(clip art from Bing.com) (A short story by Julia Ray)
I finally got up my nerve to go to the YMCA. I think it has mostly been a battle with admitting I need it. Now, I wish I had done it a lot earlier, I feel so good. I am not so worried about the pounds coming off as I am about shaping up and feeling good about myself. Of course, if the pounds drop a whole bunch I won’t be sad about that.
The first day was a snowy and blistery cold day, which in itself made me want to stay home and snuggle in my blanket. I walk in through the double set of glass doors that seemed to challenge me to turn around and go back home. I can do this, I know I can. I will see this through. It can only be good results. I scanned the front room for someone to tell me what to do.
“May I help you?” the young lady asked me.
“Yes, I paid for a membership and I am not sure where to begin.” I replied.
“Alright, first you need to sign the book and then follow me. “ The young lady answered. After I signed the book, she led me to the back of the building where the lady’s locker room was.
“You may use these if you like. We only require that you take your padlock off by the time you leave. I would suggest no valuables just in case.” The young lady turned around to leave me to begin my new me program. I guess I had hoped she would lead me by the hand, tell me I need to go here, and how many of this to do. How silly of me, I am a grown woman, I can figure this out. I know where the rooms are. I have exercised before, back in the dinosaur years.
I placed my things in the locker and turned to walk out. It is a rather strange layout, you have to walk right past the two showers to get to the door. I don’t think I will be using those. I don’t want my fat butt coming out of those and the doors open up. Scare everyone for life.
I turned the corner and walked by the weight room. I saw a big, red X flashing across the window saying, no you are not ready for that. I don’t think I can even remember how to use those machines. I wouldn’t want to have my flab of a belly hanging out for all the world to see. I do believe that will be down the line after my confidence level goes to say ten and perhaps twenty years! I went around another corner and came to the gym. Oh good, no one in it. I walk across to the other side and go through the door for the exercise room. Oh dear, there’s people. Oh dear, I need to turn around and run as fast as my chubby little legs will go.
I somehow keep walking and walk straight to this monstrous treadmill with all these gadgets. I make myself look like I know what I am doing. We do have one at home just not as fancy. I can do this. I step on, only my foot wasn’t quite on the side like it is meant to be. I found that out when I clicked the start button and did a quick arm flying dance. I recover like I meant to do that. Oh, please nobody be looking and smirking at me. I could feel my face turn several shades of red. Phew, everyone is going about their own business like pros. They are probably laughing in their heads saying “newbie”.
As I am walking I look around the room and see several different machines. Oh, yes, a cycle, a hip thingy, a stair stepper, and I have no idea what that thing over there is. I will avoid that at all costs. It looks complicated and a red flag saying, you think you did a dance on the treadmill, you will be become an acrobat on that. Not only no, heck no.
I have the treadmill set for half an hour, yes, I am that out of shape. I keep switching from the calories burned to the time left. The bright reading says you have burned fifty calories. What!
I tap on it, thinking that it will make a difference. No difference. Technology, what does it know. I keep walking. Another ten minutes and I can feel my legs begin to burn. Oh, that is a good burn. Again another ten minutes. Am I done yet? Sweat is beginning to drip. I begin to breathe heavy. I feel like time is dragging by. I want to be done. Sweat is really rolling down my face. I look at the time, two whole long minutes left. Finally, I see it scroll, you are finished. Yay! And then pops up, cool down mode. What!
Did I return the next day? Yes and the day after and the day after. Did I try any other machine? I did try the hip machine. I looked pretty stupid having my knees on the pad part the wrong way and realized it wasn’t doing any good. I scan the instructions and find out turn them around. Oh, that is a good burn. Have I tried any other machines?
No, I think I will master these two first. Baby steps. Needless to say, don’t step on the scale, wait a few weeks. It was depressing, until I told myself you are adding muscle. Now, I walk in like I own the place. I have even mastered the hip thingy. Awesome feeling.