“One the best tips I can give anyone worrying about starting a gym is that no one cares how fit you are or what you are doing, they are too busy with their own work.”
That was one of the most sensible things GymGuyMark ever said to me, when I expressed my worries about starting at The Western Health and Racquets Club Gym. It is a very natural feeling to be very conscious of the fit physiques around you; you know the ones who don’t wobble when they cycle or register on the Richter scale when they jog! It doesn’t matter what anyone says though, we can all be prone to self-doubt about our appearance particularly when surrounded by unforgiving mirrors or bodies that actually look good in Lycra. It is really hard to focus on the exercise when you have just caught a side view of ‘that can’t possibly be my bum’ in the mirror and believe you me, trying to focus on lifting weights when all you can see is a bingo wing flapping back at you is not always conducive to full concentration on keeping your arms straight. Don’t get me wrong, I am comfortable with who I am, what I look like and knowing that no matter how hard she tries Elle McPherson will never have my body, but there are times when you just wish some clever lab bod would invent the fat zapping pill so that you can actually do sit ups without have to lean on an extra tyre, or two. Yes, I know that is the lazy way out but I am sure there are many of you out there who aspire to look a certain way but are fed up with having to perspire to get there.
I promised myself when I started this Blog that it would, at times, be honest. There is no point opening yourself up to the world and not sharing your aspirations and, in the case of the Gym, perspirations. Yes, I look around me and think what I wouldn’t give to look totally cool when I workout. How wonderful it would be not to be dripping in sweat or rocking the panda eye look where the so called waterproof mascara has run. To have hair like a shampoo ad rather than looking like it has just been through the carwash and finally, worrying if that extra strong deodorant really is working.
These silly things niggle a girl but I have found a very simple way of dealing with them.
- Don’t look in the flippin mirrors, you numpty!
- Don’t look to the left or right of you, the person next to you is doing their thing so you get on and do yours.
- Focus on your own goals and aspirations, whether it is to get off the cross trainer and not feel like your legs are full of sherry trifle or, being able to do sit ups with weights when you struggle just to do them sans kettle weights!
I am at that Gym for me, not anyone else. I chose to put myself through this agony and I am blinkin well going to keep going.
Someone once said to me that confrontation of ones demons is good for the soul, we might not think so at the time but once we face down the bad guy, the sense of achievement is amazing. I agree with that to a certain extent, there are demons that many of us can’t and will never face, but the Gymophobia and all his little devils is slowly but surely being faced down and ground into the mud.
I am never going to look like an air brushed model in an exercise video, and too be honest who would want to. I would far rather be the red faced me that staggers back home after a Gym session. Why? Cos that is ME. I earned every bead of sweat, I earned every aching muscle and most of all I know that every little bit of perspiration gets me towards my aspirations. A good life and being even more fabulous when I turn 49!