Yesterday I conquered one of my fears and completed my first solo session at the gym. In fact, while I was writing the first draft of this blog post I was still there, sat in the cafe area. Recovering. My glasses were still steaming from the sweat on my face.
Ok, it sounds like I did an almighty session, but I didn’t. This is what I did:
- 20 minutes walking on the treadmill – 6km per hour, 2% incline, plus one minute running
- 10 reps x 3 sets on each leg on the multi hip machine – inner and outer thighs
- 10 reps x 3 on each leg – rolling thighs
- 10 reps x 3 double leg pushes
- 10 reps x 3 single leg pushes
I’m assuming you’ve no idea what my exercises involved as I’ve probably got the names wrong. I need to pay more attention to the machines and swat up a bit more. But the workout in total was about 40 minutes. I think this is good going as I’ve been told my whole body is very weak. Plus, I would have done more running on the treadmill but I thought I was going to get cramp in my gluteus maximus!
I’ve been a member of several gyms in the past but I’ve never done a session on my own. Nor have I ever had to go for medical reasons. I’ve just gone for something to do and to hopefully lose a bit of weight or get fitter. It never worked and I soon gave my month’s cancellation notice and left feeling defeated.
This time though I feel a lot more focussed, motivated and determined to stick with it. I’ve signed up for 12 months and I’m not one for wasting money so this should give me a decent timeframe to achieve my ultimate goal of improving my overall strength and reducing, or hopefully, stopping my neck pain. If you haven’t read my last blog post about why I joined the gym in the first place then take a look.
So what did I learn at the gym
1. Everyone is there for their own reasons. They have their own journeys and goals. I’ve always felt that people would look at me and maybe even judge me. But really, who cares if they do? I’m there for a reason and should be proud of myself for trying to make a difference to my chronic pain.
2. I need to start keeping a record of my weights, reps and sets so that I can remember what I’m doing and build on this each week/month. This will hopefully motivate me to stay focused and give me a sense of achievement by beating my previous numbers.
3. I need to make sure that I do a decent warm up before I get going. This will add to my workout and help me burn a few more calories. It will also help me limit my DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) pain afterwards. This is something which I struggle with; any additional aches or pains makes my pain management much harder.
4. I had a good sense of achievement after my session. Not only for going on my own and facing my fears but for having done a proper workout session.
5. Wearing glasses is not the best idea due to the sweat and steam but who actually notices but me?!
I feel like my time at the gym will be beneficial in lots of ways – increased confidence, improved strength, and (hopefully) achieving my fitness challenges.
Follow my blog to keep updated on my gym progress and see how I’m getting on.