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.