Love for New Recruits

When I was heavy, the very thought of attending a group fitness class filled me with dread. I couldn’t bear the thought of being seen in a gym, of putting my own weakness on display.
I imagined walking in on legions of fitness models. I pictured gyms a bit like this:
Photo credit: AllWomensTalk

Photo credit: AllWomensTalk

I would stick out like a sore thumb. People would look at me with eyes that said I had no business being in their space.
I would be judged. I would be embarrassed.
So, I hid.
My fears were at the wheel for more years than I care to think about.
Now that I am a bona fide Gym Rat, these are the moments that will *always* make me smile through my sweat: glimpses of rockstars who have decided to face down all of the fears and fight.
They are the out-of-shape women huffing and puffing through their treadmill walks – red faced, struggling, and not giving up. They’re the senior citizens in cardigans and slip-on shoes power-walking on the track. They’re the high school students who have decided to take charge of their fitness.
Those who are just beginning their fight for healthy and strong are the toughest among us.
Photo credit: Downsize Fitness

Photo credit: Downsize Fitness

It’s not easy for them. It sure as hell wasn’t easy for me.
Those of us who have found (and fight to maintain!) personal fitness can all relate to the struggle of Chapter One.
If you are contemplating writing your own Chapter One, trust me – the gym rats are stoked to see you there. We’re a bit cultish that way – “You’ve chosen well! Just wait until you get to meet the person you’ll become! Keep showing up!”
We may not say it out loud, because we don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable – but that’s the inner monologue. Chances are, I’m behind you *beaming*.
As I stood in my kitchen today, my off-the-charts tall 3rd grader let me lift and hold her in my arms. I cradled her – not propped on my hip, but in my arms, her head resting on my shoulder. I bathed in that fleeting-treasure maternal moment for as long as she wanted to be held.
I got to seize that moment because almost 4 years ago I marched my obese, physically weak behind into Discomfort Land and I did the damn thing.
Facing down and conquering the fear of Newbie Status is worth more than I ever imagined.
You deserve to feel your strong.
Set your mind. Point your feet.