Removing the filters

...of my insecurities and body issues, I see the Shiny Gym and its users in a new light. When I first went, all I saw was the fit young men and women in glowing health, lifting weights, on the machines barely breaking a sweat. I wore my fitness gear uncomfortably: black lycra bottoms and my long sleeved running tops, covered up by a sweater. I did not feel worthy in this Temple of Fitness, Health and Beauty. 

I've only been going a month. I went shopping for new fitness gear: loud, bright and I've been showing off my arms. I still have my sweater for when I start, they believe in air-conditioning and it's a bit chilly until I get going. 

The people at the desk and the other trainers greet me and we have small chats about the weather and my rather colourful leggings. What can I say? They were relatively inexpensive, comfortable and they make me feel great. 

The other users? Well, they aren't looking at me, but I am looking at them, mostly in wonder. 

There's the guy who looks like he fell off the Grateful Dead Tour Bus, stubbed out his toke and threw on some shorts. There's the woman who should be an exotic dancer: she's drop dead gorgeous, long straight hair, dancer's physique and a smile to melt the ice in anyone's Pimms. There's the identikit gay couple flirting and showing off to each other as they lift small mountains balancing on medicine balls. There's the woman who can't walk, but still goes large on the leg press; the man for whom walking is a challenge and kicks butt on the rowing machines. There's the two nearly-retired women, really good friends who chat about their pensions, children, husbands and work throughout their session and into their clean-up time. They smile and laugh as they sweat and pull tired and insecure women into their conversations. There's the granny who came in her cardigan and loafers to walk a few miles on the treadmill. The 50-something woman who carried out a conversation with the sweaty guy on an exercise bike next to her while she pounded the arse out of a treadmill for half an hour. 

When I started I didn't think there was a place for me. I have been physically lazy for most of my life and it shows in my posture, my aches and pains, and the flabbiness and weakness of my muscles. Now, when I finish my workout, I want to high five everyone there. I suspect it won't be long before I start thumping my chest on deadlift days. I'm now wondering whether in a few weeks time, I could include some yoga or Pilates classes to get some flexibility into my regime. 

As awesome as it is right now, there's so much more I want to do. I want to run again. I want to be fit enough to run/bike/walk to the gym, do my workout and get home again without needing to ring someone to pick me up. I want to go on bike rides around the countryside with Dave. I'm hoping that I've got the next 45 years to make up for the sloth of the last 45 years. 

Comments

  1. Good for you, proud that you've started again. We have all types at our gym and our motto is "No judgement."

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    Replies
    1. Thank you darling. It's great to be back and moving again. I never thought I'd enjoy moving so much.

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  2. I just ordered a pair of running shoes. I have narrow feet so only wear New Balance as they have 2A widths in some shoes. I used to run all the times. For years. And loved it. Totally my thing. Until my feet got wrecked. Having chronic plantar fasciitis sucks the big one. Having it in both feet for 16 years sucks way more. And I now have an arthritic knee. But I don't care. I need to move. I need to feel your enthusiasm to get myself rolling again, even if it is slow slow slow and only in short spurts of time. I want my fitness back and despite having equipment in my (totally torn apart) basement, I want to get outside. So hence the shoes. Keep up the wonderful gym bunny routines you are developing. I am feeding off your energy, darling!! xoxoxo

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    Replies
    1. Plantar fasciitis really does suck the big hairy one! Ugh.

      My enthusiasm came after the determination to move, I'm afraid. Boy was my accountability buddy. I'd message him before I did a workout and when I finished it and we'd do high fives over the internet.

      I'll be your accountability buddy honey. We can gee each other on. All that matters is that you start. Perhaps swimming would be better for you to get started, totally low impact and brilliant for lungs and heart? A friend of mine on FB learnt to swim last year and shared it on FB, a brave and great move given he's in his 40s.

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    2. Thanks, Roses! I will take you up on that once I get the shoes and get started. (I do walk at least 2x a day with the dog right now but it is not enough.) As far as swimming goes, I know how to do it well (competed when in my teens) but the pool schedule just doesn't mesh with my work schedule even remotely so not really an option... much too sporadic.

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    3. Now I feel silly! I will keep my advice to myself in the future! Yeah, pool schedules are sometimes nuts, aren't they? I like my local pool, they keep the water temperature like bath water.

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