Wellbeing Wednesday: The Gym Newbie
I've been thinking recently about self-care, more specifically the self-care I learned as a child and later as a teenager. My parents taught me how brush my teeth, to scrub in-between my toes, and how to put on sunscreen. Overall, I think they did an pretty good job teaching me about how to take care of myself. For the past seven years, I've done alright for myself, minus a sunburn or two.
One aspect of self-care that went largely undiscussed by my family was personal fitness. I am not naturally athletically inclined, and I was predictably picked last for teams in gym class. Aside from not being a star athlete (or any kind, really), my lack of physical activities didn’t seem to impact my life greatly. It’s hard to miss something you’ve had very little experience with.
This generally apathetic view of personal fitness might very well have continued for me, but a month ago, I started working at PURENERGY Fitness. I am now surrounded by people who get up at 5 a.m. and work out. For fun! It makes them happy and energized! This is such a foreign concept to me. But honestly, I wish I had that commitment and dedication. It was this thought that prompted me to reflect on my self-care habits. I wouldn’t skip brushing my teeth regularly, so why do I avoid running on a treadmill? The short answer is, after 25 years of brushing my teeth, I’m confident in my teeth-brushing abilities. But after a lifelong avoidance of all things workout related, I feel woefully out of my element.
It is sadly not even a slight exaggeration to say that over the course of my life, I have spent more time putting on make-up than I have spent working out.
Exercise has so far not been a part of my self-care; it has not been even a distant priority for me.
Being at PURENERGY Fitness and seeing the enrichment and enjoyment that being active brings to the people here makes me what to try. And that willingness to try in and of itself is scary. Few people like doing something they know they aren’t very good at. I think the fear of performing a task badly is what makes new skills and abilities so much harder to form later in life. Children have little hesitation when trying new experiences because they are still learning how to do so many life skills.
I am working on overcoming this mental block and challenging myself to embrace new habits. A few weeks ago, I did a personal training consultation with Candance; she was great to work with. She helped me gauge where I’m at currently and created a great workout to help me start towards my goals, and oh boy, do I have a lot of strength building to do!
In the coming weeks, I’m going to set up some sessions with Candance so that I can learn how to crunch, twist, and squat my butt off. These changes are not going to happen overnight; I will need to retrain my mind as well as my body. It is with this personal challenge on the horizon that I encourage anyone who has ever teetered on the edge of wanting to be healthier to push past their comfort zone and work towards increasing their (or, in my case, simply beginning their) personal fitness. We all start somewhere, and we are all here, so it might as well be now.
Christa recently moved to Sheridan form Denver Colorado. She is working at PURENERGY Fitness while attending classes at Sheridan College to complete her degree in Elementary Education. She hopes to teach fourth grade after she graduates.