Today I embarked on a (very long overdue) fitness journey.
That’s right folks, I finally joined a gym.
A lot of you reading this might not be impressed by today’s $30 24-hour keychain purchase, but it was a pretty monumental step for me.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here. To add some much needed-context to this story, let’s take it back a good 15 years or so.
9 years old. I was at the pinnacle of my fitness; out everyday, riding through the streets with my best pals. Balancing along chain fences, pretending we were Charlie’s Angels (minus the matching ensembles). Swimming whenever we got the chance. Spending our weekends either in the sunshine or indoors playing Barbies and Sing Star on my mate’s PS2.
Life was simple. I ran because I was playing tag. I swam because it was hot. I climbed so I could get a better view. Physical attributes didn’t matter. You just had to give it a go.
That being said, I was never into sports. I spent a year playing soccer at lunchtime, but that was more my default, as every kid in our grade was playing it and we had to show dominance and claim that section of the oval before the younger kids did. Soccer was 1 part actually playing the game and 2 parts chatting and gossiping with pals. Okay, and ogling at our crushes as they ran up and down the field.
That was year 5. I was 10 then. It was the last year I remember doing anything fitness based and enjoying it.
Fast forward to high school. Along with our mandatory PE classes (I sucked) we had ‘Fantastic Fridays’ – an excuse to throw us all outside for the last block of school every week, disguised as fun and exciting. Fantastic Fridays was my entry-way into lying to teachers. Writing sick notes. Forgetting my hat (it was in my bag). Saying I had a headache. Whatever excuse we could come up with, really.
We once played golf, which was mildly entertaining as one of the girls in my class managed to injure a teacher, thus banning us from the course for the rest of the semester. Injuries aside, it was pretty crap indeed.
Apart from mandatory lessons at school, I did not partake in exercise. I rode my bike, sure, but only until I got my licence and was able to drive everywhere. I spent hours in our backyard pool, but that was mainly to combat the heat. Otherwise – nada.
In our final year, my friends and I made a loose pact to get ‘fit for Schoolies’ – a week on the Gold Coast in summer where we’d wear lot of bikinis and drink too much alcohol. Our resolution lasted about 3 early mornings’ worth of gym sessions. Other than that – we relied on our metabolisms and skipping breakfast to achieve acceptable figures.
Aside from another couple of brief gym stints (involving rowing machines and treadmills), the extent of my exercise in the last 6 years has been scarce. I’ve dipped in and out of yoga, and although I adore the practice, I continue to have trouble to committing to a regular routine on the mat. I sometimes go for a walk along my local beach front, but don’t really feel like it’s ‘cutting it’ anymore.
Which brings us to now. Today. March 11. I signed up. I got a keychain. I subjected myself to sweating in public. It’s official. I am now a 24-year-old woman with a gym membership.
I’ve decided to document my journey, for reasons that are yet to be determined (I.e. maybe a magazine or paper will find it mildly entertaining and pick it up? Hello $$$), but mainly so I can attempt to keep myself motivated.
I’ve reached “that stage” in my life where my metabolism isn’t as forgiving as it used to be, and my work not so active (a polite way to say that I sit at a desk all day).
So although I begin my journey reluctantly, and already dreading how much more I’ll have to wash my hair, I’m feeling good. Positive. Optimistic, even.
I’ll report back in a few weeks when I (hopefully) have some useful insights to share.