On Finding the Gym and a New Comfort Zone

Jan 18 2013

I bought a trial membership at the gym this week which was harder than you might think and not just because it’s a gym and also, Oh Sweet Baby Jesus Smiling Sweetly in His Manger, a GYM.

No. It was harder than you might think because I forgot how to get there.

That’s right.

I’ve been to the gym before, folks, but it’s been so long I couldn’t remember how to find it. Also, I forgot that my fancy phone can hold my hand, whisper assurances, and take me there if I but ask. I often forget this about God, though, too, so at least my phone’s in good company, eh?

I drove around the industrial part of our little town for a while, stomping my feet real loud, hoping to scare the gym out of the brush, but all that scampered out was the ACTION Vibratory Equipment building…

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… and the CLIMAX World Headquarters…

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which went a long way toward proving we have the Very Best Town Ever (Where do I live? Well, you know CLIMAX World Headquarters? There.), and gave me a robust Immature Laughter Workout, but did little to help me find my way.

Eventually, the gym quit hiding, and yesterday I went to a group weight lifting class.

Traditionally, I’ve loved lifting weights as much as I’ve loved having all the kids barfy at once. I’ll do almost anything to avoid it, and, if I get caught doing it anyway, I’m pretty sure  it’s going to kill us all.

Oddly, though, group weight lifting wasn’t awful. Almost as though free weights with good music, better friends and easy-to-follow instruction can be fun. I know; I hardly know what to do with this information, either. It’s like the mountains moved without any warning and I’m still reeling a little, trying to get my bearings. It helps that there was a fundamental flaw in the instruction; Bryanna kept saying things like “use your abs” like she believes we all have some.

Finding a gym to join is a strange thing for me. I don’t consider myself a gym kind of person. Several people have asked if it’s because of the mirrors in the group classes or not yet knowing the right moves. You know, the self-consciousness questions. And I can see that those things might be intimidating but that’s not it at all; I’ve been a mama for far too long to be dissuaded by the little things like public humiliation or making an utter fool of myself. No. My problem is the fact that I’m introverted to the point of being reclusive, hiding in my house and in my head by preference. I interact with friends more often in writing than face to face. I see my neighbors most often when we run into each other at school functions. So a gym? Crowds of people on purpose? This is a push for me. But an important one, I think, to choose to be part of an active, healthy community.

Running worked for me for a long time. Three years or so. I loved putting on my shoes and heading out the door on no one’s schedule but my family’s. Listening to no one’s music but my own (by which I mean my teenage daughter’s because I have no music of my own – I know lots of One Direction songs, is what I’m saying.) But I haven’t run much in the last 6 months, and, while I hope to get back to it, my scale keeps griping at me and it’s time for a change. With my youngest in full-day school this year, I have to acknowledge I’m headed into yet another season of life and adjust accordingly.

Life, y’all. And seasons! And our needs. And adjusting. It’s like it all keeps changing because that’s the way this whole thing works.

So I’m curious. Are you doing anything lately that pushes you outside your comfort zone? Anything that makes you draw on the wealth of abject humiliation you’ve experienced as a human being? What are you doing? And more importantly, why are you doing it?

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P.S. Yesterday was free weights. This morning was Zumba. Now, I’m immobilized on my couch. Frozen. Muscles immovable. Apparently, Bryanna was right and I have abs, gluts, quads and all kinds of other whiny, complainy muscles. I can probably get up, but I’m pretty sure I can’t get back down, so I’m staying here. I’m experiencing some discomfort at this time due to a steady increase of bladder pressure. I’m not sure how, exactly, to explain to my bladder that squatting all the way down to toilet depth is simply not possible right now. It’s not that I don’t hear you, Bladder. You’re making some excellent, convincing points. It’s that my quads can’t do anything to help you. Sorry, buddy. You’re on your own.

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