Friday, June 3, 2011

My First Gym Experience

When I was younger, through most of high school actually, I was so very excited about being grown up. When I went out to restaurants or to the mall, I would look at these perfectly groomed, fashionable, glamorous women in their twenties and feel so excited about the fact that one day I would be them.

That would be me, with gorgeously styled hair, tight black dresses, heels, manicures, and handbags, strutting around looking like I owned the world.

It never crossed my mind that maybe not all girls in their twenties are like that. Some girls run around in bare feet, with messy hair and toothpaste on their clothes. Who are unable to wear heels, and find manicures terrifying.

Obviously I grew up to be the latter. Sorry teenage me. I tried.

And as I do with everything that I am not, I love to mock these girls. Nicely of course, I just described many of my friends. But since I can’t possibly be them, not only due to time and money but basic laws of the universe, oh how I make fun at their expense. “How shallow they are!” I would crow, as if spending just as much money on unfashionable clothing really makes me any less shallow. “Look at them in their heels. They are ruining their feet!” As if buying shoes two sizes two small because I am too lazy to try them on makes me any smarter.

But the thing that I really made fun of was this: THESE GIRLS GO TO THE GYM. They exercise. Willingly.

Sometimes even for fun.

At 18, when people told me they went to the gym, I would laugh. “Why would you exercise? It’s not fun!”

At 20 I would look at them in disgust. “Only shallow people go to the gym”

At 21 I became high and mighty about it. “Why would you go to the gym? It is much better to exercise outdoors in the fresh air. The gym isn’t real exercise.”

At 22, after joining a few dance classes, I would simply say. “The gym is boring, dancing is fun. You should join a dance class. No? You’re boring.”

And at the age of 23 I joined a gym.

Because it turns out, the body needs exercise. Who would have thought? And since years of not doing any exercise at all, what with my aversion to going outside in anything less than 27 degrees, and my even stronger aversion to not sitting, I became unfit.

So I swallowed my pride. Payed my money. Realised I don’t own one pair of runners or pants, and nagged my mother into lending me hers. And went to the gym.

I’m not going to lie. I felt a little twinge of pride. I was growing up. Maybe I would become like those girls. I too would be glamorous. I too would wear heels and get my hair done.

Boy did I strut around this week.

That is, until I actually went. Stupidly, I chose to do a ‘body step’ class as my first one. First I was late, so ended up sprinting into the class and interrupting the whole thing. Then I realised that we weren’t just stepping onto the steps...a skill that took me a good 5 minutes to master. We had to do moves. Things like double right, side jump, cross-over and clap. It would be then that I tripped over the steps. Twice. Every minute.

A number of times I just completely missed the step. Put my foot up, realised it had landed on air, and had to go to great pains to not fall flat on my face while trying not to draw attention to myself.

Worst of all, everyone else was great at it. Even the newbies like me. I don’t know, are all girls just programmed to automatically know what ‘double cross-jump-side step-clap-turn-shimmy’ means? Why didn’t I get that gene?!

About halfway through, the instructor went from laughing at me to giving me odd looks. It wasn’t until doing the stretching at the end, when I was sliding off my mat and wondering why no one else was having the same issues, that I realised I had forgotten something.


I forgot to wear shoes.

I am so used to not wearing them at uni or work, that I forgot that they tend to be a social norm.

Especially when you’re at the gym and your sweaty feet are making you slide off of things.

Life lesson #10189439894723- Wear shoes in public. Just in case you need them.

And even more importantly:

Life lesson #10189439894724- Don't make fun of people for liking things that you don't, because more often that not you'll end up eating your words.


Kari said...

bah ha ha ha ha! this made my day. i am totally the same way with step classes. and yet, i secretly love the embarrassment so i keep going back. good work!

Andrea Reh said...

Aha! Step classes are hideous. I can't stand the gym. I joined with my friend a year ago - she became a super commando, going every morning at 5 (heck, this year she even joined the army) and I, after the minimum four months, cancelled my membership. I think I went about 3 times. I like exercise... but I cannot stand the gym.

Andrea x

Sara Louise said...

First blog post I read this summer and you have me cracking up! I played that whole thing like a movie in my head and it was HILARIOUS!

