My husband and I started the semester strong by going to the gym last night, and we were not the only ones. As the oddly warm wind of January brushed against our skin as we approached the Rec Center, my husband looks at me and asks what machine we will be using. Large windows show off the hard working bodies inside. I grimace slightly, “Whatever is open.” The inside is packed. The basketball courts are bursting with high energy athletes. The weight room is surrounded by old and new people. Most of the Cardio machines are taken, including every single treadmill. We were extremely lucky to find two elliptical open, not only that but they were side by side. The plan is to take it easy and ease us back into a routine. My husband has a tendency to over-do it since he will feel fine while doing it but then be extremely sore the next three days. The one work out ends up doing more bad than good. We set the elliptical for 20 minutes with a 5 minute cool-down. Respectable I think. I then look around at all the people surrounding us. A lot of them seem like new comers. Quite a few more overweight people which makes me smile. I am sure they made a resolution to get in shape and lose weight this year. I do feel a pang in my heart when I know in a couple weeks I probably won’t be seeing them anymore. No, nothing is going to happen to me… but it is something I have seen many times before. I see people start so strong, and then slowly the gym gets less and less busy. Soon I start seeing less overweight people at the gym, and more of the regulars that seem to eat, breathe, and sleep treadmills.
I want to reach out to them. Tell them that it is easy right now but there will come a day when you will have a gym day planned and you won’t go. You will promise yourself tomorrow, but then something else will come up tomorrow… and next thing you know it has been a month since you have been to the gym. I know because I have been there. I have set out to do it but then months will pass since my last visit to the gym. Just last Fall semester I went for 2 weeks, and then I just stopped going until like November. No good.
As much as I like when we go to the gym and we have a choice of which equipment we want to use, I hate seeing so many people pursue a life of fitness only to give it up a few weeks later. You have to get over the 2 week hurdle. It will become a little easier the third week. By the fourth week, you may even start feeling a little excitement when you know you can just sweat out all the day’s frustrations at the gym. Excuses can be made for anything. Excuses are so. fucking. easy. to. make. You will not be admired for your excuses. They will not bring you satisfaction. Actually doing it regardless of the excuses is what will make you strong. Just do it. Anything. Even if you only do a 10 minute work out. Do it. This is not just advice for you, but it is also a reminder for myself. If I plan on reaching my goal weight, I need to push myself as well.
Every day I plan on doing something. I have been working on my planking and have gotten up to holding it for 50 seconds though it is still a struggle. Monday was a success for going to the gym, and Wednesday will be too.
Don’t give up. The days you don’t want to go are the ones that count the most. You got this. I am cheering for you.