With the cooler temps and rain (I am in Washington State after all!) I have moved most of my workouts to the gym. It can get really boring on the treadmill, but there is also people watching to keep me entertained. Earlier this week I was running in the second row of treadmills and became intently focused on this lady that was walking (very slowly!) in front of me. She was a large lady. Probably even larger than I was in my heavier days, but there she was walking on the treadmill. I was bursting with pride for her and didn't even know her name. I spent the next 20 minutes of my run watching her step by step finish her exercise.
The whole time I was running I considered going up to her and telling her how proud I was of her. See, I know how hard it is to go to the gym when you know that you will be the biggest person there. I know how you talk yourself out of going a hundred times before you even enter the building. How you consider sitting in the steam room to "clear out your pours" instead of getting your bootie on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical. I thought about her legs and how they probably chafe from the skin rubbing together. Please don't think that I am judging this woman. I WAS this woman. I know her pain. I know the embarrassment when the machine stops working because you are too heavy. I know how hard she has to fight to stay on that machine. I know what it's like to spend your whole workout comparing yourself to the faster, fitter, younger athletes around you. I never did go up to her for fear that she would be offended by my encouragement, but I was silently cheering for her until she finished. I smiled at her as she was leaving. I hope to see her again and maybe strike up a conversation.
Today I was back at the gym for my Sunday run and ran into one of the instructors as I was taking my son to the daycare area. I smiled and said hi. She then told me that her Survivor class would be starting in a few minutes and that I was welcome to join them. Here is the description for her class: "If fancy choreography isn't your thing but you want to burn calories and tone up at the same time, this class has your name written all over it. Easy-to-follow interval training segments are combined with muscle-specific sculpting exercises for a workout that really works." Sound harmless~ right? I decided to give the class a try. Harmless, no...a great calories burning workout- yes!!!! She had a big circle set-up with different exercises at each bench. We'd do one exercise for a minute and then rotate around the circle. It was tough and I am going to be sore tomorrow, but I LOVED every minute of the sweat and labored breathing. :)
I am a new person. I am a healthy person. I use to avoid the trainers eyes because I didn't want them to tell me I was doing something wrong or comment on how far I had to go in my journey to becoming healthy. Today was a success! I tried a new class, had an awesome workout without the fear of being judged or failing, and met me cardio goal for the day. Woot! Woot!