Legend has it that if you say “Gym” into the mirror three times by the light of a candle that a gym instructor will come out and force you to do squats while telling you that every time you do it incorrectly your gym fees go up.
Gym can be one of the most terrifyingly daunting things for a fat person wanting to get fit. But I have been brave. I joined my local gym (Velocity Sports Lab) about 2 months ago. The last gym I joined was Body Dynamics and they worked for me while I working in the same area because I could go before work. And then I didn’t work there anymore and my commitment became more conditional on if I could justify the money I had to spend on petrol.
“But Erin, just workout at home! You don’t need a fancy gym!” I hear some well meaning person calling out on the edge of hearing. Thank you for that sage advice that I have read on so many websites, but I DO need a gym. Not necessarily a fancy one (clearly you’ve never been to Body Dynamics*). Not because I don’t have the capacity to work out at home, not because I don’t have a million workout videos and routines printed out in a special folder with super cool stuff like:
For some awesome workout plans like this Buffy the Vampire Slayer one and for a buttload of your favourite kick ass characters visit:
(You can also find some of these workout plan images by searching Neila Rey which became darebee)
(Seriously, you can get workouts for Dr Who, Supernatural, Hunger Games, The 300, Prince of Persia, Arrow, Portal, Batman, Harley Quinn and looooads more)
(They’re so cool)
Back to the actual point though. I DO need a gym, even if only for the motivational factor. When I’m there I have to hold myself accountable. The trainers have seen me come in. I need to work out for an hour so they don’t think I’m a joke. This is what I use to motivate myself because I will NOT work out at home. It’s about the mindset and when I’m at home it does not happen. Which brings me to where I am today.
There are few things I find more frustrating than starting going to gym. If you know what I mean you know what I mean. Gym is a terrifying place for people who aren’t fit or who are even a bit overweight, let alone a lot overweight like me. We go through a whole buffet of self-loathing and judgement before we even put on our damn tekkies. What I’m having a problem with at the moment is going back. Again. I hate hiatuses from gym when I feel like I’ve just got going. I think I had been going to the gym (not every day) for 3 weeks when I had a hectic work week and didn’t have the energy and couldn’t make the time to go. The week straight after that I was away on a family holiday. Immediately after getting back I got a kink in my neck and had to go to physio and couldn’t go. The week after that I got a kink in the other side. Thankfully that one sorted itself out. FINALLY! I got back to the gym.
I started off with a Saturday morning BalletRip class. BalletRip is a new development, using the basic elements of ballet for fitness. For more on this incredible class take a looksy at
The movements are simple but force you to engage things that you might not even know you had. And of course as my first trip back to the gym after almost a month it was hell. I felt like a million bucks afterwards. I had trouble sitting down on the loo because my quads were so tired. On Tuesday I pulled a muscle in the shower and I vehemently believe that it was because my other muscles were compensating for the tired ones.
I kept going to gym, opting just to walk on the treadmill because at least that was something I could do without further hurting that stupid muscle but still keep active. I went to BalletRip the following week as well, and DURING that session felt the same muscle in the other leg starting to ping. But I made it through just fine. I was sensible and didn’t do any of the movements that seemed to aggravate it. That weekend we had unseasonably cold weather. It was freezing and I had to play a gig for Mother’s Day in a pretty cold place.
And then tragedy struck. On Monday I got a sore throat. I went straight to the doctor because I am very prone to colds and flu. Probably a combination of not enough vegetables and not enough exercise, ironically both of which are things I am trying to remedy. The Doc gave me a short course of antibiotics, a saline rinse and an effervescent and sent me on my way with a sick note for a couple of days. By the next morning I had a super blocked nose and by the next day I was coughing like someone who coughs a lot. I was off sick for a full week. I went to work the following Wednesday but was still sick and coughing. I had to postpone one gig and was super grateful when another was cancelled.
It is now just over two weeks later and I STILL have a sniffly nose. But now I have to go back to gym. Again. This is always the hardest part for me. I will go. I want to and I have to. But dear god the mental pushing I have to do to get myself back in that door for the first time (again) with my head held high is monumental. I have to remind myself that I owe no one anything. No one there needs an explanation from me. It’s no ones business why I haven’t been in the gym for the last two and a half weeks. All that ACTUALLY matters is that I go.
So here’s to all of us who hate going for the first time but do it anyway.
Fitness is hard. But it’s worth it. Right?
*Body Dynamics may not be fancy looking but it had everything you could possibly desire and it worked. A gym doesn’t need to look pretty to get the job done. I really enjoyed going there and would recommend it to anyone.