My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Feeling frustrated and getting beyond it

So I had an interesting day at the gym yesterday.

It started out really good. I ran into my friend Meggan as we were both going in. Always nice to see friends at the gym.

I needed to get some cardio done and I had some sessions booked with Cody for strength training.

First up was cardio.

I hopped on the treadmill. Sometimes I just power walk on the treadmill, sometimes I run, sometimes I do both. I started out with power walking, then when I felt like I was warmed up, I did a little running. The running felt good. I was even able to increase the speed. I only had about 40 minutes before my first training session, so I spent 35 of it on the treadmill. I was really happy with it.

Then it was time for strength training with Cody. Most of Cody’s sessions are 30 minutes long. They are small group sessions, so a maximum of 5 people. Often it’s just me and Cody, but occasionally other people sign up too.

So first up for strength training was arms. I love a good arm workout. This session was me and another woman. I challenged myself a bit, opting for slightly heavier weights. It was a good session.

Next up was legs. This time there was 3 of us.  In the first set of exercises he gave us, there was one I couldn’t do. I was frustrated by it. I kept trying but just couldn’t do it. He gave me a modification for it, which I was able to do, but I didn’t feel it was doing anything for me. I wasn’t feeling it. In the next group, he gave us, again, there was one I couldn’t do.  And I was feeling even more frustrated. The other two woman were totally getting it, they could do it all, but I couldn’t. I think that added to my frustration.  I managed to get through the rest of the session without breaking down, but it was close.

His next session was abs, which I hadn’t had a chance to try yet and he had openings, so I decided to give it a go. The first thing he wanted us to do was something I’ve never been able to do. A little background first:  When I joined my first gym in 2012, I came across this piece of equipment. I’m not sure what’s it’s actually called, but I called it a leg lift machine. It looks something like this:

Image result for leg lift machine

I actually had a breakdown at the gym once because I could not do it. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t do it. Never could. Anyway, back to yesterday. He walks over to this thing and almost immediately the panic rushes in, remembering what it was like before. When it was my turn, I tried stepping up into it, and I started shaking and had to step away for a few minutes. I was embarrassed and frustrated all over again. I took a few minutes to calm myself down before coming back. We then moved to the mats. I got down on the floor, ready to work, but once again, frustration that I couldn’t do what he was showing us. They weren’t hard movements, I just couldn’t do them. I tried modifying them, but still couldn’t. I was on the verge of a breakdown and I knew it. I got up and walked out. I knew I had to remove myself from the situation. I was beyond frustrated. I was on the verge of giving up and going home. I posted this pic in that moment:

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In that moment, I was ready to give up. But I knew that I couldn’t. I knew that I had to push myself beyond my frustrations. I had to keep going. So I drank some water and walked around the gym until I was feeling better. I never went back into the abs session. I waited until it was over. I had another session following it.

Cody asked if I was okay and I said yes, I was fine. He asked if I wanted to go home and I said no, I was good. I could tell he was concerned, but I think he trusted that I wouldn’t push myself too hard. So we moved on to the next session.

The next session was a back workout. This session also had 3 of us in it. I pushed myself hard, opting to try slightly heavier weights that I used previously. It paid off. I felt like I did really well.

After the session was over, I took a break. Drank more water and used the time to chill. I still had one more session to go.

The last session of the day was a chest workout. This session was just Cody and I. He asked if I was okay, and I said yes, I was good to go. We did a couple new things, and again, I opted to try some slightly heavier weights. The session was good.

By the end, I was feeling much better. I felt like I had moved beyond my frustrations. I was proud of myself for not giving up. I felt that overall, I had a good solid workout. I was tired and a little sore, but left the gym with a smile on my face.

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It was good at the beginning, messy in the middle, and good at the end. Some days are like that.

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Life at my new gym

Well, it finally happened. I’m finally back in the gym. After far, far too long.

Planet Fitness opened up a location in my town last month. After hearing rumours about it for about 2 years. I was so excited when it was confirmed.

I’ve known for a long time that I need to get back to working out regularly again. There are a lot of things I can do that don’t require me being in a gym, but I’ve found that I work out better when I’m around other people. I don’t need to be working out with them. I don’t even need to know them. But for whatever reason, I just get in a better workout around others. Plus I needed somewhere I could do cardio when I couldn’t be outside.

So when Planet Fitness started accepting sign ups, I was ready. More than ready, actually.

They opened on a Friday night, but I was away that weekend on family business.  The first chance I had to go was on Tuesday.

To be honest, I was a little nervous. It had been a couple years since I had been to a gym on a regular basis. I worried I wouldn’t remember how to do things. Planet Fitness is famous for being a non-judgemental gym, but I still worried people might judge me. I wondered if I would like it, if I would be comfortable there, if the people would be friendly.

But I didn’t need to worry about any of that.

As soon as I walked in, I knew I would be happy there. The staff greeted me with smiles. The place is bright and cheerful. I was given a quick tour so I knew where things were. Oh my gosh, so much equipment! Treadmills, ellipticals, arc trainers, bikes, stair climbers. Weight machines, cable machines, smith machines, free weights! Plus, a special 30-minute circuit area and an area for stretching. And they have a trainer on staff as well. I was very impressed.

The first couple of times, I pretty much stuck to myself. But the more I go, the more comfortable I am, and the more I interact with other members. So far, everyone has been really friendly. I know I made the right decision to join.

After going a few times, I decided to meet with the trainer, Cody. The sessions are small group sessions, no more than 5 people. They offer sessions that are specific muscle group workouts — chest, back, arms, legs, abs, and shoulders. They also have a design your own program session, and a 30-minute circuit session.

I started with the design your own program session. It was good, a lot of information, but no actual workout.

So then I decided to try the specific muscle group sessions. I’d never done workouts like that before. When I worked with Tyler, I just did whatever he told me to do. And when he left, he gave me groups of exercises to do. I’ve seen people work just specific muscle groups, so I was anxious to give it a try. The sessions are 30 minutes, but you can easily get a workout in during that time. I did back-to-back sessions, thinking I would get a better workout in, and boy, did I! Since then, I have done several sessions with Cody. He really knows his stuff.  He is very personable and easy to work with. I’m glad I decided to give his sessions a try. I plan on signing up for his sessions as often as I can.

Since it’s been a while since I was at the gym on a regular basis, I know that I have to get my body used to it again. Right now, I’m going about 3 times a week. I’ve been there 10 times in the last 3 1/2 weeks. I think that’s a pretty good start. And I’m hoping to increase that shortly.  Some days I will just do cardio; other days I will do cardio and strength training.

To keep myself accountable, I check-in on Facebook and often post something after my workout. I’ve had a few people tell me that my posts have inspired them to join the gym as well. And I’ve had a few people at the gym tell me that I inspire them as well. That makes me feel pretty good. I don’t set out to inspire others, but hearing things like that, inspires me to keep going.

Having a place to work out like Planet Fitness makes this journey a little easier. I’m really glad I joined. Life at my new gym is good. And I’m really happy to be there.

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