I’ve been to the gym three times this week. That’s what the Doc said to do. Go three times. I did. (Four times starts in three weeks’ time).
It has got to be said. I’m not a fan of gyms. I’ve been a member of various gyms in my lifetime but have never enjoyed going to the gym. I used to enjoy classes, I’ll admit that. I am a fan of spin classes particularly and when my fitness improves will venture back into these. Of course, I do love a good yoga class too. But everything else about gyms I have not been a fan of.
But this week has surprised me. OK, not completely surprised me. The incompetence and lack of organisation by staff members has not changed in 20 years. I joined, they lost my number so couldn’t arrange my first appointment. I phoned. They didn’t call back. I phoned. They didn’t call back again. I went in, made an appointment. I had the appointment. They have now lost the program they wrote for me (if they actually wrote it, they are not sure if they did). Not a good start. Gyms create their own stereotype for those muscled up people behind the desk.
At least though, I do remember the program that they wrote for week 1 and I’ve now completed it. What I can say about this venture into the gym is that it is different from before.
Previously, I’ve joined gyms to look good in a dress, to look good on my wedding day, to look good on an overseas trip, to look good in a bikini. Not this time. This time I’ve joined a gym because the Doc said if I don’t I could:
- have a stroke
- have a heart attack
- be bedridden for the rest of my life
- live a life of extreme pain
- have no quality of life.
It changes the stakes, doesn’t it?
What I will say about the trips to the gym this week is that the people behind the desk actually are aware of my circumstances and are full of positivity. They have something to prove, that what they do can change my life. They are now part of my “team”. My team that is a growing number of specialists, GP, exercise physiologist, chiropractor, yoga instructor and now gym trainers. They are part of the team to change my life without doing anything too drastically so that I don’t speed up the process of the cardio-vascular disease or the fibromyalgia. They understand when the doc says the routines must be set before winter and the cold sets in. They are on board. They will provide a warm training place when winter sets in and the cold increases the pain.
Today at the gym it was better. It had purpose. A purpose that wasn’t about fitting into a dress. The purpose is living today because I don’t know how many “days” of full life I have left. The doctor said on Thursday that the fibromyalgia will speed up once menopause starts and I have to beat it now to control it then. He said I need to take control now because FM goes in hand with other auto-immune diseases and the blood tests show others are on their way. I need to stop them at the pass. I need to stop them now. The hypertension could see me dead in 5 years if I don’t change my life now. The fibro could have me bedridden in 5 years if I don’t change things now. The other possibilities are not even worth considering right now.
So I’m living for today. I didn’t want to get up today. It hurt. It hurt like hell. And I’m so tired. How can I wake exhausted after 12 hours in bed? I’m so tired all the time. But I chose today so I got up. It was hard, it hurt and it was slow. But I got myself into the car and I drove to the gym. I did the cardio. I did the weights. I did the stretching. The end result? I got up off the floor with an ache from exercise, the fibro pain had subsided. I’ll take it for as long as it lasts. I’m determined to make it be this good for as many years as I can. I choose today.
I like gyms now because they have a purpose. I’m living for today. I’m not putting off anything until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.
Now I’m off to read a whole heap of books on anti-inflammatory food.
My new normal might just be good.