Friday, September 11, 2009

I've got a confession to make

Weight: 247.7

Finally a weigh in below my Tuesday number. It only took till Friday. I was glad to finally hit a new low, and gladder still to have crossed the 30 pound mark.

Okay, so I've got a bit of a confession to make: I haven't been going to the gym recently. Not just like, this week, but more like, "since the end of August."

One of the things I learned growing up was to always be extra nice to guards, doormen, receptionists, and secretaries. Big smile, say hello, ask how they're doing, and be genuinely interested in the response. Just how I've always been taught to act, and how I've always acted. One of the results of this, as I've grown up, is that I tend to develop a decently good relationship with whoever is working the front desk where ever I go.

My gym was no different. About two weeks in, the two guys at the front desk were clearly rooting for me. Shortly thereafter, they started pestering me about doing a spinning class. (It's worth noting that there's no additional charge for classes, so they weren't trying to upsale me or get me to spend more money.) "You'll love it!" one said. "You can go as fast or slow as you want!" said the other. I demurred, saying maybe another time. One night, when I was leaving, one of the two was alone at the desk. He told me I should really consider giving one of the classes a try, just once. In a moment of shocking honesty, I told him that I was scared, didn't think I was ready, and wouldn't even know how to use the bikes. He reiterated the "as slow or fast as you want" thing, and offered to show me how to use the bikes. I didn't really know how to give a flat out "no thank you," so said something along the lines of "maybe another time, I've really got to rush home."

A few days later, he said, "c'mon, the room's empty right now, and it's 20 minutes until the next spinning class. Let me show you how to use the bikes!" I agreed, and he showed me. At this point, I felt like I really had to do the class, and that I was being silly and overly scared. I decided to give it a try.


I failed.

Literally. 15 minutes into the class I just couldn't keep going, and got off my bike and left the room. I was despondent. I don't try things and then fail. I just don't. I'm the sort of person who will throw myself wholeheartedly into a task after I set it. I could literally count the number of times I've set out to do a specific task and just blatantly failed at it. Each (rare) instance has effected me greatly.

I stumbled over to the elliptical machine and weakly put in 30 minutes on it, too embarrassed to leave past the front desk before the scheduled end of the class. When, at the appropriate "the class should be over now" moment I finally did leave, the front desk guys both excitedly asked me how it was. "Hard," I replied noncommittally.

"But the important thing is that you did it, Hadley. All those classes are is going from point a to point b. You did that. And every other time you go it's just going to get easier."

It was all I could do not to cry on the way home.

That was in late August. I haven't been to the gym since. Most days, I go for walks to get some exercise, but I haven't done high intensity stuff since that day.

I know what I need to do. I need to suck it up and get back to the gym. I'm scared, yes, but I'll get over it. The only way to do so is to face my fears and start going again. I can do this: I just need to, you know, actually do it.


  1. Taking that first step back will be hard and scary, but once you do it, you will be glad you did! Don't let the guys at the front desk pressure you into doing something you aren't ready for! Just let them know that the spinning classes will have to wait until you are ready...but until then you will focus on the elliptical until you feel it's the right time for you!! Just because a certain exercise is great for one person, doesn't mean it's right for everyone. I love, LOVE to walk...but just KILLS me! :) Good luck and I hope you get your groove back!

  2. Hi Hadley!

    Get back to the gym! I hate it there lol, but the results are worth it. Spinning might not be for you right now or maybe not even ever, but you should keep trying different classes until you find one you love.

    Getting back into the groove is the hardest part. After that first step back, it gets way easier.

  3. Just tell the guys at the gym that you're not a fitness-class-kind-of-a-girl. You go it alone. I, myself, haven't joined a class for anything in 20 years. Say, "I work best on my own at my own pace, but thanks for your suggestion." If they wonder where you've been the last few weeks, you've been "busy"...
    But, honestly, if you've been walking, that's great too. Hope this works out for you.

  4. I'm so sorry Hadley!!! I can totally relate to why you haven't gone back. But you need to dust yourself off and get back in there. Just tell the guys at the front desk, yeah I did it that time but spinning just isn't for me. It's not for everyone. I mean if everyone liked the same exercise all the time, we'd all be fighting over the treadmills, or the ellipticals, or the bikes - get the point? Spinning just isn't your cup of tea and you DON'T HAVE TO APOLIGIZE to those guys at the front desk for it! Just say your peace (if they ask) and then move on. I bet it's easier than you think. GOOD LUCK!!!

  5. Bravo for admitting it 'out loud'. That takes a lot.

    I don't get a "quitter vibe" from you, so I will not be surprised at all to see a post very soon detailing your return to the gym.

