Gym Jitters

By Anna Smith

My body and spirit were failing. “What can I do? Where can I go?” I wondered. Getting enough sleep and eating properly just weren’t cutting it.” I needed help.

Then one day I saw it. The Sign. For a fitness club. No way, too intimidating. A marathon runner or bodybuilder is the last category I would ever fall under. I told myself I would come back another day.

While out driving several weeks later, I rounded that same corner. The Sign spoke to me again, this time loud enough for me to listen. I felt my hands steer my car into the parking lot and my feet walk me toward the door.

As the snappy music of the gym poured into my ears, my head flooded with doubt. “Good Grief! What am I doing here?” I asked myself. “I can’t even stand up for a long time I’m so weak!”

Then, the most amazing couple greeted me, instantly easing my nerves. As they gave me a tour of the facility, I began to feel a tad more comfortable, but still weighted down with uncertainty. All the shiny machines just seemed too challenging … but I had to do something to make myself feel better and lose weight.

Doctors tell me I have arthritis, fibromylagia, and osteoporosis. I wanted desperately to feel better, so I took a deep breath and agreed to go through orientation. They offered me a low-impact, easy workout program that wouldn’t overwhelm me if I exercised three times a week.

Battling all my doubts and overcoming that first hurdle of actually beginning my workout routine was, needless to say, hard. Now, many weeks later I have a new mind and spirit. I feel better than ever and more energized with increased flexibility. Many times throughout orientation and instruction, I wanted to say, “This is not for me.” But I’m glad I stuck with it. Working out at a gym opened the door to a miracle. I tried something new for the first time. I am 71.