I became sick and tired of public gyms; waiting for equipment, rudeness, the feeling of being watched and/or judged and it wasn’t good for my anxious mind. With that in mind, when we moved into our new home my partner (and kind family members) helped me build up a small selection of equipment.
So, now you might wonder why on earth I stepped back into a public gym?
Well, my partner had joined a local gym to access various classes and for a motivation boost, and there was the option for a 5-day free pass and he encouraged me to join him and give it a try. After resisting for about two months I finally gave in…
When I walked in I was faced with all my familiar fears ‘Where is everything?‘, ‘Am I being watched?‘, ‘How does this work?‘.
Luckily G was there to show me around and we had a good ‘leg day’ workout, overall the gym was really quiet and that was enough encouragement for me to keep returning. I quickly realised how much more I push my limited when in a public gym, I’d allowed myself to become comfortable at home and realised I was very rarely leaving my comfort zone.
For me, our little ‘gym’ had become like that comfortable chair in the corner; you know it’s going to be reliable and you’ll feel more relaxed after spending some time there. On the other hand, you won’t feel upbeat and accomplished and you can’t push your limits from the comfort of that same old armchair. I suppose another comparison is the difference you might feel from working at your desk to how you feel working from your sofa.
I recently wrote about the fact I didn’t go hard, I went home does this mean I actually went hard, before I went home?
Yes. To an extent it’s true and that surprised me, I realised that I needed that time and rest to recover my body and over exercised mind before I could have a fresh start. One lesson I learnt this year is to never underestimate the importance of rest and being kind to myself.
On the subject of being kind to one’s self, if you’re returning to the gym after recovering from an injury remember to take it easy and build back up your previous fitness levels slowly.
Which leads me, would I return to a public gym again?
I think it depends on which gym…
I’ve been to places where walking into the weights section can feel like feeding time at the zoo. Or at places like 1Rebel when the changing room is like a Victoria Secret fashion show of perfect young bodies and I’m just in the corner trying not to draw attention to my cellulite and big pants. Oh, not forgetting the PT that kept texting at strange hours (despite the fact I spoke often about my partner) and told me he’d get me in ‘really good shape’ (Reader: Back then I was 9stone 6lbs and 18% BF).
On the other hand, going to a quiet local gym which is slightly off the beaten track, felt a lot less ‘pressured‘ and more motivating, which is all I’d ever look for. You never know, they might even see me zipping into the ladies gym to take a quick selfie again! #ifyoucantbeatthemjointhem
How do you feel about public gyms?