Its taken me a lot longer to start writing this post than maybe it should have but for the first time in a very long time I feel like I am getting my life back. So I would like to share with you why I started going to the gym.
Since I started posting about starting a fitness regime in May of 2016 I have received a tonne of messages and comments. Some were supportive, some were curious and others, well others wanted to know had I succumbed to body shaming bullshit, thrown my Bo-Po hat in the ring and decided that mainstream body standards were what I was chasing now.
The real reason I started wasn’t because I hated myself or I suddenly decided I wanted to be thin. I started because I was planning on heading to New York on a big solo adventure and I was terrified that I wouldnt be able to enjoy any of it because I was so unfit. I’m not saying for one second that all fat people are unfit, they’re not! I, however, wheezed at the thoughts of climbing stairs. No joke, if we had a meeting on the fourth floor, I made sure I was there twenty minutes early so that 1- I’d be up the stairs before everyone else and 2- I would have gotten over the wheezes and redness by the time everyone else arrived.
The more time passed the more anxious I got that I was going to go on this holiday, having spent a small fortune and I was going to be incapable of enjoying it. In case you haven’t been, New York is all walking all the time and heaps of steps up and down to subways and throughout the department stores. Late one night an ad popped up on my Instagram feed for a fitness bootcamp. 28 days of high intensity classes that promised a serious fitness increase- of course it was on special offer so how could i pass it up. i made my contact and got my ass to the gym- which was one of the scariest things I’ve ever had to do. Walking into a room full of fit humans in their branded sports wear and I was there in my oversized t-shirt and legging praying nobody would look at me.
I’ve never been much of a sports person, I played GAA when I was a child, I think its a requirement for rural living, but I never had a real love for it. My very first HIIT session I knew I had found something I loved. Now don’t get me wrong- I was shit at it. I was physically incapable of most of the exercises, I was exhausted after the warm up and my claim to fame- I vomited. Not in the class thankfully I was able to make it as far as the bathroom. I puked, picked myself back up, straightened myself and went straight back in. Not only did I finish that class but I went back that night and I did another. Granted I payed for it dearly the next day with the muscle soreness that I had but for me it was worth it. I had found something that I liked doing, that pushed me to the limits and that would help me get fitter. I didn’t last long at that gym and pretty soon I had to find somewhere that better suited my schedule etc. but it’s where I got my start. Only for that instagram ad I dont know if I ever would have taken those steps in the door of a gym and found out that I actually like to work out.
So pretty please remember, if you’re starting out- give yourself a break. Don’t go comparing yourself to someone who is further along in their journey than you are. It doesn’t mean you’re never going to get there, it just means you have to give yourself some time to get there. It’s very easy to look at someones progress pictures and be completely negative about where you are. Progress pictures never tell you the real story- I have progress pictures but they don’t show you my big red sweaty head after doing 4 days hiit and weights training, they don’t show the days I cannot be arsed or the days I eat my weight in shite and throw my nutrition plan out the window. So do you, do you to the best of your ability and have fun with it, otherwise there is literally no point.
Months later I made it as far as New York- and I had a ball!! It was 30 degree heat and I trecked at least 15km a day, naturally stopping for coffee etc. I was able to enjoy myself without being winded and tired and cranky. I sweat to death of course, but I loved every minute without worrying that I might not make it up the stairs, or whimpering that another ten mintues on my feet in the subway would make me cry. Of course none of it would have happened if I hadn’t decided to be brave and take a chance on myself.