Confessions of a Gym Convert

I’m sitting on the sofa, with a glass of vino and a magazine whilst boyfriend ogles at football.  All of a sudden this crazy thought runs through my head .. ‘I’d rather be at the gym.’  Shocker.  Those of you who know me well, will know that my idea of exercise is my weekly dance class (swiftly followed by a four pack of Red Stripe), busting a move past midnight or walking to and from the kitchen for a cuppa.

Since I’ve moved back to the ole’ hometown, I’ve been greeted by my fitness fanatic besties whose daily chants of ‘Join the gym’ and ‘Oh it will be SO much fun when we can go to the gym together’ got me quite mad.  So mad, I got a lift to the gym, got a tour, induction and handed over my direct debit details quite simply to shut them up.  But by golly did that one backfire.

In first year I joined the gym at University.  I went twice.  TWICE.  And one of those times I got so frightened because I didn’t know where the changing rooms were I spent the whole 45 minutes on a treadmill in a t-shirt and jeans.  Nightmare.  I frolicked by the next two years of Uni dancing thrice weekly, dancing the night away fourice (not a word really, is it?) weekly and hoping that was that in the ‘Health and Fitness’ department.

But something has happened since I’ve come home.  I’ve grown up (gosh, but that’s for a WHOLE other blog) and started taking this whole health thing a bit more seriously.

I find exercising dull.  I do!  Really, really dull.  Dancing, fine, great, y’all know that’s a hefty passion of mine but anything else?  Flipping boring to be honest.  Or so I thought.  The gym I attend has these fabulous machines with a TV on them, a fantastic circuits machine that hiss water pressure at you, these amazing swing things that look like they belong in a bondage bedroom and wait for it .. a climbing wall.  I walked in, and quite literally, excitement overload.  I had no idea what any of these things were and like a kid in a candy shop, felt ever so excited to give it all a go.  And day by day, week by week, that’s exactly what I did.

I always thought people that went to the gym were right idiots.  I mean, if you want to go on a treadmill, go on a flipping run!  If you want to lift weights, I’ve got two cans of baked beans you can borrow.  I thought that if I walked in in frayed tracksuit bottoms and a ‘Graduate 2013’ t-shirt I’d get the ‘you shouldn’t be here’ looks, like when I order a large glass of Pinot at 10.55am (it’s 5.55pm somewhere).  But there isn’t any of that.  If anything, people look at you with respect, silently applauding, ‘well done you’ looks.  It feels good.

For about two months now I’ve been experimenting with all the bits and bobs and every day I find something new.  Today, I even went on a SKIING machine, can you believe that?!  My bum feels fabulous.  From ‘gym’ being a dirty word, it’s become a word of excitement, of enjoyment.  It’s something I look forward to, a break from an essay, an evening out with my friends, or just an hour of Bella time.  I’m not on any crazy mission to lose weight, or even tone up.  I just feel good after exercise.  I feel good after finding a new machine or finding a new muscle in my body I didn’t know existed.  Going to the gym feels good!  So, I’ve somehow transformed from a girl who ate pizza 5 nights a week, to a woman who respects her body and her health, and my good old friend the gym has helped me do that.  My advice?  Find a FUN gym!  One with sex swings, trampolines and climbing walls.  You never know what else will come with it. 

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Still True

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Field Of Dreams?

Field of Dreams?  Quite possibly.  Camp, otherwise known as Mid Wessex Christian Camps located in the heart of the New Forest which I have now been attending for 10 years, and it’s as incredible as it was a decade ago.  After a long drive home yesterday and a stupidly long, and warm, sleep I am now ready to write about it.

Not having a set role at Camp this year (I normally lead a tent for children aged anywhere between 9 and 15) I was pretty apprehensive about my week away.  I didn’t want to be a ‘Floater’ and I was so scared I nearly didn’t go.  As soon as I got there though, all my fears were put to bed.  My title was a ‘Hostess’, I did everything from organising mini bus logistics, to cooking, to cleaning out toilets to being in the worship band.  It was incredible.  I was busy every moment of every day and I absolutely loved it.  It was so amazing being involved in the practical side after 10 years and appreciating Camp for what it is and how it runs, and I’m so proud I could be a part of that.

