This is not a clichéd article about a fresh new start to the year with unachievable resolutions of eating healthy and getting fit. Instead, this piece is rather focused on the pleasures and perils of actually following through with those New Year’s Resolutions that are made on a whim, most notably my new official commitment to the gym. Previously, I’d look down at others who would walk pass me in uni sporting their leggings and trainers, contemplating why people would voluntarily exercise when there was chocolate to be had (although, perhaps years of cross country running and bleep tests at school left me scarred for life against any form of exercise).
After trawling through Buzzfeed late at night (the sort of time at night when you decide to revolutionise your life, solve world hunger and come up with an answer to world peace), I became inspired by fancy healthy diet recipes and motivating running stories. In reality, I only went jogging once since reading that article, if jogging can be defined as getting a stitch after 30 seconds. Promptly, the decision was made to put my gym membership to good use and do some proper exercise by braving the gym.
It’s an unwritten law that the first stage of going to the gym starts with a date between you and your credit card going online shopping for the perfect outfit. Once stage one has been completed and you are armed with enough gym tops and leggings to style the nation, you’re officially ready to activate your gym membership, although I’m not off to the best start. It’s less than encouraging that I’m out of breath merely walking to the gym (especially since I live 10 minutes away). However, I reassure myself by simply counting it as a warm up exercise.
As I enter The Edge and head towards the cross trainer, I say a silent prayer that I won’t bump into anyone I know, for fear of them disowning me in my soon to be sweaty and dishevelled state. Consequently, I condemn myself to an hour of running, cycling and rowing, inevitable nodding and smiling at people I know whilst surrounded by athletic students whose body masses I presume are 70% protein shake. I can’t help but feel the satisfaction of totalling up the amount of calories I’ve burned on each machine, overcome with pride that I’d burnt the equivalent of 4 Kitkats in one session and firmly believing that I should be given those 4 Kitkats as a reward for turning up.
Once the hour is up and I have finished my session on the cycling machine, I feel as if I have metamorphosed into a new woman, as if the pounds have already shifted and that I have become a staple fit inspiration model for all women everywhere. Perhaps going to the gym is not the bane of my existence and pleasure can be had through voluntary exercise, leading me to make a commitment to myself to go to the gym three times a week from now on. Maybe one day I will write one of those life changing articles that inspires another to abandon their midnight snacking and reach for their trainers instead.
The moment of euphoric enlightenment is lost once I catch a glimpse of my reflection in my phone, revealing me to resemble a creature that belongs hidden under a rock rather than a fitness goddess. In spite of this, I leave the gym feeling rejuvenated and looking forward to coming back, albeit slightly less looking forward to walking home.
After ALL that exercising, surely I deserve a treat. Slice of cake anyone?
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4) Own meme created on https://imgflip.com/memegenerator