Well, since Monday, I have been to the gym every day, not counting today, since I haven’t gone yet. I realize that when Ryan and I have kids, going to the gym will probably be a desirable luxury, rather than something that we feel we have to do (and sometimes try to avoid). As fitness facilities go, I like Home Court America, the gym that Ryan and I belong to. The staff is really supportive, a lot of them know Ryan and I now, and it’s encouraging to go to a gym when the people actually seem happy to see you… and to see you change.
I have long hated working out around other people. It probably comes from my first experience with a formal P.E. class back in 5th grade, at Dillingham Intermediate School. It was here that I was first introduced to those boogers known as squats, that I was first required to run a timed mile, that I had to learn the rules of football (as did all the other kids in my grade, probably so we could cheer on the Bearcats coherently come high school, where if you weren’t an athlete… you could be an athletic supporter!). As middle school ambled along, we actually had to wear uniforms for gym class, so I became acquainted with locker room teasing (yes, it happens to girls too!) and playing soccer with boys (along with another girl named Sarah; we were cited for being too rough on the girls – so sue me!).
But then high school came along, and being in band afforded me the luxury of substituting actual P.E. classes with marching band every fall. I actually had an *extra* P.E. credit when I graduated! But a few months of walking in the sun after school a few days a week does not a fit female make. In college, I managed to get away with one weight training class and a health class to fill my physical requirement.
Now, here I am… twenty pounds down from the heaviest I’ve been in my life. I kind of wish that I had gone about things differently as I grew up. When I was young, I was very small and loved to run around, and had even played kickball and soccer with the Girls Club in elementary school. I would swim all summer and took karate for a while, during which time all fights with my brother had to be resolved by putting on our sparring gear and duking it out in the front yard. How embarrassing.
For a long time, I have dismissed my (low) level of fitness as part of my genetics, but it’s all lifestyle related. I love to eat, and while the majority of things I eat could probably be considered healthy, I just eat too damn much of it. And while I am trying to establish a new routine of physical activity, old habits die hard.
I’m staring at the group activity schedule at Home Court America’s website. The only times I’ve been even somewhat successful at engaging myself in physical activity is when I have been involved in a group – soccer and kickball with the Girls Club, marching band, swimming with my family, taking karate classes, and those dreaded P.E. classes. Perhaps sucking up my body image issues and embarassment and hauling myself to a few classes a week will help me get back into the swing of things. There’s a Pilates class at 6 tonight… I have never tried Pilates… perhaps now is the time to start.