I have an aversion to gyms. There’s something about working out in front of other people that I’ve never been able to get over. I don’t like the idea of strangers seeing me sweaty, struggling to breathe and hearing me whisper motivational phrases to myself.
I can count on one hand how many times I’ve gone to a gym. My adventure today brought the grand tally up to 4 times! The first three times were awful, absolutely terrible! I went to the gym at my university with some of my girlfriends. I thought going with a group would make it easier, boy was I ever wrong. There were a ton of other girls there in adorable gym clothes with full make-up on, not even breaking a sweat. They were probably there to hook up with the football players because they definitely weren’t there to burn calories.
The last time I went, back in 2005, I attended a fitness class with my girlfriends. This class required one to have coordination, listening skills, balance and the desire to “feel the burn.” I didn’ thave any of these requirements and spent the whole class completely out of sync with everyone else, most of the time standing around while I tried to figure out which leg I was supposed to be lifting on which beat – it was terrible! I left feeling so defeated, vowing to never subject myself to such humiliation again.
Well it looks like my vows are good for nothing because after 6 years I went back to a gym! In September my husband and I bought a LivingSocial coupon to the recreation center 1 minute from our house. I figured paying $20 for one month’s use of the facility would force me to get over my gym phobia. I begged my husband to come with me for the first time because I knew if I didn’t have a buddy I wouldn’t go.
I can liken the registration process to how a drug addict must feel when their family surprises them with a trip to rehab. I kept looking at the door wondering if there was still time to back out – no one would notice or care if I slowly crept towards the door, jumped into my car and went back to the safety of my couch… Before I could chicken out we were signed up and ready to work out.
It actually wasn’t terrible! I think going to a recreation center made it easier because there were all sorts of people exercising, old, young, homeless looking etc I didn’t feel like anyone was judging me on my ability to work an elliptical machine. I was able to burn 260 calories! While that probably isn’t enough to balance out the delicious cupcake I ate this afternoon it’s better than nothing. I haven’t worked out on a machine in over a year so it was pretty difficult. There were times when I had to silently repeat my mantra, “Mexican Beaches, Get That Ass in Gear”, in order to keep going but I did it and I’m definitely going back.
Do you work out at a gym? Do you have hang-ups like me about exercising or are you a well-adjusted human being?