There are so many things about going to the gym that I absolutely abhor, and one day soon we will talk about finding ways to work fitness into your daily routines with no equipment required! Until then, let’s talk about when we actually do make it to the gym or barre studio. While it may feel like poise is your last concern, the journey to poise is one that carries through every facet of our lives.
- Never Ever Work Out With Makeup On I’ll be honest, this is a challenge for me. My workouts often come after work and before the rest of my evening. What’s the point of taking makeup off when I’m going to put it back on in an hour? That’s a waste of time and product. Maybe, but your skin will be much happier for it. When we work out, the dirt, sweat, and oil can get trapped under the layers of setting spray, foundation, blush, and all the things we love to put on our faces. Even the lightest makeup look can cause breakouts when worn during heavy exercise. I keep a pack of these wipes in my gym bag. They are quick and easy to use and get my face cardio ready without over drying. If your skin is naturally dry, add a little moisturiser before you leave the locker room. The heat of working out will open your pores and allow the product to saturate the skin. (Or, use it in the sauna after a hard routine. Skin care is a great excuse for some steamy down time.)
- Incorporate Your Personal Style Just because you’re at the gym, studio, or running a trail doesn’t mean that you can abandon your poised attitude toward your wardrobe. Make no mistake, even I know that athletic gear needs to have comfort and utility in mind first. We can still be poised and stylish. I like finding tops in colours that I would normally incorporate into my wardrobe so that even when I’m not “really dressed,” I still feel like myself. Find what you like and what you feel confident in. It will make you more likely to work out if you’re excited about the clothes you’re wearing. Whether your favourite look is chic black, tie-dye, or bright neons; know what works for you and rock it. (PS–if anyone ever finds a breton stripe athletic top, let me know immediately.)
- Make Friends, Even If You’d Rather Not I usually don’t think “Gee, I hope a bunch of strangers talk to me while I’m on this rowing machine dreaming of the Thames,” but inevitably that’s what happens. Someone nearby wants to make small talk or tell you a story about a recent gym experience. The social ante is upped when you take a group class. Recently, I tried a Jazzercise class with some ladies from church. Everyone knew one another and therefore I stood out like a sore thumb. I could have brushed off all the introductions and just focused on getting ready to dance in a gymnasium for the first time since middle school. Instead, I met the women with poise and patience. They had successes to share and were interested in who I was and what my life was about. These same women were the ones cheering me on by the end of class and motivating me to return. They guy that always chats to me on the rowing machine is the same guy who noticed my phone was left behind and made sure it was returned safely. The girl who always takes the treadmill next to yours when the rest are all open? Maybe she’s looking for someone to be nice to her. We have the power to make or break someone’s day with our poise and compassion, even when we’re sweaty and exhausted.
- Be You and Be Happy I know that some of you are thinking about all the reasons these tips can’t apply to you. Maybe you’re arguing that cute gear is out of the question, either for budgetary or size reasons. Or you think that only women of a certain body type look cute at the gym. Maybe you’re super shy and the idea of talking to a stranger terrifies you. Listen. I’ve been there. In all of those shoes. You can do this. Wherever you are, you can. I love Lululemon as much as the next Duchess, but it’s not always realistic. Target, Old Navy, and Fabletics offer great options in a variety of price points, sizes, and styles. If you’re shy or uncomfortable with people, challenge yourself to simply smile at those around you. Smiles are a rare commodity in today’s world and yours is memorable. Let it shine, even when you can’t think of anything to say. Most of all, remember that you are the best you there is. Our Passage to Poise isn’t about looking one specific way, being one specific size, shape, hair colour, or personality. It’s about being the best we can be and making today’s version one increment better than yesterday’s.
See you lovelies at the smoothie bar!