After procrastinating for a solid three months, I finally joined a local gym and began using the membership at the beginning of last week.
And you know what? It’s actually not that bad.
I’ve long had a fear of the gym, one that almost halted my graduation from college because of a requirement for a Lifetime Fitness & Wellness class. Something about working out around strangers just bothered me to an irrational extent.
What’s strange about that time in the Delaware State wellness center trailer (the current students have a brand spanking new huge wellness center, but I’m not bitter) was that I felt better after my workouts and that was part of the key to me losing close to 50 pounds in the first 10 months of 2007.
When I took a job that saw me stress out, I gained it all back and a few more, so I decided once Spring broke that I would swallow my fears and give the gym another shot. I found a nice 24-hour gym about five minutes from my house and signed up because the monthly bill was significantly less than I assumed it would be.
After getting my card verified for the door because I signed up on a weekend and no one could process it then, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday became my set days to go. I would get up and be there no later than 5:30 a.m. so I could be gone before anybody noticed me. Paranoid? Sure. But don’t judge.
The routine is usually a half hour on the bike, some reps on various weight machines and then go home and try to bang out at least 400 of my 600 daily sit-ups before I listen to a colleague’s radio show and then hit the shower and start my work day. So far it’s been an interesting experience, but one that leaves me feeling good and energized about the rest of the day ahead.
Nothing’s perfect, however, and working out is no different. For one, pain tolerance becomes lower when you get to the latter part of your 20s as I am right now. Between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon, I went through the worst pain in my neck and shoulders and I knew it was because of the weights. I literally woke up at 1:45 because along with a blazing headache I could not sleep through it. I used to be able to sleep through headaches, but combined with the neck and shoulders, it was too much. Rushed to Wal Mart, down two Excedrin PMs and somehow managed not to die.
Also, I need a gym playlist and a device to play said gym playlist on. Here are just a handful of songs I have in mind, and if anybody else wants to pitch in and help a brother put together a playlist, feel free in the comments section:
“Hurt,” T.I. ft. Alfamega and Busta Rhymes
“Shut ‘Em Down,” LL Cool J
“Notorious Thugs,” Big and Bone
“Keep on running,” Stevie Wonder
“Highway to Hell,” AC/DC
“The Groove Line,” Heatwave
“Kiss of death” (2004 version), Jadakiss
And that’s all I go. Also, suggestions for a portable music playing device to transport and use these songs on are greatly appreciated as well.
Even without the music, with the pain and the self-conscious tomfoolery I’m engaged in, it’s still been by and large a pleasant experience. Even if you’re already in shape or need to get in shape like me, the gym can be a nice place to work out the frustrations of daily life, be it personal or professional. I’m glad to say that getting over myself and getting in the gym has ben the smartest thing I’ve done in 2010.
This entry needed to be written on a day where I actually went. It wouldn’t be as glowing on the off days when I’m fighting stiffness and soreness.