The Gym – Then and Now

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Today’s trip to the gym was full of anxiety.  The main reason that I go to the gym is honestly for my daughter (17 months old).  I used to go 4-5 times a week, and they provide free childcare while you work out.  Now that I’m getting into the MinnieMaud recovery plan, I realize that I need to rest my body and stop working out.  But at the same time, my daughter had grown to LOVE going to the gym to play with her friends.  I just didn’t feel right taking that away from her, so here’s how I plan to balance the pull in opposite directions:

  • Take her to the gym childcare 2-3 times a week instead of 4-5.  I will do only the EASY beginner yoga classes.  (I promise it’s easy… it’s mostly seniors in there!)  It’s also the kind of class where the instructor lets you know ways to make it easier for you, which I will take full advantage of.
  • Little stinker loves to swim, so I may take her to the gym to swim instead.  Of course I will be in the water with her, but not doing anything strenuous.
  • I will try to find other playtime alternatives.  For instance, yesterday we went to storytime at the library for the first time.  It was fun, but I think she’ll enjoy it more if we make it a regular thing.  I don’t have any close friends with little kids.  I might need to reach out to other people I don’t know as well to make that happen –> umm hello anxiety for me!  But that issue probably deserves a whole separate post.

So today I had planned to do the easy yoga ball class.  Come to find out that I was 30 minutes late.  I really didn’t know what to do but wasn’t about to up and leave.  I ended up walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes (slowly) and then doing some of the few yoga poses and stretches that I’m familiar with (well… at least the less embarrassing ones!).

The problem was that my mind was just all screwed up the whole time.  I kept constantly thinking about how everyone would notice that I’m not even breaking a sweat.  Like “what is the point of her even being on the treadmill??”  I seriously felt like a waste of space.  You know why?  Because that was my opinion of everyone else in there in the past.  If you weren’t red faced and dripping in sweat then you weren’t working hard enough.  If you got off the treadmill after 15 minutes then you must be lazy.  Who the heck am I to pass judgement on people like that!?  Pathetic.  Needless to say, this really opened my eyes up and it’s as if I’m looking at the gym through a whole new set of eyes now.  I think I could say I experienced a paradigm shift in regards to the gym – and I’m so glad I did.

I even started to feel sorry for some of the other women in there.  The ones with the “perfect” bodies who come in there every single day for 2 hours or more.  The ones I used to be jealous of.  The ones who are friendly and upbeat when they talk to you.  But when they think no one’s looking, they look downright tired and miserable.

But right now I think it’s best not to dwell on that.  For now I need to focus on doing what’s right for me, no matter what other people think.  I know in my heart and mind that I have chosen the correct path, and all I can do is take it one step at a time.

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