So something I have somehow yet to mention is how important exercise is to my life. I think you could consider me borderline obsessed with working out, or running, actually. I'm that girl who gets up before 5 am to go for a run. Part of the reason I love running is because of how low maintenance it is, especially compared to other sports. I mean, all you really need for running is to spend the majority of money on a good pair of running shoes, and the rest of your attire can honestly come from Target or TJ Maxx. (And of course, you probably want to invest a few bucks into some good tunes for your iPod shuffle too, but not absolutely necessary). But the main reason I love running is because it keeps me sane. I swear I think I'd be crazy if I didn't have my morning therapy with my running partners at least three times a week.
But this post isn't about running. Not entirely. Yes running is a low cost way to stay in shape, but after a certain point, I wanted more than that. My body was adjusted to the miles I was logging each week and I needed to cross train. Plus, I missed going to aerobics classes. But as we all know, aerobics classes means joining a gym, which means spending money. Usually, a LOT of money. Luckily for me, my friend Emily at Redesign That is a pretty thrifty spender, too. She introduced me to her church recreation center at Dawson and I am indebted to her for that!
Upon my first visit to Dawson Recreation, I learned that a) you don't have to be member of the church there to use the gym b) their gym fees are a LOT lower than probably every other gym in town and c) if you want to just do aerobics classes (which I did!) you can. They offer the same type of classes as other local gyms and their teachers are just as well-trained and certified. And for just $30, I can get a punch card to use for 15 classes. That's only $2 a class! That's all it took, I was exercise smitten and I haven't looked back.
And because I didn't want to put wear and tear on my running shoes for an aerobics class, but also didn't want to plunk down a wad of cash on another pair of expensive tennis shoes, what's a girl to do but go to Academy Sports and purchase a pair of $20 LA Gears? Yes, you read that right! They still make LA Gears and I workout in them, and they work just fine! Can't beat that for $20. (side note: I do not recommend spending only $20 for running shoes, but for step class, why not?)
|Yep, that's me rockin' the LA Gears. So glad the design has changed since the last pair I owned 20 years ago!|
It's been so great to add an affordable cross training option in my life, so what are you waiting for? You can do the same thing! If you're in the Birmingham area, check out Dawson. Or if you're not, look into churches or other similar organizations in your area who might offer the same type of deal. Then you won't have money as an excuse not to workout anymore...and your heart will thank me!
photos: laura menconi