The Gym: A Place I Love to Hate


The first time I set foot in a gym with the intention of working out I was a sophomore in college. My friends were going to an evening yoga class and insisted on dragging me along against my will. It was not love at first sight. As the saying goes, there’s a thin line between love and hate, and in the coming years my relationship with the gym was a rocky one.

I managed to avoid it all together for a while after that first class. Sure, I gained a few pounds here and there, but nothing so extreme as to make me want to resort to drastic measures like (groan) exercise. I graduated college. I got married. I had a baby and then everything changed.  

Suddenly a few pounds was more like forty and the changes in my body, brought about by a pregnancy spent taking the “eating for two” myth quite literally, were almost as difficult to adjust to as having a new baby. I was finally ready to take those drastic measures and I knew that meant (groan) exercise.

I started out slow with walks around the neighborhood and progressed to beginner’s level work out DVDs that I could do in the privacy of my own home. It didn’t take long to begin seeing some results and to my surprise I even began to enjoy it a little. I was sleeping better, I found I was in a more pleasant mood on the days I exercised, and I felt more energetic.

Bored with my collection of DVDs, I was finally ready to give the gym another shot. Armed with the knowledge that yoga wasn’t my thing, I signed up for each of the classes the gym had to offer — kickboxing, butts and guts, pilates, and, on a particularly brave day, Zumba.

I loved many of them and have incorporated my favorites into my weekly routine. They don’t call it “working out” for nothing. It is definitely work and sweat and sometimes pain, but for me the key to success was in finding a way to get moving that I loved or at least didn’t hate quite so much as yoga.

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