The other day I took what I think was a giant leap for woman-kind. Okay Rhianna-kind. Whatever. I enlisted the help of a guy friend/ work colleague to help me get over my fear of the weight section at the gym.
Typically for me the weight section is a bunch of confusing machines and torture devices I don’t understand mixed in with a bunch of mirrors that capture really unflattering angles, as well as some hand weights for good measure. All fairly awful. I stick to the cardio side if I can help it. Also the guys who frequent this section have necks as wide as their head and make grunting noises and drop the weights incredibly loudly so that I’m literally jumping out of my skin every five minutes. No. Thank you.
So, one day I was thinking about how fed up I was with paying for a very expensive gym membership and only using half the actual equipment. It seems ridiculous. I started telling a friend/ colleague who I’ll call Drew. Drew suggested I join the gym at our work. I hesitated. Hmm..work out next to a bunch of scary dudes with large necks and grunting like Tarzan orrr work out with the people I work with. Dilemma. He offered to show me around and introduce me to the staff. Apparently he’s some kind of frequent flyer- a gym celebrity of sorts.
So, next thing you know there I am smack dab in the middle of a bunch of equipment and mirrors, standing in the middle like a lost kid in the mall at Christmas. Drew started showing me how to use various equipment and didn’t even laugh at me once when I literally could not lift more than 20 pounds on a machine that he had set to 200 for himself. Oh the humiliation. In the hand weight section I could only handle 5 and my arms were shaking. He tried to convince me I had to do this thing where I stick my butt out and do these arm curl things (all the gymers are doing it apparently) and it’s then that I came to terms with the fact that not only do I find that part of the gym totally mystifying, I also happen to be the most uncoordinated person I know. I couldn’t do it.
Next we moved on to this machine that required me to jump up and lay on my belly, holding myself with my legs and bending 90 degrees down and up at the waist. Drew demonstrated. It looked easy. It didn’t even look like much of a workout! I anchored my legs on the bar, put my foot on the cushioned bit and….flopped around like some kind of beached whale trying to get myself up. In my defense he is A LOT taller than me and I’m of the opinion that these machines are built for giants because there was no way I was getting myself up there. I tried a solid 5 times before I was pretty sure people were starting to slide their glances in my direction and I thought I recognized someone. We moved on.
By the end I felt awesome. I conquered a fear (kind of) and my arms and back were a pretty acceptable level of shaky to confirm that I had done a real, honest-to-goodness effective workout. Drew offered to help me again because I’m pretty sure he also thinks I’m the most uncoordinated person he’s ever met and I feel seriously motivated to get bridesmaid ready starting now. I have one year.
Feels good to step out and overcome a fear or push yourself a little even if it is super uncomfortable and you come off looking ridiculous. There’s a serious payoff when you step out. I’ve got the shaky arms to prove it.