When I first started going to the gym, I did so because I wanted to strengthen myself for cycling. Then I wanted to strength train because I completely freaked out about getting older and realized the importance of weight-bearing activity. Later I continued my gym visits because I enjoyed the challenge to my body and muscles, the progression of my fitness, and the feeling of my body strengthening from my efforts.
However, going to the gym also introduced me to a new and unexpected community of people. Gym people. Because I initially possessed limited knowledge about how to strength train, I attended group classes. Nervously I asked someone about how to set up for class. People were really helpful and told me exactly what I needed. Hand weights, a mat, a bench, whatever.
Eventually, I got the hang of the whole class thing, and with renewed confidence I adopted a regular gym routine. I expanded from doing only strength classes to also going to cardio classes.
I started recognizing the other regular class attendees, and a few of us began having quick chats before and after class.
Our little social network grew from there. Our chats lasted longer. We got to know each other more. My gym friends and I now exchange emails and send each other notes about going to class. “Are you going? I am, and I hope to see you there!” It’s great encouragement.
We talk about the importance the gym has in our lives. How we don’t like to schedule evening activities until after we get our workouts in. It’s refreshing to talk with other people who understand how integral the gym is to the daily routine.
I’m so lucky to be part of this supportive community of women. I would still go to the gym on a regular basis, but the people I’ve met at the gym have been the impetus for me to show up on many days when the day has left me bleary and the lure of my couch is strong.
Gym friend: “You’ll feel better if you go. I’ll look for you!”
Me: “OK, I’m in. See you there!”
Thanks to all my gym friends for helping me stay dedicated to fitness. AND for making the gym such a great place to be. <3