AquĆ­ said...

This is really funny because I think we have all suffered from the first gym experience at one point. So awkward. I'm actually the girl who has to read the instructions posted on the machines before I can even begin to understand what it is that they are intended to do.

The Book Florist said...

May I just say that your tale of unfitness and sitting and not going outside pretty accurately mirrors my own life story. Perhaps not such a good thing, but it's true - I'm not one for physical activity, sport etc. Bike-riding, yes, that's quite good. But running - oh I never! Why would you! It'll all end up coming and nipping me spitefully on the butt, won't it?

Meher said...

Wokay, this post makes me feel not good, coz I'm in the 18 year old phase where I mock at girl who go to the gym. :/
And its a struggle for me to lose weight.

ellie's desk said...

hahahaaa....about the shoes. I have to wear mine. Flat feet. But, I'll never get used to heels, I'm afraid.

I suppose I'm too cheap for the gym, but I enjoy walking. Doing some sit ups. I have to break it up. But so true about exercise. Eating those veggies too. I think its the journey, of finding what your body likes and can do. Sometimes, you have to compromise. Just stay strong. Be healthy for you.

Oh..and don't forget those face exercises in the morning..

I really enjoyed your post.

hollyaoks fan fiction said...

I hope that membership will be well worth it soon. I've been a couple of times with my Dad. I like the weight machines. But I got in trouble getting on them. They said I was too little.

Thanks so much for the note. Unfortunately, most of the Hollyoaks characters I write about were sent packing once they got a new head writer on board. Seems they might have been a seedy bunch. But I miss Lauren..although, she was a bit wicked. Gaz was practically a con artist. And..well, in the past of the stories..I might have sauced it more than I should have. Yet, I was inspired by a girl gang Japanese movie I'd seen. And really, all Lauren wanted was to put the main guy who owned the village out of commission. But in the later stories..I kind of had a 'reality' TV thing going.

I wish I could watch Hollyoaks, but its limited through You Tube right now.

Eleanor said...

brilliant post so funny!!! i hate the gym also... havnt been since aged 17.. i prefer other forms of exercise!
have a fab weekend xx

Belly B said...

Hahhaha you are soooo hilarious!!! I still have trouble going to the gym...

<3 Belly B

amy b.s. said...

this is awesome. i hate the gym too, but at this point in my life it's a must. what can i say? running sucks!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

Kaylia, this was too funny. And a good reminder I need to get to the gym. I don't always love it but it always makes me feel better. My head is swimming right now with to-do's though; they come first.

sugar-n-sunshine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sugar-n-sunshine said...

hahahaha oh my heavens I LOVE this post! I once went to a yoga class in socks and was firmly reprimanded for not being barefoot. I didn't know the rules! I'm impressed you were able to do an entire step class in bare feet though - I surely would have flown T over A and cracked my head open! Good for you for going to the gym! I don't go often enough, but there's truly nothing better than the endorphin rush once you've finished a few minutes of cardio. :)

Alex said...

Ugh I HATE the gym. And exercise in general. Unless it is dancing! My company has a gym in the building, so I force myself to go every day after work. If it weren't for that, I would never exercise. People who do it for FUN??? Seriously??? I'm with you. I don't get it!

Bonnie said...

Come to Illinois, and I will be your gym buddy. I promise I won't laugh. (Much.)
BTW, step classes are more difficult than people give them credit for being. It takes a lot of practice, so don't feel badly.
The most important part of exercise is to never, ever give up. Just keep trying. You'll get it. :)
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Laura said...

Hahaha. OMG just yesterday I got dressed up all cute and was out and about shopping (baby free) and then suddenly realized I had NO idea what shoes I was wearing. Normally I go barefoot all day and just throw on whatever shoes are laying around (including my husbands or mismatched) to take out the trash or get the mail. THANK GOD they were matching when I looked down at my feet. I would have died. My heart definitely sped up a little bit!

Brissa said...

i'm so happy there is someone else out there who feels the same way i do about classes. when i went to my first zumba class i looked around at all the awkward looking girls and thought, "oh baby i got this! i'm gonna rock it. time to let the half latin in me shine." no. those girls did everything right and i felt like i was the only one who was off beat or took forever to understand a new move.
i can't believe you forgot your shoes! hahahahhahahaaa.

