Years ago when I first joined a gym I felt hesitant and fearful. I weighed over 400 pounds and felt like a gym was the last place I belonged. That might sound irrational, but it’s how I felt. I think I feared most how people would judge me and judge me they did. Heck, they still do. The difference now is that I don’t pay as much attention.
For several years I belonged to 24 Fitness and found it to be a sufficient gym, but not great. The location closest to me always seemed a tad dirty and it was always a battle to find a parking spot. I stopped going when I moved into a complex that had a decent gym and the fitness area was almost right outside my apartment door.
A couple of years ago I moved to a nicer complex that, ironically, had a lousier gym, but tons of divine hiking trails. A few months ago I decided I really wanted to do some serious strength training but the machines and weights at my complex just didn’t cut it, so when I saw a Groupon for Total Woman I figured I’d try it.
After a couple of months I decided to join because 1) they were clean!; 2) I could always find a machine without waiting; 3) it’s actually nice to not listen to the clanging of weight machines that often comes with testosterone; 4) and the list goes on.
With membership they offer you a fitness evaluation, and herein lies the whole point of this entry. When I first joined 24 HR fitness and had a fitness evaluation there, I found myself on the defensive and rightfully so because the trainers there had attitudes, but this time was different.
I wanted to see the best way for my body, in this moment, to use the machines, so I left my ego at the door and went into my fitness evaluation with an open mind. It’s important to note here that I chose the trainer who would give me the fitness evaluation. I saw her helping someone one day and was impressed with her knowledge.
Yesterday I wore my finest cheetah print outfit and spent an hour and a half learning lots of new tricks on machines. I had been doing three sets of 15 but she suggested 1-3 sets of 8-12 with tightly controlled movements to make sure my muscles were doing the work as opposed to momentum doing the work.
I woke up this morning feeling sore, but also feeling excited to try all the new moves I learned. I also knew that part of the free fitness evaluation would be an attempt to sell personal training packages, but I also knew that’s not what I wanted. I’m in this for the long haul, and that means I need to be able to motivate my self to get to the gym or to yoga or to whatever workout I’m going to. As I progress beyond the moves I learned that maybe it will be worth a session or two to learn new tricks.
The whole point of me sharing that last part is that I knew what would be coming but I wasn’t defensive about it. I listened and said it was something I would think about. This is vastly different from the days where I’d dread what I knew would be a high pressure sales situation and I feared what would happen if I said no. I always used to think I had to say yes. Now I know that’s not true, in all situations. Thinking about it and making a decision is a far healthier way of being, in all areas of my life.
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