I have a weird relationship with exercise. I’ve gone through my life either obsessively counting calories, counting steps, counting weights and tracking my PBs- or being the polar opposite. Sitting on my ass, watching 25 pounds leave my account every month- on a gym membership that just wasn’t being used.
I’m a jackpot for gyms all over the world. The kind of person who joins with great intentions, a flurry of motivation and a shiny credit-card gripped in my pudgy hands. Only to phase it out slowly. Motivation waning as the weeks go past- and making excuse after excuse as to why I haven’t actually been inside my gym in the last month and a half.
It’s not that I dislike exercise. In fact- far from it. I’m a genuinely happier, more mentally healthy person- when I try and fit regular exercise into my calendar. I love dancing, yoga classes, swimming, country walks, rock climbing… I don’t in any way find it difficult to find the motivation to do things that I enjoy- but what is it that is stopping me from getting that 30 minutes a day?
The problem I think- is the gym itself.
I find gyms bleak places, filled with mirrors and grey machines- and people endlessly checking themselves out. The gym I used to go to was filled to the brim with guys competing over how much they can lift and I found myself feeling uncomfortable and awkward, trying to lift weights surrounded by that. Even classes for me I found unbearable. They were basically the same every single week- and even just taking some time out on the treadmill, I found repetitive and boring.
For some people I reckon that environment works to their advantage. They need to see other people to motivate themselves. They need that structure and the environment of other people who are as fanatical on exercise as they are. Gym-going seems to border on religion these days- and it’s something that I wish I could get into. I have an entire group of friends who are all personal trainers and fitness fanatics, but I’m just not being converted.
So, as another January 1st approaches, I’m doing potentially the opposite of everyone else in the UK. Instead of signing up for a gym membership- I have just canceled mine.
Instead- I’m going to embrace the fact I live in such a lovely place to get out more. I despise running, but countryside walks are absolutely ace. I’m going to try and seek out more classes for things I actually enjoy. Now my back is better, I’m going to attempt to get to the rock-climbing walls more.
I don’t need to pay for a gym membership to be fit. I just need to do things that I enjoy.
Are you going to be joining the gym in 2018? Or are you taking my approach?