So… started at the Y. Very SLOWLY. In fact, people may have been wondering if I was even moving or breathing! But I was. The doctor said, “take it slow” and I am doing what he said! I have been doing modified Yoga but that has been in the security of my own home. No one was able to see if I could actually cross my legs or downward my dog. Now I was out in public!!
Why is it so intimidating to walk in to a gym? Why do I feel like everyone in there is looking at me and wondering “Ha, what is she going to do?” Is it because we are all captive in a room and there really isn’t anything else to look at? Well, anything other than an old poster that is asking me to buy some war bonds. Is it because these people are judging how I lift and how much I lift? Which, for the record, is somewhere between a can of soup and a preemie baby.
It is hard for me to walk into a gym, not because of other’s judgement, but because of my own. I feel insecure with my body and my body’s movement. I question if I even need to be out here? My mind starts telling me, “Oh you can do this at home” and “Do you really have time for this right now?” Part of me wants to walk back out the door, maybe saying something about my lights being left on or my “quads” being sore from “squats” (that is a thing, right?)
But I pull up my big girl Capri sweats (no, literally, they are big girl sweats) and walk forward into the room. I smile at tiny, solid woman beside me on the elliptical and I pray a simple prayer, “Lord, please just let me get on this machine without falling off.” I try to act like I know exactly what I am doing – I get one leg up on the left step of the elliptical and then the right step pops up for my other leg. What a minute, is this supposed to happen? How the heck am I going to get my right leg up that high while I’m straddling the machine? I grab the arm rests and pull myself up into a standing position on the elliptical.
I am now red-faced, sweating and ready to stop. Surely that is enough for the first day… remember the doctor said to go slow. Nope! I will not be intimated and leave, I will not give in to my weaknesses, I am stronger and I am better than that (besides, I don’t know how to get off this thing).
After 20 minutes, I manage to slide off the machine and wonder what happened to my legs. They were here when I walked in… come on boys, stop wobbling and carry me out the door. I use the old “my shoe is untied” trick to give myself a few more moments to recover and then I am ready to get the heck out of there.
The tiny, solid lady that was viciously working beside me, looks over at me and says, “It will be easier next time, just keep coming”! I realize she is right. It WILL be easier next time. Not just the exercise but walking in the door will be easier also. With every week, I am becoming stronger, both physically and mentally. I put too much stress on myself. These people in here are so wrapped up in their workouts, they aren’t judging me. I am judging ME!
So, I will keep coming. I will keep coming and I will keep working on my inside and my outside.