Starting Strong Mondays – A New Life at the Gym (or how to look stupid in one fell swoop!)

I have been going to the gym for a long time though, in the past, I have missed several stretches of time (I hate missing time at the gym simply because I envision corporate bigwigs rubbing their hands with glee as they realize that they’ve got my money because I haven’t bothered to get off my butt!).

In the past few weeks, however, that has changed. I decided to start attending classes because a) I would be more motivated and b) I would have to stay the entire time as I’d be too embarassed to leave (sad but true!).

My first few days attending classes were bumpy to say the least.

Day 1:
I’m feeling really motiviated and decided to take a class I’d participated in a few years ago and another that was new. I also decided to talk to the woman next to me as we were waiting for the class to start. I had said that I was starting classes again after a few years. Her question, “Have you taken this class before?” after which she proceeded to tell me that I’d chosen the most brutal combination of classes to attend on my first day. YIKES!

The other thing she told me (when I said I didn’t want to look stupid) was that noone was going to be watching me. That made me feel better…until I realized on Day 3 that it wasn’t true!

And the classes? Well, my classmate was correct – they were brutal! That being said, I stuck it out and felt pretty good (until I tried to sit down in the bathroom – I have no idea what the muscles are called when you bend that way but mine were on fire for days!).

Day 2:
I decide to take another class – this one focussing on weights as well as cardio. I’ve got some strength (though not as much as I’d like) and, remarkably, the class goes really well and I start thinking these classes aren’t too bad.

I haven’t stumbled into this class….yet…..

Day 3:
Feeling confident, I decide to tackle a step class. It can’t be that hard, right?

WRONG!

Just so there is no confusion – I am not very coordinated on the best of days (I have a habit of banging into doorframes and I never carry eggs into the house because they may end up scrambled).

That being said, I was completely out of my element and totally lost a lot of the time. But that’s okay because noone will notice – after all, that’s what the woman I met on the first day told me!

WRONG!

In between sets, a woman in the class approaches me and suggests (very tactfully) that I watch people other then the instructor because she had noticed that I was having trouble following the class. So much for people not noticing!

I felt really embarassed. I know the woman meant well but it just made me feel ridiculous.

So what did I do? I kept going back!

I am getting better at the classes. I know I still have a ways to go but I keep plugging onward. That being said, I’ve decided to master some other classes before attempting step class again!

So what did I learn from this experience? That classes are hard, but definitely worth it and people are always watching you (the key is not to care!).

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8 Responses to Starting Strong Mondays – A New Life at the Gym (or how to look stupid in one fell swoop!)

  1. Elva Roberts says:

    June 11-My late mother-in-law-told her daughters: “I’ve learned more from my mistakes than from my successes.” So, you see, you are really learning a lot! Bravo to you for your endurance. I don’t think the men look at anyone but themselves in the mirrors. That has been my experience. Keep up the good fight and keep us informed. Hugs. el03ro
    e.ma.roberts@hotmail.com

  2. Anne Taylor says:

    I’ve felt like that before at a gym! Good on you for going back! (I’ve stopped going to gyms in the past because I felt so embarassed of my inabilities!) Keep it up!

  3. Mag says:

    Good that you stuck with it! You will get better I’m sure!

  4. Cathie says:

    I found that I could handle the stares when at the gym, but when I tried an exercise class set to music, which required dance-like moves in synch with the instructor’s moves, I quietly put my tail between my legs and slinked shamefully homeward. I am a klutz; I have no co-ordination, no grace a’tall. Everyone stared, and “everyone” was young enough to be my daughter, including the instructor. I was way out of my league, out in the depths way over my head, and no one would throw me a life preserver!

  5. Lou Zissou says:

    I was JUST talking to my boyfriend about this today. I get so preoccupied with people watching me and I keep telling myself noone cares but there are many people that go to show off and whatnot. But you are right – the key is to not care ….and you do get used to it. It’s so so hard in the beginning because not only do you not have the stamina or energy but you are trying to do this in public. I hear ya. I just remember that this is doing good for me and pushing through can only mean victory!

  6. Kathleen Blom says:

    I can totally relate

  7. Cheryl Grandy says:

    If you keep trying, you’ll get better. I remember watching the “new” kids at my son’s Tae Kwon Do class. Over a few weeks and months they could do so much more that they could those first days. We adults can improve too, as long as we don’t let ourselves give up. Congratulations on trying different activities — every bit helps and you can find out what you enjoy most (or, in my case, I found what I disliked least and what made me feel best).

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