I bit the bullet last week and bought a pass for my local gym. It's been *a while* since I've done any formal exercise (save from that one time I tried to do a youtube video in my living room and the vibrations I created almost knocked everything off my mantlepiece) so I decided to use my morning off while L was in nursery to walk the 50 steps to the gym. The gym and I have the same postcode. You may not know this about me, but when I was a student at University in Canada, I worked at a gym for a year. Even typing that out makes me want to howl at the absurdity. At first, I worked the front desk, making sure members swiped in, taking calls and (wait for it) selling tanning packages. Oh Lord, how we grow and evolve. I had targets to hit, lotions to push, tanning beds to spray down - you couldn't make it up (except you could, and I did). Gradually, I was encouraged to move into membership sales and was actually pretty good at it - giving people advice on fitness plans to sign up to, selling personal training and making cold calls. It was a bit of a random job for me, but I met my best friend there so it will never be a wasted year. That, and all the free cancer-causing tanning bed sessions you could shake a stick at!
Fast forward 10 years and it's been almost that long since I've darkened the door of a proper gym. I feel like 'going to the gym' has become much more of a thing now than it was back then - it has it's own etiquette and culture and I'm just completely foreign to it all. After cautiously scanning my postcode gym's facebook page, looking up their class schedule and resolving that I should just bleeding well do it, my nerves start to play me up. In that vein of insecurity, and for those of you who may have had first-day-at-the-gym nerves before too - I've compiled a play by play of my first time back at the gym:
- What the hell am I going to wear? There is definitely a dress code at these places that I do not know the threshold of. I can't very well rock up in my cotton leggings. And my only pair of trainers are definitely for fashion and not for exercise. Maybe I can hoke out those work out leggings I bought on a whim 2 years ago and never wore.
- CRAP. I'm pretty sure aforementioned work-out leggings are for a specific kind of worker-outer. There is a zip pocket in the waistband on the behind that I didn't notice until I got them home. They must be for runners or cyclists or something. I'm gonna be a dead give-away of a newbie.
- I'm not going. I'm not going. I'mnotgoingI'mnotgoingI'mnotgoing.
- FINE I'M GOING.
- (walking to the gym) Maybe I could just go for a walk instead. Walking is good, they tell me. Actually, walking without purpose is the worst.
- Ok, I'm here. I have no idea where the entrance is, but I am opening this door with confidence.
- Oh good, a really young, fit guy at the counter. Please do not notice my cyclist leggings and send me to a spin class.
- £14 for 14 days. That's totally doable. If it's hell then it was just one expensive class. If it's good then in 3 classes time I'm making money! Dave will be well pleased. I then make some sort of awkward mention to young fit guy about having a bad back. I decide firmly to never mention that I worked at a gym.
- Just me here in the studio, sitting on a yoga mat I found at the back of the room. Me. Alone. Did I hear him right? Am I in the right flipping place? Imagine I end up sitting here for 20 minutes and the class is going on elsewhere. There's only one way out and I'll have to do the walk of no exercise shame. I can just see the headline post on their secret facebook page for cool gym members only reading: "New girl at the gym books in for a class and then sits in the wrong room for 20 mins by herself. And she's wearing cycling leggings. Har Har Har."
- Nevermind, the instructor walks in and it's... young, fit guy from the counter. Heaven help us. He assembles his Madonna mic on the stage. Lights are dim enough that I can probably get away with the cycling leggings.
- It is 5 minutes past the time the class was supposed to start and THANK THE GOOD LORD - another person is here. If I was going to have to do yoga positions with just young fit guy in the room I might actually die a death.
- Other person has brought their own mat. That's commitment. Must see if TK Maxx has any mats.
- Several others arrive in. Note to self: do not arrive mega early, that is not how they roll here. Mega early = awkward chat.
- Class starts - it's actually enjoyable. Young fit instructor is good at his job - he probably smelled the fear in the back corner and has not publicly corrected any of my moves. I, however, have forgotten a hair bobble. Catastrophic. Am also constantly pulling my t-shirt down and my leggings up.
- Class ends - I am the boss of life. COME. AT. ME. Endorphins everywhere.
- Walk home, open front door, collapse on sofa. Resent having to have a shower and function for the rest of the day.
Sound about right?