I used to be one of those people who detested the whole concept of going to a gym to exercise. For me the time spent in a place where there was more sweat than air was just wasted. I preferred to do something else like read a book under a tree in view of the ocean or recline to enjoy my favourite movie on the couch. I tried a number of times to go to gyms, even to the point of paying a full year’s membership and then hating every minute of the gawking from the men and the stink eye from any women. Then about 18 months ago I started having a rough time. I was under extreme and unrelenting pressure in my workplace and nothing seemed to help redress how badly I was feeling. Around the corner was a personal training business. At first I thought the money I was going to spend was outrageously expensive. So I sat down and worked out a way for me to afford a twice a week trip to the joint.
Then I began my journey. In all honesty I was a non-believer when it came to exercise making a difference to my life. It’s not that I have been a couch potato and it’s not that I haven’t felt moments of great physical health in general. In this case what I was inadvertently doing was protecting and healing both my body and my mind at the same time. I never realised the link between the two.
It took me a long time to gain the courage to walk away from that job. The exercise programme I was doing with my personal trainer became a therapy session for my brain too. When I began to have successes and feel my body changing it freed up my mind to de-stress itself and start with fresh hope each week. When the constant pain I had in my shoulders began to fade I felt relieved. Tuesdays and Thursdays I would duck round straight after work and begin my de-stressing sessions with my personal trainer. She taught me more than good posture and proper technique. She showed me I was worth more than I thought I was. I discovered an inner strength that I never knew I had. Here was I a broken down human ( physically, mentally and, emotionally) who was essentially rebuilding herself.
Today most people will say they find me confident and fun to be around. Nice contrast to how I used to feel. My body is not cramped with stress and neither is my mind. I’m no longer held by the shackles of a dysfunctional work environment and I am beginning again in a new state, city and home. I’m so very happy now; really happy. I’ve found a new gym, this time I’m in good company. There are genuine people who, like me, are looking for ways to keep healthy and stay sane. It’s like a small family and the owner/trainer of the gym knows everyone’s name and is always around to help when you need it. I call my sessions “fun with Jack” which I think he really loved to hear.
If you find a gym you love or an exercise you like then don’t let yourself talk you out of it. Find a way to budget so you can give to yourself every week and you’ll find a whole new perspective you never thought you had. Did I mention I am taking up belly dancing again? Oh, I’m also taking up salsa and rock n roll classes too now that I have someone to dance with :)