Starting Over at the Gym Again: A Shameless Confession

My first real experience with strenuous physical activity was my first day of 7th grade track. I puked. Twice. Running just wasn’t my thing. I knew that fun fact about myself prior to day one but I signed up anyway. To this day, I have no idea why. I knew I hated running from my experiences with softball, volleyball and basketball – all of which preceded track on my resume of failed sports attempts.

I wasn’t horrible at softball and therefore always signed up despite the fact that I had no friends on the team and prayed for a weather cancellation literally every game. Every. Single. One. I would call that cancellation number every five minutes if there was so much as a sprinkle. Basketball, as it turns out, is mostly just running. Well at least it was for me, as I avoided dribbling as much as humanly possible. Dribbling wasn’t really my thing either and I got so much anxiety from shooting the ball that I avoided that at all costs as well. How I was ever selected to be on the A team is beyond me. I was horrified when I learned I made the A team and sobbed to my mom in the car all the way home. I was not A material. I was solid B material and quite frankly felt more comfortable amongst my B-level compadres where I could be the true star that I was clearly born to be. I was slightly more confident with my skills in volleyball but nobody ever wanted to sit with me on the bus to away games. That got old real quick. Nobody puts baby in the corner. Byeee!

With no sports to rely on for physical activity for the remainder of my adolescence, I turned to workout videos. You know the ones – Tae Bo, Beach Body and the like. No joke, I even did a couple rounds of ‘Sweatin to the Oldies’ with Richard Simmons. Now that guy is a riot!

In my mid 20’s, I joined a gym and so started my love affair with zumba. The first class I went to, I convinced myself I could be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. I wasn’t that great, but I loved it so much and just knew I would get better. Fast forward a few years…I was engaged and about to be married. I was hitting the gym hard with classes including kickboxing, zumba, barre and even personal training several days a week. I was that girl. You know the one. That annoying over-achiever who stands in the front of the class and does all the extra moves, squats, jumps and burpees. I miss that irritating little twit.

Fast forward even more to present day. Although I have kept an active gym membership since my wedding, I have not stepped foot in that place for over a year and it has been getting closer to 2 years by the day. I have been talking about getting back into the swing of things since my last exercise post which was written in January. JANUARY! It is now JULY. But whatever, time to get back on the wagon. GULP.

You guys…it was a disaster. Complete disaster. I don’t know who that butterball was staring back at me in the mirror, but it most certainly was not me. I did not expect to pick up where I left off but I also did not expect to wonder if I might go into cardiac arrest 5 minutes in. At one point I had visions of 7th grade track: day one flash before my eyes as a wave of nausea washed over me. I didn’t know the new instructor or any of the new dance moves, not to mention my workout clothes were alarming tight and I couldn’t remember the combination to my padlock. “This isn’t me,” I thought from the back row. “I’m the star student who goes above and beyond.”

“You’re gonna look good for the 4th ladies!” the instructor calls out cheerfully. [The 4th of July at the time was just two days away.]

“WHY?!?! Are you offering complimentary liposuction after class today?” I wonder.

Next up on the playlist: ‘I Like It’ by Cardi B. For 4 minutes and 13 seconds, I was Cardi B. After all, I love dollars and diamonds too. Suddenly I remembered why I used to love that class so much and it didn’t matter that I was painfully out of shape. I was feelin’ the beat and I was actually having fun. You guys, it was so hard to go back, but I did it. Bottom line: exercising in public is embarrassing if you are out of shape. The good news is that everyone else at the gym is just there worrying about themselves anyway, so chances of someone noticing your out-of-shape-ness is slim to none. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. So cheers to starting over, no matter what that means to you! If I can do it, you CAN too!

See ya next time!

-The Chic(ish) Chick

PS: I may not be able to walk tomorrow.

*All gifs sourced through GIPHY.



  1. Robin
    July 5, 2018 / 4:22 pm

    Welcome back! And you’re right…we’re all worrying about our own shortcomings there. Nice to see you. 🙂

  2. Mary Hargrafen
    July 14, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Do they have a program for old Nana’s with little willpower?… If you find one, be sure to let me know…. Just getting up to walk I the morning is al.ost .ore than I can do…Truly have let myself go. Time for a reality check and a yoga class at the very least. ARGH#@%

    • July 14, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      You can do it Mary!! If I can then you can too! It’s hard though, no doubt about that!

  3. July 16, 2018 / 3:31 pm

    Love it! Amazing post with great tips. You can do it girl!!

  4. July 17, 2018 / 5:40 pm

    If it helps you, try a 30 day challenge of coming to the gym… This would only create a new habit for you. Before you know it, Gym would be a lifestyle! Keep it up!

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