One Year At the Gym

I’ve been going to the gym for a year now and, somewhat surprisingly for me, I’m even enjoying it!

I’ve never been a “sporty” person. I like watching a few sports – mainly the ones where people are driving cars rather than running around – but I’ve never participated much. At school I worked extremely hard to get out of as many physical activities as possible – rugby, cross country, athletics, swimming, PE – not for me!

The most entertaining part of sporty things at school was seeing the brilliant re-working of the “CHANGING ROOM” door lettering which had been modified to the endlessly hilarious “HANGING POO”!

And apart from a half-hearted attempt to go to the gym after work about 15 years ago which only lasted a few months, and usually consisted of a roughly equal time eating chips in the cafĂ©, at that time (one year ago), I’d never done any decent regular exercise, which was pretty appalling for 45.

I’d also smoked for 17 years, which luckily I gave up about 10 years ago. And I’d sat in a chair working on my computer all day for around 15 years. At least, since I pulled my back a few years ago, I had been walking more regularly, and sitting on a Swiss Ball rather than a chair sometimes for work!

So finally, last year, I decided I needed to improve my health and fitness and as part of that plan I signed up for the gym.

I go to a local “council” gym which turned out to be far less scary than I first expected. Luckily, the gym is not full of honed ninja warriors, just normal folk.

After my initial “induction” where I was shown how all the machines worked, I booked a “personal trainer” session to work out a plan for my training. I had no idea of how much of what I should be doing. So I started light and worked up. It wasn’t a great plan but at least it gave me a starting point.

Since then I’ve switched it up a lot of times, added some HIT cycling and running, switched from the resistance machines to a combination of dumb-bells, kettle bells, and bodyweight exercises.

It’s gone well, I’ve lost weight and I’m gaining strength. Over this next year I’m doubling down to hit my slightly more adventurous goals.

I’ve surprised myself in continuing to go and I’m now enjoying the process of improving my workouts. The health progression I feel has been fuel enough.

I do some short HIT sessions at home on my “non gym” days, and I could do all my workouts at home, buy kettle bells, dumb-bells, or even a cardio machine!, and I’d save time and money in the long run, but I don’t think that would work as well for me.

The gym provides me with a focused fitness time and place, away from life and work distractions, I listen to music, I feel part of a community of like-minded folk, it gets me out of the house, and I can just concentrate on my training.