I was thinking the other night about how happy I am when I go to the gym and that I work out. Weird. Have I fallen in love with fitness? I’m not sure I’d call it love yet, but right now, it’s definitely infatuation. All I know is we’re in it for the long haul. Fitness has been trying to court me forever, and I’ve brushed it off with lame excuses that are the equivalent of “I can’t..I have to wash my hair” or flirting with it briefly then never calling it for months and months and diving out of the way when I see it on the street. We’re going to have our highs and lows throughout the decades and I’m probably going to hate it and behave like a bratty Taylor Swift toward it from time to time. Lately, though, I’m starting to feel as if I’m getting in the groove.
I never was someone who liked working out. In college I’d take my Kindle to the gym and sit on an exercise bike going the slowest possible speed and would read. Or I’d just go for long, slow walks on the most isolated part of campus when the gym was too crowded so I could be alone with my thoughts and my cheesy bad pop music on my I-pod. I never would attempt to work out very hard. I didn’t like how red my face got if I tried too hard. So unattractive. Of course another factor was that I was in such bad shape with virtually zero stamina so why would I want to embarrass myself and flaunt my pathetic status in front of my classmates? I didn’t like my body and knew I had to work out and eat better, but I had no interest in it. I didn’t want to try and set myself up for embarrassment or failure. I have a hard time sticking with things when they’re hard and give up on myself pretty quickly.
But after starting a new chapter when I moved to a new city, I realized I was sick of coasting and so easily accepting that I was: overweight, not in shape, weak, a horrible eater and resentful. I was too young to give up and just slot myself into the role of a person I didn’t want to be. I had such an opportunity for a fun life in my new city, I could start over here. I could be happy here. So I started a blog about it (my condolences to the Internet).
My fitness journey for the few months has found me going to a class or just ducking into the cardio cinema and doing strictly treadmill or elliptical because I didn’t know what else to do at the gym. But lately I have been hanging out in the private training area. It’s very isolated and I get to try out new circuits without feeling self-conscious or like everyone is silently mocking my slowness or noting that my arms start shaking 5 seconds after I get into a plank. I’ve had so much fun playing around on Pinterest and finding work-outs to do. I’ll find them the night before, save the pin to my camera roll on my phone, then watch a Youtube video on how to perform a certain move. I, of course, forget how to perform that move when I actually get to the gym. BUT…I get really sweaty, have fun (will wonders never cease?) and afterward feel like the cat that swallowed the canary. The red face I used to dread is now worn as a badge of honor, of sorts. Like, yep, I worked out hard people.
I love feeling my heart beat faster and the beads of sweat. I love getting my body moving. After years of only fueling it with poor nutrition, I love knowing I’m finally taking care of it.
image from fellow bmore blend, kate. I LOVE THIS QUOTE. #hitshome
Over the last few months, I’ve tried a lot of new things. I’m not particularly adventurous and am very intimidated at the idea of new things. Remember it took me two months to work up the nerve to go to Body Pump? And I LOVE it. I’ve tried CXWORX, which I liked even though I made a fool of myself, and I really look forward to definitely seeing improvement as I get stronger and not having such a hard time with the ONE piece of equipment the class uses [sigh]. Also I ran two 5ks.
I’m so glad I found Brian, the Zumba instructor at the gym, and that I have such a good time at his class. I love that I can kinda run a little now- granted, it’s still pathetic and I’m slower than molasses, red-faced, panting, dying, cursing with my last breaths, etc., but I can do it. And I do do it. Slowly I’m learning to let myself revel in the fact that I do it, and not pay attention to how much faster everyone else is or how much longer they can go for, because just the fact that I am going at all is wonderful. I love that I have the Bmore Blends and that we’re plotting out fun workouts. I love that I’m get to try classes like Body Combat but I especially love how gleeful I am about trying these classes.
It’s also dizzily exciting how much I am looking forward to trying things out: I’m determined to compete in a half marathon sometime in the next 18-ish months. I want to try CrossFit. I want to try the bootcamp type classes my gym offers that right now I’m still too scared to attend. And whatever else I decide I want to do. It’s truly amazing that I now look forward to fitness classes and going to the gym. I’m excited for all that’s ahead and working toward it.