It’s been a poorly kept secret that I’ve been having trouble getting back into the gym routine. I overtrained earlier in the year, and was forced to take a break. And it lasted WAY too long. There was work stress, family stress, job change, every excuse in the book, including a cracked rib from a bad fall (in a bar, among five drunken Brits in tuxedos — I was the only sober one!). It had nothing to do with gym shyness or fear. Ever since the first day I nervously entered the building to talk about joining and to talk with a trainer, the people at this gym have been unbelievably supportive and downright kind.
It was just me. And I’d tried several strategies. The first one — and most obvious — was paying for sessions with the trainer. Still haven’t used them. Called the trainer. He wasn’t there. Then I bought guest passes and tried to get my friends to come with me, even extending invitations to visiting colleagues from overseas (yes, the generally un-sober Brits mentioned above]. No one took me up on it. I continued to get massages at the gym, however, and did my best (?) to get there early so I could work out. Nothing doing.
A few weeks ago, there were suddenly no more excuses! Work was fine. Life was as de-stressed as it was going to get. I was reasonably rested. The rib had pretty much healed. I didn’t have a sinus infection. I had time and it was early enough in the day that I wouldn’t be getting back at 11 pm. As I said — I ran out of excuses.
Walking into the gym with my gear wasn’t the easiest thing to do, especially since I realized I’d forgotten a towel. But the young man at the desk was so glad to see me (at least, that’s what he said!) that he didn’t charge me for a large pile of those disposable ones.
A person can’t have a layoff of several months of weight training and expect to be able to lift the same amount. So I was sensible, decreasing the weights by 20-50%. Some muscle groups worked better than others. The legs were fine, most likely because of all the hiking I do. Thank goodness! Back muscles needed a decrease, so did the arms. But the chest — my weakest spot — almost back to ground zero.
And perhaps most important, I felt energized, a feeling that hiking doesn’t give me. The added bonus is a sense that body and mind were connecting, a major issue in my weight control. We’ll get into this more as time goes on. But I’ve realized that I need a different focus in my weight training, and is that trainer ever going to have his hands full!!! Just as soon as I get in touch with him.
So how to keep this momentum going? How to make this part of my life a priority once again? Obviously, this won’t be easy. So, here’s what I did. I left a pile of my business cards with the kids at the front desk, and with the director of training, with instructions to distribute them to anyone who’s willing to help nag me, and to make sure that I don’t stay away as long as I had.
Are you out of excuses yet? How are you handling the return to your healthy routine? Or even starting one? Any and all ideas welcome — obviously, this isn’t a done deal for me, either! No one has called me, by the way, even though I’ve gone back only twice more. Uh oh.