First Gym Experience

I’ve finally broken down and signed up for a membership to a local gym. I won’t lie, for the first month of my membership, I didn’t go. The thought of being there and seeing these immensely  muscular people intensely grunting as they lifted 1,000 lbs weights turned me off. Even the thought of just being on the treadmill and seeing others run like they were saving the Hobbits from Isengard was enough to give my anxiety the push it needed to make me not want to go.

An Awkward Start

I buckled down and told myself, “No one cares if you’re running on a treadmill or lifting a few weights, or practicing some yoga. That’s what that place if for.” With that, I forced myself into workout clothes after work and went. The first piece of equipment I touched was the treadmill: my comfort zone. For the first few minutes, I’m sure I looked like the stereotypical henchman in the background of a movie… You know, just pressing buttons that didn’t doing anything. Then the belt slowly began to move.

I went to the gym a few more times, mostly just running 1.5 miles on the treadmill and beaming at the high number of steps on my Fitbit Blaze. One night, a co-worker went with me and asked what I liked to do at the gym. My response was, “Um… Mostly run on the treadmill because that’s all I’ve done.” I had been told by someone else to just “read the instructions on the machines” if I wasn’t sure how to use it. However, I thought about how that would require me to be in the zone with some of those intense people I had mentioned earlier. My co-worker was gracious enough to show me how to operate some of the equipment, which gave me more confidence and motivation.

The Nerve 

This week, I went to the gym with a complete workout in mind. I was going to work up a sweat at the gym, then go home and feel like an accomplished adult. My first stop, the ever favorite treadmill, which was the easy part. I walked/ran my 1.5 miles and could “feel the burn”. To my dismay, there quite a few people lifting weights and working out. I took a deep breath, gripped my water bottle, and made my way into the lion’s den.

I was lifting weights, listening to music, and pushing myself. I am still a bit new to this, and didn’t want to end up on Facebook in one of those “gym fails” videos people send me. I was sure to read the instructions and do things slowly. I was even keeping track of my workout with my Fitbit and thought about how excited I would be when I looked at that night’s results on the app.

Patiently, I waited for this guy to finish on this ab machine I wanted to try out. He walked away, and even came back to wipe it down. As he walked away for the second time, I stopped to check my phone and my Fitbit. Sitting on the seat, I started to read the instructions, when something caught my eye. It was the guy who was just on it. I started to take my headphones off, when he put his finger up and mouthed the words, “Give me one more second.” I nervously got up and mouthed, “Sorry, sorry.” Then he got on and began to work out… Again. When I realized he wanted to do another set, I was a bit frustrated. I had waited for him to leave, he had even wiped the seat clean… Just to push me off? I shook it off and walked to the water fountain to refill my water bottle. When I turned around, another guy was on it.

I’m not sure what did it, but I had become a bit anxious about just standing and walking around looking at the diagrams on the sides. I knew I looked a bit lost, and even avoided eye contact with people walking by. At that point, I had decided it was okay if I went home. At least I DID something, at least I ran over a mile and actually DID something other than sit in my bed at home.

Not a Complete Waste

It’s been a day or two, and I’m still proud I went by myself. I’m proud that I have been mostly cooking at home this week, trying to fit in some sort of breakfast, and making healthier decisions. I’ve even noticed that these past couple of weeks I have reduced the amount of soda I drink, and increased my water intake. I’ve been doing research on workouts that may better suit me, and looking into even more healthier habits.

The point is, I now strangely have more confidence and motivation to go back to the gym. I’m hoping that when the temperature cools down a bit more, I can start riding my bike. Maybe someday I’ll even post a “beginning/results” picture. But for now, I know what to expect and I won’t be letting anyone run me off of the equipment.


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