So in the locker room, at my new Gym back in January, I am trying to psych myself into some kind of courageous posture – so let’s look at another option – Swimming. Okay now before you completely pass out in either hysterical laughter or stopped breath in shock; I like swimming and my only issues in the past have been to get from the locker room to the pool. Once in the pool I am golden. But without even realizing it, this was an ENTIRELY different animal. I mean I had just walked pasted the bank of treadmills with all the pretty people. Now maybe I was perceiving some of those judgmental glances as a personal attack in disapproval incorrectly, but either way caused my anxiety levels to rise to completely unhealthy levels. (I have always had a very healthy blood pressure, but I wonder what the nurse would say if she had taken my blood pressure at THIS MOMENT in my life.)
My attitude toward swimming here was some how different. Somehow this place was not the same. Somehow this place that was supposed to just embrace the membership of its paying members did not seem to welcome me with open arms. Someone who probably needed to be in this place on a regular basis more than half their membership. But I was here to accomplish a task, I was here to go swimming, so my mental verbage became JUST GET IN THE WATER, JUST GET IN THE WATER.
So there I was in the bathroom stall, coaching myself into a form of courage. Just put on the suit, just get to the pool, oh no I have to take a shower first. Okay, it’s a girls locker room, you can do this. Some how as I glanced around the room the only women I saw were Nike models or Reebok shoe saleswomen. Women who had been exercising for years and knew how this all worked, and would SMELL the fear that I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I couldn’t remember what the guy said about the lockers, so I just picked one, hoped I wasn’t infringing on someone’s space headed toward the shower, when I realized I didn’t have a towel. Maybe its just all those years at hotels where they provide silly little OBVIOUS accessories to a pool… like TOWELS; that it did not occur to me that I would need to bring MY OWN!!! But I was resolved. I have like 3 changes of clothes because I came prepared for whatever I was going to do to work out, so that should help.
I put on my suit, realize I haven’t shaved my legs in like FOREVER, but good news there IS a razor in my bag. How in the world could this be any more crazy an experience. Have you ever been in a Locker Room shower? I didn’t think about flip flops, and for some reason these showers were not designed by someone who values modesty or privacy even in a WOMEN’s LOCKER ROOM. I obviously prefer to take my showers in a solo stall, with solid not transLUCENT windows, and a plastic curtain that actually overs the ENTIRE OPENING!!! But again I was resolved.
Now one thing I should probably mention is that I had just started this biggest loser competition at work. I had been trash talking with a co-worker from New Jersey and this was part of my resolve. Because I had been so bold to not only tell him that I was gonna kick his ass cuz I was on a great food plan, but I was convinced that if I added the exercise component I would be unstoppable. Yes Yes let’s just say I am beating him but I am also not even in 3rd place anymore. But that is for another post and there are still 3 weeks left in the competition. 🙂 Since I had told him I was going to the gym, I couldn’t bare the idea of having to confess that I had gone in, but not worked out. SO with that tiny ounce of crazy competition, I was not leaving the place until I had worked out for 30min in SOME WAY SHAPE OR FORM.
So showered, smooth legged and IN my suit I attempt to gingerly walk (tile floors are slippery) to the pool get in, position myself in a lane and just SWIM. Now its been a while, but since my youth I have loved the water and almost revert back to my 10 year old self who competed on the swim team and self coaching myself on each stroke. Now I have been spending some sporadic times in hotels swimming laps and working on getting my stroke back. Not quite competent enough for butterfly but I always try to make at least one length of the pool that way. But today was a completely different experience. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline from fear, anxiety from the perceived judgement, or just the fact that I was truly 65 pounds lighter than I was last time I did laps.
But I swam up and down that lane in almost no time and found myself hitting my 30 minute marker with out worries and no pain. WOW, I didn’t expect that. So now the hard part, get out of the pool, get out of suit, get out of this PLACE. So in classic JR. High fear filled fashion, I showered quick (I had even remember one of my travelling shampoos – cuz I have like hundreds), now to dry off with no towel and make it look like that was the plan. Hair up and tight, new clothes, new shoes, bag on shoulder. Now to walk the gauntlet past the bank of treadmills, hold your head high-you deserve to be here, you PAID TO BE HERE-exit stage right…
And somewhere in the car ride back home, I finally broke down. Energy expended, fears faced, anxiety ignored, and mission accomplished. It sure didn’t seem like just a gym, but now I have to figure out how to go back………… Again.