Conquering the Gym

To me, gyms were always somewhat of an exclusive club to me. Getting admitted was easy, but the hard part was figuring out what to do once you got in. I was always awkward in the High School weight room and gym, and often found myself not participating in an activity or using a piece of equipment simply because I didn’t know what to do. For you see, the second part of joining the club is that you needed a guide: but I could never find one. As far I can tell, you’re simply expected to intrinsically know how to use everything, or know someone who is a member of the same gym, has the same schedule, and is willing to teach you all of this arcane knowledge.

Because of this, I never went to the campus gym (the IMA), while going to college. It was an intimidating process, and I saw the confident and toned students going to the gym. It was an area where I was permitted, but was a foreigner in an otherwise friendly land. After graduating I found myself with free time, a plan to rebuild my confidence, and an employee membership to the IMA. Finally getting the courage to actually join, they accepted my application for membership, activated my access, and sent me forth with nary a map or orientation. So much for a friendly welcome. I couldn’t find anything, the towel and locker process was gibberish, and I couldn’t find anyone who was still a member that could show me the ropes.

So much for that plan.

Then I noticed they offered fitness classes. This seemed promising: maybe through this I could learn part of the layout, how to use some machines, and different workouts. Most importantly, it forced me to figure out the locker room process and ask for help. I’m not really sure what possessed me, but I picked a stationary cycling class as the first endeavor. It started last week, and has proven to be an interesting choice. I’m the only guy in the class, and the music choices are songs that include “it’s raining men.” Interesting.

This probably sounds lame, but I’m glad I’ve finally started learning this whole process. I don’t think I would have been able to do this a few years ago, and it proves that life is there for those who take things into their own hands and try something new and unfamiliar.

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