You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I attend the gym regularly. My client has a membership, and I take her several times weekly. I get a lot of stuff done, too, like making sure she's not interrupting others' conversations, diffusing yet another meltdown over what drink she's going to carry around and not sip, and attempting to work a combination lock for her.
All that hard work shows, too. My body looks like an explosion from a Pillsbury dough can.
The last time I actually used the gym was 1990 something. Maybe it was sometime in this century. I can't remember. It's just been a while. I really just don't like working out in front of others. I'm a very private person, despite oversharing on a regular basis. My exercise of choice is hiking in the great outdoors, and even then I like my privacy and get all huffy when tourists are invading my state parks. I'm also a pansy, so hiking in the great outdoors between November and March just doesn't happen. There's mud to contend with, and gloves, and snow and ..... I mean, it's just asking a lot to walk in the freezing temps and then have a wet and muddy dog in the car afterward. Plus, my trails are snow covered and nobody is going to shovel them for me.
Judge away. I have no shame.
A friend of mine invited me to go walking with her last summer. We met weekly and used a trail around the community college that dipped into the woods, looped a field and skirted a pond. She's taller than I am (everyone is) and is a speed walker. I was hard pressed to keep up with her. Ironically, she was leisurely walking. In my defense, it was right after the motorcycle accident (kind of) and I was still sporting an injury. That's my story, and I'm sticking with it.
The reality is that I live a sedentary life. I'm active all the time, but when I'm busiest, it's computer work and sewing. I've been crazy busy for over a year, and am just now learning to juggle all the things to have some balance of down time in my life. But that year plus where I ran like a madwoman, while sitting, took a toll. I think my muscles atrophied.
Because cold and winter happened, my walking friend and I haven't seen much of each other. We both decided to remedy that, and I suggested walking at the mall this week, since they open an hour early for walkers to take advantage of the indoor loop. She suggested we also go to her gym, right across the road from the mall, since we'd be there. She could get a guest in for free. It sounded like a win to me.
Except I hate gyms. But I love friends. And I do enjoy working out, just not in front of others.
I realized that my friend was taking it super easy on me over summer (probably because of my accident) when she hit the mall with 10' strides. I actually asked her to slow down. Midway through the first lap, my legs were numb. It was a blessing, because I don't think my feet were moving in a normal fashion, and I was embarrassed by how block-like they felt. Not feeling them anymore was a good thing. I pushed through, and managed to mostly keep up with her slower pace, but I lost count of the laps we made. I was more concerned with not stumbling, and making sure my legs were going to survive.
I knew I was out of shape, but had zero clue that it was that bad. OHMHGOSH
At the gym, I was anxiety filled, knowing all the gym rats would be there, looking at themselves in the mirrors, checking out their muscles.... I really should go to Curves. Working out with women is far less intimidating. The gym, however, was peopled with super nice clients who did their own things and largely ignored the fact that my sweet friend was showing me how to do everything. (Personal trainer, for the win!)
It was somewhere in the weight room, standing in front of the mirrors while lifting weights, that I realized how ridiculous we looked together. My super fit gym friend is like Miss America in a bikini in comparison to myself, who would be a sloppily dressed hot dog eating champ, accidentally stumbling onto the wrong stage. I would have laughed out loud at the thought if I hadn't been struggling with weights.
I'm going to confess that this blog post took five times longer to write than it should because every muscle in my body is screaming at me. I kid you not. Right now, the ring finger of my right hand is throbbing. Every muscle, guys. I have a lot of muscles, too. I didn't realize.
This is actually a great start to the year, because what better way to get fit than to just jump in with both feet? (I won't be doing that again, though, without a lot of Advil.) And also, so far, while everything is sore and slightly swollen, my leg is not. I think surgery has been successful. In all honesty, that's one of the biggest reasons I pushed myself too far today. The leg has been notorious for swelling after exercise (like every time we'd walk over summer), so I wanted to test the waters to be sure I was healed. I think I am.
Except for the full body ache. Pass the Advil.