The Gym!


So Christmas, is over now and it is back to reality this week, back in Ireland, back to work and back on track. This week, I made a big scary step in going to a gym and getting a personal trainer. It is something I have been saying for the past 6 months that I would do but never garnered the courage to actually do it. The friendly receptionist gave me a little tour of the place, showing the different areas in the main building of the gym. I was actually quite excited about it that I even arranged for the first session to be the following day. I was super eager, that was until I got home. Then the excitement ended and the fear began. Oh such fear! Had I bitten off more than I could chew? I mean my fitness level is zero. 1 personal training session, 2 fitness classes a week. As well as going for runs. I’m not gonna be able to do that. Surely! I didn’t get much sleep worrying about what tomorrow would bring. I couldn’t even eat my breakfast I was that nervous. I forced a banana into me and then I donned my gear, left to go for gym. I then left two more times as I forgot my gym bag and then my keys. I forgot my water bottle too, but I was half way to Cork city at that stage. So I was going to have to do without.


I went in and I was met by the same girl who had gone through the registration with me the evening previous. She brought into the changing rooms and showed me the exercise bike and told me to do a small warm while I waited for my trainer. I put my stuff in the locker went to the bathroom for the sixth time in an hour. Then I went out and got on the bike and started. It was seated bike rather than a standard bike and I was not a fan of it. It felt very awkward and unusual. But I didn’t want to look silly moving from one bike to another. I felt very self-conscious of myself. All the women in the gym (it’s a women only gym btw) were all very fit looking, not like me at all. I was suddenly very aware of how awkward and chubby I was. Then I heard one of the male trainers talking to some that I could not see “come girls, let’s get started”. From the tone and conversation, this obviously wasn’t their first time here. And then they came into sight. These girls were like me. And with that I didn’t feel out of place anymore. Once my trainer, Denise came over and we starting working through the workout, I so focused on what I was doing and the chats with her. I was barely aware of anyone else.


In the after haze, I cannot quite remember exactly what we did. There was at least 8 different routine each done in pairs repeated twice in reps of 10 to 15. My trainer was very good. She was very good at pushing me past my comfort zone but also knowing when to give me a rest, to switch it up to a different part of my body. The last two exercises were very tough and I know damn well that if I didn’t have her coaching me, I wouldn’t have done them. I wanted to give up. My shoulders were burning. Each rep I did took slower and slower and the rest between each grew longer. But I did them, all of them. It was a huge achievement and I was so so proud of myself.


I then had a brief program instruction for when I am in the gym but not with my trainer. He went through all the equipment, got me to try out each one and drew up a exercise plan for me. Then it was on to the nutritionist and my first weigh in. The scales weighed me a lot less than those at home (Whoop! Good start!) The nutritionist then gave me a diet plan suited for my PCOS and under active thyroid. When I eat food, my blood sugars spike unnecessarily and that what causes all the trouble (or so I understand, I could be completely messing it up). So the diet plan is aimed at trying to maintain a steady level by eating certain food at certain times of the day. That means nothing sugary! Which if you know me or any of the Nolan family, you would be well aware of our infamous sweet tooth.


That evening and the following day I was so sore and stiff. I went to meet up with my friend for a walk as my trainer had advised me to keep active and go do something little to stop the muscles seizing up. She did warn me the first 10 mins would be torture but to push through and it would be fine. We went for a 4 km walk, which was more like a crawl. It felt like the longest 4km of my life! Everything hurt, my knees most of all. I managed to try a do a bit of a jog but I barely did 200 metres. My friend Monika was hurting too from doing a hike the day before. So we were sisters in pain. And the chats made it worthwhile.


It will get easier, won’t it?



Weight: 13 St 0.7 lbs

Max Distance ran: 0.20km

Overall feeling: Sore, oh so sore. But feeling focus and determined. Hardly got in any running but did take a big leap with the going to gym.