A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook the other day, and while I'm a fitness nut, I understood the sentiment.
The gym is boring.
It is never changing. Always the same. Gyms are always so gray inside. You can smell everyone's sweat. People can see you from strange angles in all the mirrors.
No, there is nothing inspiring about working out in a gym.
But work out we must. So what is one to do?
Answer: Get out of the gym.
A few years ago I found myself at a point where I needed to lose about 7-10 pounds. You may scoff at that and say, "7 pounds, ha, that is nothing!" but seven pounds on a petite 5'4" frame really does make a difference. Regardless, I was unhappy with my body and I knew it was time to get back to being serious about fitness. I joined a group of women at the marina who were walking each morning. We walked five days a week for forty five minutes a day.
That's it. We just walked. We didn't drive somewhere to walk some special path. We didn't walk fast like those crazy mall walkers I saw in the 90s. We just walked. Okay, we walked purposefully. And we talked and we encouraged each other on days when one of us didn't feel like going.
In three months I had lost the seven pounds.
Now remember, that losing weight is a matter of math. So just because I was now 'working out' more didn't mean that I started eating more because I 'earned it.' I kept my calories where they were or sometimes reduced them, and the increased exercise then did the math for me.
I kept up the habit of walking throughout my entire pregnancy, and seven months postpartum I was ready to do something, anything besides WALK. I needed to run. So we got a running stroller, and I started, slowly running.
I'm not a hardcore runner.
I can't talk to you about special running shoes. I buy my jog bras at Target, but I get out there and run. I used to tell my husband Eric that I hated running. It hurt my lungs. It was lonely.
And then I got a jogging stroller and suddenly I wasn't alone anymore. Cora was my little jogging partner. She liked it when I ran fast. If I needed to take a break, she was there happily pointing to doggies or asking for Cheerios. We'd run to the park, she'd play, and then we'd run home.
Somewhere inbetween loving to walk and hating to run, things switched and now I want to run all the time. I crave it. If I go for more than three days without running I start to get b*tchy.
My friend Jim, me, and my husband Eric just before the Camp Pendleton Mud Run 2011
Part of this series on Getting Fit is to take small steps and so I encourage you, even if you 'hate running,' to take a small step, and start walking. Keep walking until you feel like running.
Oh, and go run outside, because gyms really are boring.