So i’ve been thinking lately about joining a gym. For the most part I hate gyms. I hate how many of them feel like a place to pick up dudes and chicks, I hate how you’re constantly bombarded with flyers about their BRAND! NEW! WEIGHT! LOSS! PROGRAM!, I hate how the entire purpose of the building seems to be to promote losing weight over getting healthier and feeling better, and I hate how I feel all guilty and horrible if i skip going several days in a row. I also hate how fat people don’t have as many options for cute (and functional!) work out clothes. Lululemon? please. Athleta? next.
And yet there are parts about the gym that I love. I love that it’s practical. I live in a city now where I feel a little scared to run outside by myself when it’s super dark. With a gym membership, I can go move my body as late as I damn well please! I also love it when I can get in that good space – you know the one, where you’re just moving and gettin’ a good sweat on, listening to the perfect music, in the zone. I grew up as an athlete. I played three sports in high school and I was damn good at at least one of them. I love the feeling of moving. Equally importantly, I love the feeling I get when I move my body more. I tend to sleep better, feel better, and have more energy.
Now it feels more like a chore. And it feels intimidating. It feels intimidating because I’m no where near the athlete I once was, but my brain still thinks I am. So if I do 20 minutes on the elliptical and want to leave, i’m a big ol failure. You’ll notice I’m talking about “moving my body,” not “working out.” This is very much a conscious choice to shift the framework of (and charge around) the word exercise or phrase “working out.” They carry serious baggage for me. Because I’m not physically able at this point to work out in the ways I have done in the past, I feel ashamed. Like, how did I let myself get this far? Will I ever get “it” back? Is it worth even trying when I have so far to go? If I go on a hike or a run with friends, I’m constantly concerned about holding them back. But that is some harmful shit. For our health (seriously for our health, not “oh you’re so fat but i’m just worried about your health!”), moving is better than not moving. And my job can result in a pretty sedentary day. So, I’m hoping to move more. Plain and simple.
I recently read a blog about the blogger’s relationship with her new personal trainer that brought up all sorts of emotions. More on that later.