Even though I have been sidelined by my injury for a while now, I was still able to achieve some of the training goals I had set out for myself at the beginning of October. I was able to conquer my discomfort of going to the gym!
Before the injury occurred, I was training as normal and had brought my training indoors for the first time. I have always ran outside, with the exception of a few times on the treadmill while visiting my parents. Regardless of the weather, if the sidewalk conditions were safe, I was out running. I would dress in layers as the weather got colder, leave electronics that couldn’t handle the rain home, and stayed on well-lit, close to home routes when the fall brought darkness by supper time. I will admit that I high tailed it home once while running in a rainstorm because it started to thunder and it scared the bleep out of me! I’d never do well in a scary Zombie run!
Before I realized that I was going to NEED the gym to further my training, I was so intimidated that I would have rather trained with Zombies in a thunder storm then step foot inside the gym. But, I’ve learned it’s not that bad now that I have gone a few times. I started out with small goals. Walk into the gym already in my running gear, having already stretched at home, hit the treadmill, and then head straight home.
Using the treadmill allowed me time to be doing something but I was also able to soak in the environment of the gym. There were definitely people there who were intimidating to me because of their knowledge of the gym equipment, their own personal routines (that are crazy impressive) and their own personal confidence (and sometimes cockiness) with their bodies. There were also people who I assumed are like me. Folks who just want to get a little exercise into their lifestyle and were learning how to use equipment from personal trainers. I also noticed that some people were wearing knee braces or arm supports and seemed to be working on particular body parts, maybe trying to recover from an injury – I gained strength from their dedication. Overall, there are many different reasons to be in a gym and not all members are, like my very wrong preconceived notion, body building focused individuals. Not even sure why I thought that and let it intimidate me!
After a few times at the gym, I became more comfortable and didn’t go in running clothes but used the changing rooms and ventured into the women only side of the gym. I tried out some of the resistance equipment after watching many people check out the information sticker attached to the equipment they were using. I realized all equipment comes with simple how to use instructions and diagrams that show which muscle groups are targeted on each machine. I also went to the gym with some friends who have been using the gym for a while. I asked any silly questions I had and they very quickly made me realize that my fears and discomfort were really not necessary. I still don’t know if I would choose the gym over running outside in any weather conditions, but it feels good to have set a goal and made my best attempt at achieving it.
My original goal that I set in October was to “conquer my discomfort of going to the gym…to discover what all the resistance equipment does, how it works and give them all a shot”. I have to say that I have not tried every piece of equipment yet, and may never touch some of them. I had no idea going into this, the variety of equipment that was available at a gym. There are many pieces that I will either build up to using or never need. All is all, I have learned a lot about the gym and me! Sometimes, you just have to take a deep breath, remember to trust yourself and take one step at a time!