The world’s most sophisticated garage gym

One of the first things JF and I noticed when we got to Elmvale was that there was no fitness centre. Not that we’re gym bunnies or anything. We’re more like couch bunnies – the soft and fat kind that die when they get released from captivity – but part of the goal in moving to Simcoe County was to live a healthier lifestyle.

I’ve written about the Elmvale 15: a squishy layer acquired over fall 2013, inconveniently located where I do up my pants. When my Elmvalian colleague told me about Swift Fitness, a gym on a country road frequented by locals, I promptly signed up for Monday interval classes.

When I pulled into the driveway on day one, tugging at my too small Lululemon pants, I did my best to contain my dismay at its location: a garage. An enormous and new garage with shiny windows next to a big beautiful home in the woods – but a car park is a car park. Or so I thought.

After walking in, my opinion shifted instantly. That garage is fancy and full of new equipment: exercise balls, weights, punching bags of all sizes, yoga mats, benches, a water cooler, those scary elastic band things, and tons of other bits and bobs I don’t know how to use. Plus it has a decent sound system and cool rubber floor.

By the time I was huffing through my first set of burpees, I was officially impressed. There are only ever a dozen people in the garage at a time, so there’s nowhere to hide. Instructors tell you when you’re not squatting deep enough, lifting high enough, or punching strong enough. Plus I’m surrounded by neighbours – so I’ve got to exercise with gusto or feel shame every time I shop at Elmvale Foodland.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

And this is what I do after class. Sit on the couch and watch Star Trek in my exercise clothes.

Since starting classes, I haven’t dropped any of the 15. But my pants are starting to fit better and I feel better – which everyone keeps telling me is more important. Plus I have totally opened my mind to the potential of garages.

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The Elmvale 15

Over the last two weeks I’ve ingested a Toblerone, two bags of Kernels popcorn, three bags of chips, several handfuls of jujubes and at least three cups of red and green m&ms.

My pants don’t fit me, my belly jollily jiggles like Santa’s, and worst of all, I feel like a (vaguely) human-shaped lump of butter. I’m calling the weight I’ve gained the Elmvale 15.

These days, I blame holiday baking. I must have eaten a solid dozen cookies yesterday. And today I had two chocolate-covered, tree-shaped sugar cookies for breakfast.

Evil Christmas cookies.

Evil Christmas cookies.

Other malefactors include: wine, the Elmvale bakery’s boston cream doughnuts, the cafeteria at work, my enabler partner JF, and Tobias.

Who knew my little blue Honda would keep me off my feet so constantly? The other day I drove from our house to the post office – just over 200 meters. Brutal.

I guess there was an advantage to the TTC’s suckiness after all; it forced me to get off my ass and walk.

Which brings me to the real culprit: slothfulness. Remember when I pledged to exercise regularly in July? Well, the closest I came to a fitness routine was the occasional leisurely stroll through Tiny Marsh, back when Simcoe County wasn’t coated in ice.

I often say I don’t have time, but the truth is that JF and I have somehow managed to watch two full seasons of the original Star Trek since October. Imagine how healthy I would be if I had spent those 50 or so hours running, lifting weights and eating kale – I’d look like 80s Cindy Crawford!

All of this to say I’ve become the dreaded Flabby Lefaive. And after my usual mulled-wine-and-sugar-induced January hangover, I’m going to do something about it. For real. Starting with a cleanse.

I would, after all, like to live long and prosper.