One of the best bits of my week was running a Forest Adventure/Challenge … all by myself J  Normally, the 60 campers and 30 odd leaders trek it to the heart of the forest to be greeted by an authoritative looking, muscle bound, manly early 20 year old guy.  This time, they had me.  Armed with my Army rucksack and walking boots, I hiked into a clearing surrounded my horses, cows and even dogs (those of you who know me well will know what a big feat this was for me) to set up my Challenge.  Walky Talky in toe complete with code names (This is Caffeine, Roger that, over and out), 8 groups of people successfully completed my challenge, and enjoyed it!  It was so nice abolishing the standard and breaking through with the unconventional.  Girls can do it too!

The Camp Fire is always a special one.  Ever since I can remember it has been full of tears, testimonies and love.  There is something just so intimate and personal about sitting in front of a blazing fire in the dark with people you know and love, and feeling comfortable enough to share how you are, how you’re feeling.  Complete with songs, shakes and sermons the Camp Fire has been and will always be my favourite evening of the week to be both respected and appreciated together.

Line Dancing was pretty incredible.  Quite possibly the most hardcore workout I’ve had all summer, dancing and jumping about like a lunatic!  So much fun.  As every evening did, it led to 15 odd leaders sitting around laughing until we couldn’t breathe.  I will miss those people the most.  I could go into every event that happened in so much detail but to be perfectly honest I don’t have the energy, and have well and truly exhausted my caffeine supply for 2010.  Camp is always wonderful, as was this year.  I feel so much happier in myself and in Christ, I have rediscovered my love for jeans and I have fallen realised the beauty of caravans.  I have reconnected with old friends and made some amazing new ones.  I’m loving summer and that Field of Dreams was no exception.

Human Equivalent of Carlsberg

The other day I rang my bestie Rosie in an absolute tiz.  ‘I can’t do this!’, ‘I’m scared!’, ‘I’m so burnt out’, ‘I can’t do this!’ I wailed down the phone to her like an absolute dumbo.  Now screw the Carlsberg pep talk, the Rosie Hall pep talk is the way forward.  Whilst I sat huddled in my pjs surrounded by my standard sea of revision notes, Rosie brought me to calm, totally restoring my aura.  I’ve come to realise that I’m quite a spiritual person, I strive to have peace within my mind, body and soul, and naturally, A Level hell has blown that out the water.  So as I sat with my coffee and jelly beans not really knowing what to do, the Rosie Hall words were all that was really needed.

She made me realise that I’ve worked so hard.  I don’t think I give myself enough credit.  I’ve been revising flat out since February time, my only break being my birthday celebrations.  She said how I’m technically on holiday, how I should chill out and read a magazine, just cause I want to, just cause I can.  She said I should exercise more, release those endorphins, and start to feel good about myself and my body some more.  She said I should treat myself, today I used my most expensive perfume and body butter, why would I save it?  I feel like I’ve got my mojo back a bit.  I’ve forgotten who I am and my happiness in being so stressed.  Yes I will still work hard of course, but Rose made me come to my senses in the fact that I might have been overdoing it.  And also, how each of these A2 modules is in fact worth only about 30% of my overall mark, I didn’t even realise I’ve got most of the hard work behind me!

So I feel much better.  And tomorrow, as I head to the exam hall for my first of the scary A Levels I will hold my head high and ‘Recall, Compose and Respond’ to each question, in the immortal words of my amazing Uncle.  I’ve done all I can do.  I’ve revised all I can revise.  All I can do now is be confident, do my very best and have the knowledge that I worked my hardest.  So I’m not doing it for Bobby, I’m doing it for myself, my incredible family and my awesome friends.  I can do this, and I will do this.  Bottoms up.

<img class="aligncenter size-medium wp-image-226" title="Rosie Hall –