LORENA said...

God I was so not made for the gym! My numerous failed attempts have proven that I will never be fit and

demie said...

i love the way you write : )

Danielle said...

Don't worry, I wasn't born with a coordinated bone in my body. Any type of dancing or movement that involves the feet and the hands at the same time makes me fall on my face! oh the gym...what a love/hate relationship! ok...mostly hate.

Sonja said...

hahaha!!! These are really good life lessons!
Gah I don't like going to the gym either, I actually love exercise (but more so when I'm in shape) and I prefer outdoor exercise...but I've had gym memberships too, and I'm not gonna lie I actually find most of the classes really fun!

Karls said...

Hahahahahahahahaha! Ahhhh... fitting into social norms can be a killer. Shoes? Who needs them - well, you do. If you want to meet OHS regulations in a gym.

At least you got of your arse at 23! It took me until 30 to stop bagging of self absorbed people who committed to daily exercise. Now I see what I was missing out on all those years!

Ashley said...

At least you gained wisdom! I'm sorry, but I'm still picturing you sliding around in bare feet:) I hope you fare much better the next time. xx

koralee said...

Very cute post....happy exercising. xox

keishua said...

I've had some times in those classes. I really just can't keep it and get bored with the repetition.Can't wait to hear more of your adventures.

Krystal said...

that is so funny :) :) i like going to the gym!! i don't have one now but in iowa i would go all through the winter to stay running. i feel awful if i'm not exercising! are you going to go back to the class?? (wait, and you don't wear shoes?)

Ash said...

Hahahah oh my gosh. That sounds just like something I would do. Well, you could do a yoga class, then you wouldn't even have to remember to wear shoes.

SJ said...

ha! classic.

the question is, will you be returning to the gym?

{av} | {long distance loving} said...

I have a love hate relationship with the gym ;) your story was HILARIOUS! hope you had a great night...and REMEMBER YOUR SHOES :) xoxo {av}

p.s. be sure to stop by and enter my fab Whiting & Davis giveaway--you could win a handbag worth over $200!

Hannah said...

hahahaha gosh i adore you. i'm the same way though, i can't copy someones movements to save my own life, so those step classes and such...ultimate fail. i'm too lazy to go, so i'm just going to steal your quote- "the gym is for shallow people!!"

Simoana said...

Ha ha, I have your same point of view about Gym, that I am guessing yo might still have . . . . its not real exercise.

What is even worse is that all the people Iknow who attend Gym to get "fit" which I assume is get healthy, they all eat shit, or hardly eat at all (not really providing the efficient dietary needs like protein and vitamins into your routine to help build and tone muscle and gain awesome health) and binge drink every weekend, if not have a 6 pac every night and THEN binge drink on weekends!
And then complain they feel like shit or aren't losing weight. I mean .. . .why?
It really is so muchj easier and cheaper to exercise outside in fresh air (better ions for your lungs too) or in teh comfort of your own home, doing something you enjoy (like dancing as it sounds like you do!) that makes you feel good about yourself instead of like shit! End of rant.:)

Victoria said...

Haha awesome post ! And going to the gym is AWESOME ! I love it ! ^^

Tiq said... of my 2011 goals is to stay healthy, sweat my butt off and shed some kilos but procrastinate is my middle name. T_T

Kaylan said...

hahaha very funny! I took a step class once with my friend and the instructor yelled at us, "Ladies, this isn't a tea party." I've never been back. We really, honestly were trying but we couldn't master those moves!

Just as you would stare at the perfectly groomed women in heels, manicured, etc., I would stare at those women in the step classes. 9am, hair and make-up done for the gym, big diamond rings, and they would take 3 classes at the gym and they knew every move and the instructors knew their names. I would think, "How can I be them?" They obviously don't work. They have time for themselves!!!

Kelly said...

HAHA, no wonder! You poor thing, in no shoes! Lessons learned (vicariously, of course)

katieleigh said...

I read this at work, and burst out laughing, I even had a little tear in my eye. Hilarious... although now everyone in my office thinks I'm weird for laughing out loud at my computer screen... ;)