Still Doing It (Almost) Dailey Method

This is the third of three posts I am writing about my month-long trial of The Dailey Method. (Read the first one HERE and the second one HERE.) I am so excited to be able to share my experience with you!

I have always felt comfortable in a fitness-related environment.

Wait, let me make a change there.

I have felt comfortable in a fitness-related environment for almost twenty years now.

Would it surprise you regular readers to know that before the age of twenty-four I did not exercise or participate in ANY sports outside of gym class or goofing off with friends, ever? My biggest accomplishment in fitness up until that point was the special certificate I received from my elementary school gym teacher for completing 1000 rotations of a lemon twist.

When I started taking aerobics back in the day, my life was changed forever. Group fitness became a huge part of my life and I enjoyed years of aerobics and then spinning. Fast forward to two years ago when I discovered Zumba: another life-changer. I’m always the one who is on the dance floor at receptions whenever the DJ plays the “Cha Cha Slide”, “Electric Slide”, “Cupid Shuffle”, and all of those other line dances, so Zumba, which is made up of choreographed songs (with regular, slight changes to the playlist so your muscles don’t get too comfortable doing the same thing), came very naturally to me.

Over the past year I’ve been trying to make time and space in my life for resistance training because I’m not getting any younger and I needed to shape up my muscles in order to get healthier and more fit. (Resistance training is also very important for our bones and our ability to balance as we age.) I did a weights class on Tuesdays for a while but when my schedule got too busy back in the spring I just dropped it.

Then I was offered the chance to try out a month of unlimited classes at The Dailey Method. In my first two posts about this extraordinary program I wrote about the knowledge the instructors possess (and share), my improved posture, my sense of accomplishment after finishing classes (because dang, every single one of them is a challenge!), and the changes I was already seeing in my body after just two weeks. Plus? It’s a GREAT companion workout to my beloved Zumba.

The Dailey Method Naperville: my new home away from home

Well, my trial month is over. Thoughts? So many. This is one of the best workouts I’ve ever done in my life, but there’s more.

Although I shared a picture with you in my last post just to demonstrate that my face isn’t as puffy as it was pre-TDM, I made the decision not to share a picture of myself in this last post because I really don’t believe that looking better is the main goal here. (Ahem, even though I do look better.) I have lost about five pounds since my first Dailey Method class, but I am told that it looks like I’ve lost more. My pants fit me a little differently, and I am starting to see some muscle definition.

There’s so much more to it beyond how I look.

I feel good.

I feel strong. I feel like I walk taller than before. I find myself feeling a slouch coming on and then remember to pull my shoulders back and in immediately. My balance has improved dramatically, even in Zumba! I talk about the Dailey Method workouts and I grin from ear to ear, even when my rhomboids are absolutely killing me since I took Colleen’s class and kept yanking my muscles into position whenever she walked my way, not because I didn’t want her to make the correction for me, but because I knew what to do and her presence was a good reminder. My body has developed a Pavlovian response in that I start sweating the second I set foot inside the studio (no joke). I love the way I feel when I’m going through the movements of class.

Most people who know me think that I love to exercise just for the sake of exercise. That’s not it at all, actually. I mean, don’t get me wrong: I love to sweat and I love the benefits of regular movement. Group fitness, though? That’s where it’s at. What has always kept me interested in GROUP fitness is one of my favorite things: being able to interact with people. I find community when I go somewhere to exercise, and I hang onto it for dear life. Not only does it help keep me accountable (I don’t want to miss out on anything, and people miss me when I’m gone!), but what better way to spend time doing something that isn’t always fun than doing it while socializing?

I have found a new fitness family at The Dailey Method Naperville.

I made a new friend named Stephanie. She’s been a TDM Naperville member for five months and told me that the day she gets through all of the leg work without dropping is the day she’s going to buy a new car (it hasn’t happened yet but I know she’s spunky enough to achieve her goal!).

The ladies in the small studio Principles classes at 8:30 a.m. are super nice and very inclusive.

The evening crowd and the weekend crowd, men and women alike, are all chatty and friendly.

Everyone smiles.

Andrea and the other ladies who run things up front are amazing.

And the instructors. Oh my.

Bonnie: I love her. I once made the mistake of telling her that I LOVED when she came over to correct me and regretted it by song two during her next class when she gave me lots of “special attention”. (okay, I didn’t really regret it. I still loved it..but don’t tell her.)

Amber: She is always willing to talk to me about slight modifications I can make with certain moves that are difficult for me. I admire her expertise.

Maggie: Her beautifully curly hair makes me sick (in a good way: I have fine, straight hair!) and her love of Justin Bieber remixes along with her bubbly personality make her classes super-fun.

Colleen (co-owner): She is ALWAYS happy to see everybody, and really, what more could you want than to go somewhere and have someone welcome you with open arms and a smile?

I love all of the instructors, truly. I have taken fantastic classes from Kim, Melissa, Erin, and Sally too, and plan to get around to everybody at some point…because I’m staying.

And if that’s not a testament to the power of The Dailey Method, I don’t know what is.

Disclosure: In exchange for writing three posts about The Dailey Method, I was given a complimentary month of Unlimited Classes. I was asked to give an honest account of my own experience with The Dailey Method program, and to that end–and as usual–all content and opinions are mine.