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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

When I heard people say that going to the gym and working out was one of their hobbies, I would turn my nose up at the idea. The thought of lifting weights, getting sweaty, and running was awful. Who in their right mind would willingly put themselves through that?

Then I lived in an apartment complex with a gym. 

Mind you, it’s not the best gym in the world. It doesn’t have any super fancy machines, and it doesn’t even have proper weightlifting equipment, but last year I thought I’d give it a try, and use what my back-breaking rent was actually paying for. 

It didn’t last very long. It was meant to be a duo activity with my roommate, yet after two workout sessions in a row we lost the motivation. For the remaining months of the school year, I never stepped foot back into that gym, and only relied on daily walking as exercise. 

But over the summer, I lived alone, and suddenly remembered I had 24-hour all access to a set of treadmills. I was a tour guide at this point, getting my steps in and beyond, and had found myself loving walking. It was the gateway into loving working out. 

I’d plug in my earbuds and go all across campus to enjoy the unique beauty it offered during the warmest months.

There was nobody there, and I actually loved the absence of people. It was as if one of my favorite places was frozen just for me to explore. Every fountain was running, and the buses were not, soo any place I found my feet taking me to, I had to walk all the way back.

Despite my love for this beautiful campus, I needed to find a way to get all of the satisfaction of a jaunt across campus when all of my peers returned. I actually found it feeling much less safe when the regular academic sessions were running. So late one night in August I put on what I thought was proper workout clothes, and I headed over to my gym.

For the next four months I strictly walked on the treadmill, butI stuck to a dedicated routine.That is what I wanted first and foremost:to see if I could actually stay on a schedule. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I would make time to go and run or walk on the treadmill. I bought sports bras, new comfortable running shoes, and  even a jump rope to add to my gym experience.

I loved being on a dedicated plan, and hinged everything in my life around whether or not that night I was supposed to be at the gym. My hair washing was to be done after a workout, and I would walk to class on my off-days to keep up my step count. The routine was a huge part of my motivation to keep going; even on my bad days I would get up and I would head over for an hour or two to get some exercise. 

My favorite thing was when I would get angry with something and take out all of that energy into a session at the gym. When a man wronged me, I’d listen to an punk rock running mix and see how long I could sprint before my lungs gave out.

I also have felt better mentally, and past me would have rolled her eyes and scoffed at that statement. But I genuinely feel my thoughts are less pent up, and I feel so good after I leave the gym. I’ve lost weight, and I’ve lost a lot of ideals and issues I’ve had with myself.

Then my friend, Rena, expressed interest in working out with me after New Years. This was around the time I started to do some warm up exercises and really had the interest to branch out and do weight lifting. So it was the perfect opportunity.Plus I’d get to hang out with a friend as a bonus. 

Today, I’msticking with the same schedule, but adding on the greatness of Rena’s gym. Her gym has a stair climber, and better weight lifting equipment. Her apartment is a bit away from mine, so I’m able to add even more steps by walking to her place before and after a session. 

I lead our sessions with warm-ups and we gossip the whole way through. Rena takes the time to find us special weightlifting videos, and is gracious enough to adhere to my schedule.

Having someone to work on goals with is also pretty cool. Through the months, my love for the gym hasn’t faded. I think I’ve become attached to the lifestyle, and will miss being able to do my routine as it is now.

In the future, I hope to start doing bench presses, and maybe open up my willingness to exercise more than three times a week. I think I’m almost there, and I believe that with the dedication I have now it will be easy to make advancements.

So, to my beautiful calves and bright future ahead, I’m glad I made the choice to work out. And I’m glad I’m able to reap the benefits of becoming a gym-goer… even if I’m not fully using every aspect of the gym. 

Brandy Muz is an aspiring writer hailing from Saginaw, Michigan. She enjoys going to the gym, having fun with friends, and making people laugh. With her strength in stories, she hopes to spread joy by way of words.