Posts

18 responses to “Leave It All At The Gym

  1. Can I move in with you and work out with you? I need to get up before 6:30am to go work out. I really, really need to. I also need to foam roll but I’m dreading it oh so much.


  2. Christine@ Merf in Progress

    I have my moments. I definitely feel my best when I “leave it all at the gym”. But there are definitely times when I just go through the motions. I like your motto and will keep it in mind next time I’m tempted to do that.

  3. Since I cannot handle the ucla gym (too many sorority girls) I like to leave it all on the road. There is a feeling when you finish a hard but good run. Normally my mind feels like a clean slate after a good run and my mind feels brand new. Runners run!

  4. Great post. I love portos. We should meet up for lunch sometime. Or go for a walk or something.

  5. Girl Portos is sooo good!! That place always has lines out the door. I don’t like spinning…only because its SO hard! Seriously always leaves me sweating like crazy. Lately I have found that lifting gives me the best “left it all at the gym feeling” I love it! Sorry to hear about your knees! Hope the PT is going well.

  6. I totally agree with running and cycling- that’s why I love them! I love the elliptical more than I should, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I’ve gotten a good workout on it. I’m sure it’s possible, but I just plug my headphones into the TV and zone out.

  7. Hihi Kaity Lynne!

    I’ve sadly fallen off the workout wagon, because of a cold and being busy, but I like reading your blog and thinking that once I’m feeling better it will motivate me to get back into it 🙂

    Also, randomly, I somehow stumbled across a blog (honestly I have no idea how I ended up there) that I think you would enjoy. It’s in a similar-ish vein to your blog, although less about the food, more about the reflections on life and being a woman. Hope you enjoy it!
    ❤ Tara

    Eat the Damn Cake

  8. Honestly, I’m a bit afraid to leave it all at the gym right now. I’m quite out of shape and until I regain some of my stamina I’m taking it a little slower (I have a tendency to pull muscles…). It’s actually really hard for me to do that, since once I get an idea in my head I really push to get there. The best is running on the treadmill for me. Since my distance and time is right in front of me, I end up setting a goal and GOING. I’m really excited to borrow my boyfriend’s Garmin soon so I can have that same sort of feeling while running outdoors.

  9. You make me want to go spinning right now! Yes, I seriously love that about spin, there is always a new level of resistance, a new spring combination, a new hill to climb, you name it – the class can always be a great way to challenge yourself.

    I zone out during spin so much, and yet have to focus just to get the pedals around. LOVE IT!

    Haha, I never let Dan foam roll my legs anymore because I would yell too many obscenities and would start to sound like Sammie towards RonRon (yup, I just went there – haha).

    • Haha, I always want to go spinning!

      I think that’s so funny about Dan not being allowed to foam roll your legs. Doesn’t it hurt so much more when someone else is doing it? I should probably have Mark do it. I hold my obscenities (and moans… is that awkward?) in pretty well when the PT does it, but my guard is much more down with Mark!

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