It’s that time of the week again. After a week of kindness, it was time for some exercise. For this week, I chose the second place winner from last week: become a gym person. Once again, I could not help but feel a little pessimistic. I used to go to the gym when I was younger. My time spent in the spookily pristine YMCA was short-lived, seeing as I did not have the ambition to run neither 50 or .05 miles on the treadmill. Something must have changed in the span of three years though, because the gym ended up becoming my sanctuary.
Perhaps seeing photoshopped models for the past three years helped my determination at the gym, but this time I was sticking to the machines for the whole time. I was… sweating? Sure enough, by the end of the session I was sweating buckets in the air conditioned gym, yet I did not want to leave. Something about facing my fear of not being “fast enough” made me feel great.
I know most of you have probably heard the too good to be true “the gym is great” story. Although I agree with the statement, the gym is not for everyone. I enjoyed being air conditioned and having the machines next to everyone. As a competitive person, I could look at my mom’s machine and let my ego decide if I should run faster or keep the same pace. However, not everyone likes that and in some cases looking at the machines can consume gym-goers.
That being said, competition and even numbers is what made my gym visits a success. As someone who does not see themself as “fit,” I felt the need to pause every five minutes and rest. I set a rule that I would not allow myself to stop unless the miles were at an even number. There was never an even number at any of the five minute intervals. I made it to the thirty minute cool down all because of this rule.
Another factor that helped me succeed at the gym was music. In order to keep my speed constant I would have to listen to Sia or 70s techno bops with fast beats. Sia’s “Move Your Body” ended up being the most helpful pickup song when I felt tired. Other than music, competition and numbers, the gym became my favorite place because I did not expect anything from it. The best advice I can give to people working out is to not check the scale. I did not check a scale for a before or after status and focused on enjoying myself. Do what makes you feel like a success story; you do not need numbers on a scale as long as you feel accomplished.
Last but not least, change it up. While I kept constant by visiting the elliptical every day, I would change up the other machines. Sometimes I would even go outside for a run or go to the pool for a swim for extra exercise. This kept the idea of exercise interesting rather than turning into a repetitive and dull activity.