Is there anything more intimidating than joining the gym? For those of you who are seasoned exercisers, it might be an enjoyable place. You may see it like a sanctuary where you can convert tensions and frustrations into muscle mass. However, if you’re like me, and have never been to the gym, it can be nerve-racking.
The way my mind sees the gym is very unappealing. It’s a place where a kazillion-billion people coalesce to watch themselves in the mirror whilst they pump weights two times their own body weight – absolutely drenched in sweat and extremely smelly pheromones. It’s a place where if you’re not lifting heavy then you must be running hard. I imagine people running on treadmills for hours on end, yet they are so fit that they manage to hold up a conversation with their neighbour on the next machine. My mind is convinced that gyms are a place where already super-fit people go, and all the newcomers are laughed at. That’s a terrifying image isn’t it? I have been informed that my wild imagination is incorrect, and following further debates I decided that I would sign up to the gym.
Saturdays are glorious days. They were made for enjoyment, everyone knows that, and for the first time in a while the London weather wanted to play nice. The sun was out and I was ready to join the gym and then indulge in some unnecessary shopping. Of course, given that my crazy mind would freak out further if I attended gym sessions on my own (without back up dancers), I decided to arrange my membership with a good friend of mine – we could motivate each other! Yay! Then go out to eat! Yay!
We met in the afternoon and came to the conclusion that we would need to scout a few gyms before settling on one. With standard membership prices in our area being eye-wateringly high, we knew it was either the gym or food – whether we actually attended the gym or not, we were guaranteed to lose weight. After a quick Google search we discovered a place not too far from us that wanted £20 per month – it was like discovering a gold mine. We made our way there whilst imagining up our soon to be chiselled abs and ripped arms. The map on our phone revealed that we had reached our destination…but we couldn’t see it…until we saw it, and then our faces looked very confused. It was the dodgiest place ever – beneath some apartments, with a tiny entrance. I took a look inside, and a member of staff looked back at me. It all happened too quickly, so I couldn’t consciously decide to make my face look less horrified, but I turned on my heels and got out of there. I am not a gym buff, but I have seen some gyms and that was nothing like the definition of the word. I may have been quick to judge but as a believer in gut feelings I wasn’t about to spend money on something I would not use. My friend felt the same, we laughed about it on the bus and agreed that we needed to find somewhere a lot more appealing. But not before we ate lunch, we were starving.
Both of us were more conscious than ever about our health and well-being, so naturally we picked up cheeseburgers and fries and set off on our journey to the next gym on our list. As we threw the grease-soaked wrapping papers in the bin we were adamant that those were the last burgers we would ever eat.
The walk to the next gym was longer and much colder, but it took us through the nicer areas of London and soon enough we had arrived at what looked like a very swanky establishment indeed. I almost jumped for joy when I laid eyes on a clean yet inviting reception desk and waiting area – this place couldn’t be more different from the earlier gym. We were given an impressive tour and an opportunity to see some people in action. Guess what? Everyone was doing their own thing, and they all looked normal. Even my crazy mind liked it – it had a friendly atmosphere and wasn’t intimidating one bit! We both excitedly signed our bank details over and gave them permission to take our burger money for the next few months. I never thought I’d feel like this, but I’m actually excited to be a part of the gym – maybe I’ll even do some exercise in there!
Even though this gym was pricier in comparison to the other one, I think it is important to feel comfortable and happy in the place that you will be working your body into a fitter shape. I had always thought that the motivation to go to the gym came from within and it didn’t matter where you worked out – that might be true for some people. However, I feel more motivated when the paint on the walls compliment the carpet and there are comfy chairs in the waiting area. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a shopping centre right next to it!