    Start practicing saying "No" and remember - you are in charge, not the people at the front desk.

    Have a great weekend,

  6. The first time I tried spinning I was shocked at how hard it was, especially since I felt like my legs are pretty strong...and that's exactly why I'm too scared to try a class.

    I know what you mean about failing, I too am not someone who "fails" things, but you can't let this stop you. It seems all the more important that you face this challenge until you persevere so that you know that not only are you someone who doesn't fail at things, but you are someone who doesn't fail because even set backs are only temporary and just part of the process of working toward success.

  7. Perfection is boring! Embrace your few limitations as they emphasize how great you do at other things. Superman would not be an impressive hero if he didn't have to worry about kryptonite!

  8. Maybe he got fired and isn't there anymore. :) Maybe he got a big job in New York and moved away. :)
    You didn't fail. You tried. That is so important. I didn't finish some of the C25K days during the first couple of weeks. But you know what, it got better the next time.
    You can do it.

  9. You tried it, and that is the best thing that you could have done. If those guys mention going to a spinning class again you could say that you get in the "zone" much better when you're alone. But honestly, you tried it, and no one can ever fault you for that.

    I once did a spinning class. The entire time my glasses were falling down my face, I had to stop every few seconds to push them back up. I won't go back, so I know how you feel!

    You haven't failed. I promise you that. Head back into the gym with your head held high! You can keep up your own workouts, and now you know that the classes aren't your favorite form of exercise. Enjoy your weekend!

  10. I honestly LOVE going to the gym, but it seems over the last year or so everytime I get going into a good routine something happens that throws it off schedule. (Sick kids, husband changing shifts, kid getting in trouble at school for not completing homework beause she was wanting to go to the gym with me, etc...). I am now trying to find that momentum to work out at home.

  11. *big comforting hugs* The fact that you realize you need to go back to the gym means not only did you not fail, but now that you have another opportunity to succeed. The guys at the desk obviously had good intentions, but sometimes we just have to learn to say 'no thanks' and walk our own path.

  12. To me, you gave it a try. Trying something is NOT FAILING. FAILING TO TRY would have been worse. It wasn't for you. So you did something else that day - the elliptical - that is for you. Everyone is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution for exercise (or eating healthy). You can do it - you can come up with a routine in the gym or out that works for you and keeps you going.

  13. Yes, I totally understand where you're coming from. I am happy for you that did try the spinning class and lasted 15 minutes. My mom always said, "It's better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all." You gotta get back to the gym. And when you lose all the weight you going to lose, you're going to go back to that spinning class and kick its butt!! :-)

  14. The point is YOU TRIED! You know how many people never try things because they are scared! You tried! So what you only lasted 15 minutes. That is 15 minutes more than that person who won't try because they are a chicken! Don't be so hard on yourself girl! Get back in that gym and be proud!

  15. *nods head with empathy*

    Did you happen to read my post from Aug 27, called, "What is it about a bike?" I completely understand how you could have "only lasted for 15 minutes."

    I am so proud of you for trying the class AND I am so impressed that the people at the gym are interested in their clients and encouraging then to try new programs. Maybe spinning wasn't your thing, but how would you know till you tried it? However, don't strike it off your list completely, YET!!! I have been struggling with my bike. However, after focusing on my breathing and try, try,trying it again and again has paid off. It is getting easier each time and much more enjoyable. I look forward to riding now. I've never done a spinning class, but I have ridden up some long hills and felt the dizzy, sick feeling I can only imagine comes from a spinning class!!!! Hang in there! You are doing great and you never know, in time, that spinning class might be just what you are looking for!

    Best to you.... Have a great weekend!

  16. Major congratulations for you for stepping out of your comfort zone! Don't be afraid to keep doing that -- we all travel at our own speed. The first time I tried biking I had to get off my bike and walk up a hill because I was so out of breath. I felt self-conscious as people were walking and biking by me. But the next time I was able to get up that hill twice. So just keep going!

  17. I think you deserve a great big JOB WELL DONE for trying something that you weren't sure about. It's interesting to me how different each form of exercise is, and how it works the different muscle groups.

    When I swam last year after not swimming in years and years, I really thought I was going to drown. And the lifeguard did too!

    Take care of yourself Hadley, as you can tell from the comments - we are all proud of you!

  18. * hugs *

    I signed up for step aerobics and the first class is tomorrow. I'm terrified of what if I can't make it, it is supposed to last 60 minutes but I'm just scared that I may have to leave the gym in the first 15 minutes.

    But I was watching the tv a couple days ago and Michael Jordan was nominated for some huge award and he said something like:

    Don't laugh. Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion

    It might be like a cliche ... but wish you luck with this gym thing.