Taking a test run at the gym

While I’ve made solid progress on my weight loss journey, I felt it may be time to kick it into an extra gear. To do that, I took a trip to a local gym to look around. I took a quick tour and spoke to someone about the amenities and benefits to membership. But the most important thing to me was comfort.

I had walked into a gym many, many years ago with the thoughts of joining but felt so completely out of place and such a main focus of attention I left without ever looking back. If I can’t feel comfortable I’ll never end up going, and there is no point in that. I was pleased to find that throughout this brief tour of the building I felt comfortable throughout. The next step was actually using the gym, which I did the last 3 days on a guest pass.

Day 1

Day 1 was a struggle. I’ve had issues with anxiety going back for days and it kicked up the first day. I awoke with my alarm at 4:30am and got ready to head to the gym. I parked my car at 4:55 and just stared longingly at the doors.

And I sat..

And sat..

And sat.

I kept an eye on the clock. 5.. 5:10.. 5:20… 5:30..

Finally at 5:35 I came to the conclusion that waiting made no sense. I was determined to see if this would work for me, and if I didn’t go into the gym that day and just pushed it off until the following day, I would have to go through the exact same thing again. And that seemed like a waste.

So with that, I hopped out of my car and headed inside.

Now keep in mind I don’t know any of the ways gyms are supposed to work. Even the little things that other people likely don’t think much about, I was obsessed with.

How do the lockers work? Where are the towels? How will showering and getting ready for work figure into all this?

So on Day 1 I wore my workout clothes with the expectation I would return home to shower.

I walk in, check in, and sit down on an exercise bike because it was the least intimidating machine in the place. I ended up riding the bike for around 10 minutes then I grabbed my stuff and checked out.

It wasn’t a great trip – but damn it, I made it!

Day 2

After work on Day 1 I headed out to load up on gym clothes, a gym bag, and other fun accessories. I figured if I was going to give the gym a test run I would have to give the full gym a test run.

On Day 2 I walked into the place liked I owned it. Checked in, got a locker, and changed into my new workout clothes. Looking’ fly, yo! I hopped on the bike again for about 10 minutes, then I headed over to a treadmill. I had done research on this (yes, I truly did Google “How to use a treadmill”) and I hopped on and started to get my walk on. It was a short walk – only about 1.7 miles – but it gave me a base to build off of. And I’m glad I researched ahead of time because one thing I read about is that you may feel dizzy and light headed and holy hell did I ever.

Showering was a bit unique and will take a bit of getting used to – it took longer than I’m used to at home so I managed to sneak into work only a few minutes early, but on time none the less.

Day 3

Wrapping up my 3 day trial I head in with a solid plan to just hit the treadmill. When checking in I was speaking with the husband of the woman who was in charge of membership and who I had initially met with. She asked him to keep an eye out for me and he had mentioned that she was leading a beginners spin class the following week if I was interested.

What the hell is a spin class??

I didn’t ask, just thanked him for the info, got my locker key, and headed in to work out. Skipped the bike and just hit the treadmill. Got a full 2 mile walk in which felt great. Shower went better and my timing was more on point. Finished with about 30 minutes free and decided not to push it – I showered and spent some time hanging out in the lounge area.

Since I was here with time to spare I figured I’d ask a couple dumb questions – one from my endless research and another… just what the hell is a spin class? He fills me in that it’s a bike class led by an instructor that you go through a bunch of different things.. ok. I don’t know that I’m in the position to sign up for classes just yet, I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Then I asked about any time limits on the cardio machines and he looks at me like I’m stupid. I clarified that some of the research I’d done online – letting him know that I’m super new to all this gym stuff – stated that it’s a best practice to wrap up in 30 minutes. He tells me there’s no issue, use the machine as much as you want. Bonus!

So I’m sitting in the lounge when low and behold his wife comes in. We chat a bit about the spin class and then she hits me up – “So, you ready to sign up?”

My plan was to sign up for a membership anyway, really. I had enjoyed the first few days, felt comfortable (the most important thing!), was finding my groove, and had spent a couple hundred on gym accessories. But I also had planned to try to get a bit extra out of her since one of their sign up perks was getting the rest of the month free, and there’s only a week left – maybe I could get half knocked off September? So of course my answer to her question was:

“Sure! We can do it right now if you want.”


I’m a horrible negotiator, but either way, there I was, a few minutes before heading to work, on gym trial day 3, signing up for a gym membership to help Big C get to Better C.

Oh, one more thing:

Apparently I’m going to a spin class next Tuesday.

God help me.

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