I’ve been putting this post off for a long time, because I didn’t want to be all “LOOK AT ME I’M SO GREAT AT FITNESS” and then end up not sticking with it and looking stupid. But it’s been 6 months now and I’m still going to the gym on a regular basis so I think it’s safe to say I’m somewhat committed.
Before six months ago I hated exercising, I thought. But actually I think I really just hated running. I did the Couch To 5K program a couple years ago and hated every second of it. When I got home from a run I felt like puking! People say things like ~you never regret a workout~ but when I’d come home from running with a purple face, shins hurting, and feeling a thousand times worse than I did before the run, I DID REGRET THE WORKOUT. I was quite content on the couch before I went out!!
But then I got into skeleton. Skeleton isn’t really the sportiest of sports (probably part of the reason I like it), but even as a beginner it does involve walking up inclines, carrying really heavy things around, and keeping your body really tight on the way down. And I sucked at that. So I joined a gym.
I started with the cardio equipment because they weren’t as scary. But upon further research I realized I really needed to be in the weight room. I got a bunch of books on weightlifting from the library and tried to memorize some of the exercises [this was pre-smartphone] and slowly started trying more and more things out in the weight room. It was terrifying at first!! Weights are intimidating! I mostly stuck to the machines and dumbbells at the beginning, and only when it wasn’t very busy. [Getting my new phone later helped a lot because you can sneakily look things up while at the gym.]
I followed the dumbbell only routines from The Body Sculpting Bible For Women for several weeks. They were fun and challenging and not too complicated. The best thing was writing down the weights I used in a little notebook [eventually replaced by phone] and seeing the numbers go up and up every time. Super addicting! I finally understood what people meant when they said they never regretted a workout because I always felt great after a sweaty lifting session.
Over the past few months I’ve progressed from those timid dumbbell moves to exciting stuff like deadlifts and power cleans with the barbell! I’m a million times more confident at the gym now. It’s been a fun journey, thanks to watching other people, reading on the internet, and coaching from my skeleton friend.
My original weight lifting goals were to try not to embarrass myself at the skeleton tryouts, but then they took out the weight lifting part anyway. My new goals are to get my benchpress to 100 lbs, and my squat and deadlift to bodyweight. [Currently benching 65 lbs, squatting 75 lbs, deadlifting 75 lbs.... so I've got lots of work ahead of me.] And to be able to do pull-ups and handstands.