I have always enjoyed spending time in the gym, specifically the aerobics session.
Although I don’t mind lifting light weights and admiring big muscled guys lifting metal, it’s the intense aerobics that motivates me to sign up for gym classes.
The music, the movements, the freedom to yelp and squeal in pain or pleasure and the overall energy reverberating through my sweat dripping body is something I look forward to anytime I make a gym appointment.
Last week, my friend Tom treated me to a two-hour aerobic session at Penthouse Gym in town and it was amazing. Undoubtedly one of the best hang-outs I have had in a while.
I was extremely nervous when he asked me out for the session because this year has been very intense for me.
In-between growing my career, coping with family issues, sorting school stuff and running important events, I feel like I haven’t settled in for 2018 yet. That is quite a scary thought given that the first quarter is almost up.
While on this wild roller-coaster in the past few months, I haven’t had time to check into the gym. Actually, save for a few stretches and plenty of walking as I run errands, I haven’t had time for an honest workout.
There’s a time I woke up an hour earlier purposing to go for a run. The instant I stepped out of the door, it started raining and that was my signal to go back into the house. I didn’t need to add flu to my already toppling full plate.
It was this realisation of my extensive break from working out that made me shudder when Tom offered me the session. He was even paying for it so I was robbed of the opportunity to feign being broke.
That morning, as I packed my gym wear, wild thoughts crossed my head punctuated by rapid heart palpitations. I clasped my sweaty palms together as I thought of all the things that could go wrong.
‘What if I collapse on the steps? It’s been a while since I did intensive workout. What if I can’t do simple stuff like star-jumps? I will totally embarrass myself right in front of everyone. This is going to be a nightmare.’
I managed not to cancel last minute and even got to the gym before my friend. As I entered the gym, I was welcomed by the musky pleasant scent of sweat mixed with various perfumes. I smiled as I inhaled deeply.
I felt like I had come home and walked right into the kitchen filled with the rich aroma of my mother’s chicken gravy.
At this thought, some of the tension I had been harbouring on the ride to town began to ease off.
As I made my way to the changing rooms, I passed a few people who acknowledged me with faint smiles on their glistening faces.
By the time I left the changing rooms, there was no trace of anxiety or nervousness. On the contrary, I was looking forward to doing those horse-kicks, knee-up and step double-loops routines in aerobics.
IT WAS WORTH IT
Two hours later I was walking to the bus stop with a wide grin plastered on my face, satisfied with the pleasant workout. The session had been an absolute treat to say the least. The moment the workout jam started, it was as if my entire body went on autopilot.
Despite having done gym aerobics close to a year ago, my limbs seemed to have had a life of their own as they followed the instructor’s directions in admirable fluidity.
The fast beat of the music triggered my muscles and in no time I was in step with everyone else, sweat dripping off my face and back as my heart thudded rhythmically.
Of course I occasionally yelped in pain as fresh bursts of energy periodically ripped through my body. Stress that had built up over the past few months peeled off while on that workout floor and I burned a significant amount of calories.
Later, I was amused at the fact that I had been nervous. More than two years since I began a health conscious lifestyle one would presume that I was over my gym jitters by now.
I recall the very first time I walked into a gym. I weighed about 100kgs at the time. Ten minutes into the workout, I was ready to call it quits. My lungs were on fire. I could literally taste blood in my mouth. My calf muscles were severely inflamed and at some point I felt like I was losing consciousness.
The instructor was kind and understanding, and he gave me a scoop of glucose. However, he blatantly refused to let me go home.
It took me a couple more visits to get comfortable at the gym and even longer to enjoy and get addicted to gym sessions.
It was therefore surprising that I dreaded going for aerobics last week. I mean, I needed it to burn that extra fat I have been working on this year. My fear of not being able to keep up was surpassed by my need for the workout.
It didn’t help much that my friend Tom is in really good shape and a very fit gentleman. I was afraid of letting him down given he was there from the very first day I embarked on my fitness journey.
I was even more afraid of being judged by fellow fitness enthusiasts in the gym if I didn’t keep up, never mind that they were all strangers. All this worry was unnecessary because I nailed that session.
I realised, however, that the idea of going to the gym will never stop being scary, therefore my resolve to be fit needs to grow stronger every day. I look forward to attending choma fat burning session on Thursday at the Penthouse Gym.
Fit&Fab is a blog series by Marion Maina who lost 30kg during her weight loss journey that started two years ago and is now in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]