I used to avoid working out like the plague. The sweating, and pain, and gym memberships didn’t appeal to me. Besides, my daily commute involves three miles a day of walking. I couldn’t possibly need more exercise than that.
My brother and my dad are addicted to the gym, and for a long time, they tried to convince me to join. I struggle a lot with anxiety and panic attacks, and my brother (who is a doctor) and my father (who experiences them sometimes too) were constantly pushing the anxiety-related benefits of exercise. My doctor joined the chorus too, with all three claiming that my walking was bullshit and didn’t raise my heart rate enough. And then my friend Heather, who has nothing to do with anxiety, wanted a gym buddy, so she got on my back too.
I ran out of reasons not to go- the gym is across the street from my apartment. The membership is $10/month. I had an excuse to shop for a new wardrobe of gym clothes.
I signed up and promised myself I'd give it a solid try for a month, and if I still hated it, I could quit.
Big surprise, I didn’t quit, I’ve been going regularly for over four months now. I won’t lie, it takes effort to motivate myself. It’s annoying to squeeze it into a busy schedule, to be sore, even to shower twice in one day.
But the benefits outweigh it. I was surprised to find working out made me grateful for my body and health. It feels good to push myself to lift more, or run faster. And my anxiety is dramatically lessened, though for full disclosure I should admit there are many other factors at play in that. I’ve also developed a bicep, only one for some reason, but still cool.
And on the non-fitness front, it’s been great to have a few nights a week to catch up with Heather too. It’s fun to gossip through our workouts, and I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for her I would barely be going.
So here’s to four more months of gym going, and in honor of that, here’s some of my favorite Old Navy exercise gear. I love their stuff- it's inexpensive and cute!
from left: bubble tank, $8 // active jacket, $28 // compression capris, $15 // compression pants, $25