Gym-miny Crickets

I feel at home in the gym. Now, at 40+ years of life. The good Lord knows I didn't always feel this way. I was once scared out of my wits to step foot in the place. Shoulders-at-my-ears, afraid everyone was looking at me wondering what I was doing there. Did I even know how to use that machine? Did I really think I could lift that much weight repeatedly? I would go in dressed in my old cutoff t-shirts and gym shorts that doubled as pajama shorts because workout wear?!?!... I had to buy clothes for children that grew so fast they could grow out of a pair of shoes in six months! In the clothing budget, workout wear was way, way, (waaaay) down on the list.

And darn if that doesn't add to making you feel like you don't belong when you go into a place and everyone is dressed in their yoga capris and some adorable tank with matching sports bra and in you walk in shorts you bought at the Walmarts and a hacked-up college t-shirt.


Hey everyone, I'm here.

So where did it change? Did you finally get some workout wear, you might wonder... did that help?

Eventually, yes, but it started before then.

I kept going. That was the change. Day one, week one, month one - I still felt like the outsider who didn't belong. But month one turned into month six and then eventually year one and somewhere I realized it did not matter that my t-shirts did not have a Nike symbol on them. It did not matter that I was wearing old shorts when all the other girls were wearing pants. What mattered was that I was accomplishing something.

Not on the scale. Not on the treadmill screen. Just my sweaty clothes and my smiling red-face making me realize that endorphin-laced high you get from exercise. The one that leaves you more energetic than you were when you started. That's the feeling that kept me coming back.

Its the feeling that continues to keep me going back today.

So, I'm proud to say I'm kind of a gym-rat. I like the place. When I'm away too long, I miss the place. If you're not a gym-fan, or a gym member, are you an at-home-fitness kind of person? Are you a rain-or-shine jogger? What is your method of letting off steam and gaining clarity while sweating off calories and taxing your muscles?

Whatever it is, keep doing it. Or change it up and do something different. Either way - just don't quit altogether.

Whether your clothes are not like everyone else's.

Whether you wear high tops when all the others are in running shoes.

Whether you're coming in dressed in Richard-Simmons-brights when everyone else seems to be in funeral black - keep going.

And if no one has told you, let me be the first to say, "I'm proud of you."

The benefits of exercise aren't just the post-workout endorphins. Your long term health. Your heart, your skin, your energy level, your capabilities - there are numerous good things that come from a gym session. And if your goal is weight loss - that may come too. But if it doesn't, realize that those other benefits - you're still getting those even if the scale doesn't tell you so.

Besides everyone knows those scales are lying cheats. Who cares what they say anyway?