I have a lesson tonight that I am pretty excited about, but I figured I would set the stage with you all with an update of things I am doing outside the barn. Exactly a month ago yesterday, my friend and I joined our local YMCA. And yup – that’s the pic of it above. It is small, clean, and rivals Disney World as one of the friendliest places on Earth.ย 


Original plan? Take a couple of classes and stay fit and motivated through, what seems to have decided to be a ridiculously cold and unlivable, winter. Reality? Ummm yesterday marked our tenth visit, and that includes me basically taking the week of Thanksgiving off to be with family. 

This is my first experience with really taking classes, and it has been an incredible mix of completely intimating, a bit embarrassing, but totally fun.


Intimidation? When the entire class is there before you get there, and they have 6 pieces of equipment laid out in front of them in some kind of pattern that, even at the end of class, I am not sure I fully comprehended. Oh, and the super pregnant lady who was DEFINITELY lifting twice the weight I was able to, and she looked bored. 

Embarrassment? When the kettleball teacher spent half the class trying to keep me from shrugging my shoulder up past my ear on every lift. Even thinking about it makes my shoulder shrug. 

Fun? Fun was this weekend and CRUSHING my goal. The goal? Do 10 miles in the hour long spin class on Saturday morning. Result? Oh I did 10 miles. In fact, I did 11.4 miles. I also improved my average watts from the mid-40s to 60. I felt like I could push myself and really be a part of the class.ย 

Left? Second class ever. Right? Saturday.ย 

The best part? I really think all this cross training is going to have a seriously positive impact on my riding… once mother nature stops torturing us. What about you? Are you doing any cross training or trying something new in the off season?

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  1. martidoll123

    OMG I love the look of your gym. So friendly and inviting! Look at you go. I have to go to a gym with classes or I am bored to tears. I have to find a new gym down here. But first I have to get out of my fetal ball in hibernation mode cause it is FREAKING FREEZING HERE! jeez.

    So glad you found a place you like and you are right it will help you when you/ever get back to riding ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on crushing your goal in spin! I would have been dead five miles in laying in a heap on the floor whil you merrily kept pedaling!

    1. Emily

      It’s so cold. I am not sure why winter decided it wanted to just be FRIGID starting in DECEMBER, but hopefully the season doesnt get delayed this year, like it did last year.

  2. Kristy B

    I don’t like people…so I don’t gym. LOL.

    But I do have an exercise program for my rehab from my car accident. It can be hard depending on what day im doing…and if I stick with it.

    I’m terrible.

    Although husband would like an exercise bike…I kind of want one too now…We have a treadmill but it’s not fun to run all the time!

    1. Emily

      I get very in touch with my imagination when I spin hahahaha. Somehow, I am to convince myself that I am riding up over the horizon of that hill and into a beautiful view…. It’s probably INSANE, but it gets me through!

      1. Kristy B

        That’s one way to do it! I think I could just put the TV on and go. Probably nothing too hard, but it would at least get me moving !

  3. nadsnovik

    What a great Y! We have a really nice one here, too, but it’s too far a drive for me to commit to (25 minutes), so I joined a more local gym that is 5 minutes away. I actually can still run and hike outside, but I go for classes. I love Barre, Pilates, etc. Stuff I need an instructor for, lol. Plus, when it is too cold to run, I don’t have an excuse just not to work out. I think you’ll see a huge difference in your riding. I’m just working on not panting when I have to canter around- it’s been a while since I have cantered consistently!

    1. Emily

      Oh I feel you! Every time I watch my cambox videos, I am totally distracted by the sound of my own heavy breathing hahaha.

      I am enjoying classes a lot more than i thought I would!

  4. Centered in the Saddle

    That’s awesome! I’ve been toying around with trying out 9Round which is a kickboxing circuit gym that you can go to at any time – no set class times, which makes it super convenient. But there’s also a Y near my house, and now I’m thinking I might check that out!

    1. Emily

      Oh yeah! I looked into 9Round. It’s on my list of things I really want to try, since the whole concept seems really good. But the cost of the Y was a bit more favorable, and I definitely like the variety.

      1. martidoll123

        I tried 9rounds and let me tell you it is intense (But fun) but it is very pricey. And its a half hour work out which is great but I dont think I could do it more than once or twice a week without collapsing. EVEN when you are ‘in rest’ you are moving or doing something. OMG it took me an hour to get my breath back the one time I went ๐Ÿ™‚ HA so proceed with caution…..

  5. the_everything_pony

    I am REALLY trying to get back into my PT exercises. They weren’t cardio or intense workouts, but they targeted my weak spots and I rode so much better for it. I’m just…..VERY unmotivated. And I can do these things at home! I’d just rather….ah you know, NOT do them LOL. But I’m sure I’ll get there. Eventually LOL

    1. Emily

      I definitely needed a VERY motivated gym buddy to kick me into gear. It is so hard when it is cold, and dark… and I am tired… and hungry… and etc etc ETC! lol

  6. Liz

    My life is cross training lol! I care most about being fit for riding, but generally enjoy an active lifestyle full of mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, hiking, and occasional running. Each sport helps fulfill the others – all require a strong core and legs. Biking and skiing (uphill) reward me the most by boosting my cardio to no end.

    1. Emily

      Oh I am so jealous! I used to love rock climbing and hiking as a kid. This whole “sundown at 4:30PM” thing really puts a damper on my outdoor time!

  7. roamingridersite

    Hmm..does eating chocolate through my emotions count as cross training? It should!

    I did the Y with my mom two years ago and loved it. Once we moved to the farm though I quit due to the distance and chores that need doing at home. Plus Wyatt is now in school which means homework time and even more home commitments. I do hope to start running on he treadmill again soon.

    Congrats on embracing the gym and way to go on killing your spin goals!

    1. Emily

      Hahahaha Chocolate is never a bad idea. It’s must safer for you than salad. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. KC Scott

    Love it! I enjoy group classes much more than working out on my own. Cycle is HARD. I do crossfit now and have for the past few years, which has made a huge difference in my riding. It’s hard to juggle both, but with P sidelined I’ve been throwing myself back into it so that I have a prayer when P is back to real riding.

    Don’t look at the pregnant lady’s weight, and keep killing it!

    1. Emily

      Thanks for the inspiration! May decided to give me some inspiration to keep going to the gym during our jump lesson last night. Let’s just say, I am glad I’ve been going!

  9. Boss Mare Eventing

    I am supposed to be doing pilates….but its not happening LOL Not sure if I will be able to force myself to do it either haha

    1. Emily

      I tried pilates and… I need more variety than that hahaha. Anything that lets me THINK too much outside of the class is basically a recipe for disaster (probably why I like horses so much!)

  10. L. Williams

    Cross training is so much fun and has the best consequences on riding (minus the sore muscles haha)

    1. Emily

      So many sore muscles! It’s amazing what muscles you DO USE when you’re in the saddle that you don’t notice until they are SCREAMING at you lol

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