Late last year, my boyfriend casually mentioned that he wanted to look into finding a gym closer to my place, since he was by me so much. Surprisingly, I said, "I'd be interested in joining a gym too!"
Those close to me would probably have started laughing, which is understandable. Going to a gym in the past wouldn't have appealed to me in the least. In my mind, a gym was a bunch of gorgeous people who know what they are doing and immediately sense when there is an outsider among them who doesn't belong and will not hesitate to make it known. No thanks, I already survived my school years.
But it was different this time. I felt like if ever there was a time that I could actually see myself going to a gym, it would be with my boyfriend. I don't want to say that the gym suddenly felt possible, but it at least felt a little less impossible.
We waited until after the holidays because what kind of moron joins a gym right before the holidays? Instead, we became those morons who join the gym at the start of a new year, full of promise and good intentions that will fall by the wayside in 2-3 weeks.
This is just the mentality I imagined those glistening, gorgeous gym folks had.
The only clothes I felt I could wear to the gym would be old clothes that I had previously added to my pajama collection, so we went shopping. I got a gym bag, some clothes, a water bottle, and a lock. My boyfriend had asked me if I needed new sneakers. I told him that the pair I had were fairly new, I got them when I was pregnant. Since my kid is 4 years old though, I also got some new sneakers.
I told a few friends that I was joining a gym. One of them asked me if I had set any fitness goals.
"Fitness goals! Like, do you want to lose weight? Inches? Is there a certain amount of weight you want to lift?"
"I just don't want to fall off the treadmill and go flying into the wall and end up being a viral video."
Realistic goal. Plus, it's a perpetual goal. Who knows, each day could be the day that I do go flying off the treadmill. But we won't know until I actually put in a day at the gym. I basically have no reason to ever stop going.
I still was pretty freaked out about exercising around, you know, people. But I felt good with my boyfriend, though I did instruct him to not leave me alone other than when we were forced to go in our separate locker rooms. But after only two times of being side-by-side on elliptical machines, I actually felt just fine going to the gym by myself. Why?
- Unless you're being annoying, nobody cares about you
- Unless you're getting in their way, nobody cares about you
So instead of feeling like a weirdo that doesn't belong there, I remind myself that I have just as much of a place there as anyone else does. I fire up my iPod and hold my head up as I walk purposefully toward the treadmill, my only goal being to remain upright.