Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Confessions of the physically unfit....

First off, I think I should give a little bit of my physical fitness background. Unload some baggage if you will.

I have an October birthday and started kindergarten when I was four. Academically I never struggled, but when it came to physical fitness stuff, I never seemed to be on the same level as everyone else. In reality this was only normal since I was much younger than most everyone else.

Because of this I grew up with the misconception that I was not good at sports. I did play church basketball and volleyball, and once I went out for track in ninth grade, but that was as far as it went.

I am too old for the age of soccer and such, not to mention when you are the oldest of 8 children, well somethings just didn't happen. I don't blame you mom, it is just how it was, and never once as a child did I cry myself to sleep because I wasn't on a soccer team. I never knew to miss it. Let's just say that I suffered from the notion that I was not as coordinated and capable as others my age.

When I went to BYU, I participated in intramural sports, due to the encouragement of my DH. And wouldn't you know it, I was not half bad. By this time I think I had managed to catch up to everyone else. One of my favorite things was a women's flag football team that I played on. Aaah, good times. So then I thought of myself as not half bad at sports, much to my surprise.

Still I never went to a gym. I did take some aerobics classes, mostly for the joy of dancing. When you just get exercise in your daily life, that is what I like. While at BYU, I walked everywhere carrying a backpack full of 40 pounds of accounting books. That was my gym and honestly I have never been skinnier.

Then I graduated and joined the workforce as an accountant where you sit at a desk all day long. Add to that all the treats that seem to be around an office. It was a big change. I guess that Fitness for Life class at BYU went in one ear and right out the other.

And then I became a mother. Sleep deprivation doesn't seem to go well with physical fitness. Eventually you get to chase around after children and I suppose that has some fitness value. Still nothing regular in the way of exercising. There was the occasional aerobics class at the church and walks to get me by.

And then in 1996, I came down with the ridiculous disease called Guillam Barre syndrome. Basically it is where the mylan sheaths around your nerve ending melt away for some unknown reason. This leaves your muscles weakened and sometimes paralyzed. I was very fortunate in that I never got so bad that I couldn't walk, see, or even breathe. Which is the worst case scenario. But I did become very weak. I couldn't lift Trent out of bed, he was three at the time. I couldn't even open a bag of potato chips, I had to keep scissors in the kitchen at all times. So any minimal physical abilities I had before this happened went right down the drain.

And truthfully I have never been the same. I have a wackadoodle theory that it took 10 years off my life. I still consider myself a 90 pound weakling, masquerading in a much larger shell of a person. And so this is basically how I have come to be 43 years old and never been inside a gym in my life.

Oh wait, I take that back, there was the time I went to physical therapy after the car accident in 2002, when the drunk driver hit our van forcing it to roll over. Yep that physical therapy was at a gym. But somehow that doesn't seem to count in my memory.

When a month ago, my blood test showed my cholesterol going through the roof, and when I realized that I might die from all the stress of the past little while, well I decided that the time had come to take some drastic measures. And that my friends is what prompted me to join the gym.

I think that is has been almost three weeks since I joined the gym. The first week I only went once. I met with a trainer that first time, and she taught me how to use the weight machines. Then I never managed to get back there that week. Last week I went three times. And I have yet to go this week. One good thing is that Diana loves to go and play in the childcare area. She will probably be the one most responsible for getting me to go. This is good because I think I need a personal nagger to get me there.

That is not to say that I don't find it enjoyable once I am there. So far all I have done is go to the women's gym. What I want to know is why there have to be so many mirrors all over the place. It is really hard to keep the illusion that I am not bulging out all over, when I am faced with visual proof times twenty. Sheesh. Could they not let me alone in my own little world of fantasy? So once I recovered from the shock of what I actually look like, I managed to do a little weight lifting.

And after working out 3 times last week, I gained 5 pounds. Do you think it is the fact that muscle weighs more than fat? Or maybe it is the pan of mint brownies I ate this weekend. No it couldn't be that.

In the good news/bad news department, I found out last week that my cholesterol is not off the charts. In fact it is on the good side of the charts. So that is one less thing for me to lie awake stressing over. But it is also one less incentive to get to the gym. I need to focus on the fact that it is a great stress releaser, because it is. I do have to admit that.

So I must persevere in the face of all those mirrors and skinny, in shape people. I must not compare myself to others. Words of wisdom to live by, I am sure.

I would like to think that just thinking in my mind that I am a person who goes to the gym would be enough, you know "as a man thinketh so is he/her". But I have a feeling that this is one of those times that "faith without works is dead". Dang.


Allison Barnes said...

you are so funny!

i want you & Elisabeth to come to a spin class with me on friday at 9:15. It's a great workout! Bring a towel and water bottle, it's upstairs in the class room in the middle. Then on Monday at 10;30 i love to go to the body pump class.

See ya friday!!!

Becky said...

"Sleep deprivation doesn't seem to go well with physical fitness."

Does that mean if I just keep having kids and never get any sleep, I've got a valid excuse for never joining a gym?

Although, 14 kids would probably get me sent to the asylum, so maybe I'll just go to the gym. Hmmm... which one's cheaper?

Debbie said...

Hi Pat. I came over from Crash Test but it took a couple of days. I love your sense of humor. I may stalk you now.

Kris said...

I'm so glad about your cholesterol. I hope you will come to love your gym as much as I loved mine, when I was going.

I really need to get back into it.

Pat said...

Alison I don't think I make the spin class on Friday, because I am scheduled to take my boobs on a spin to the doctors office where they will be squished as thin as a pancake. Sorry. But if when I check my calander my appointment is at 10:30 instead of 10:00 then maybe I could make it. I'll let you know.

emily8helm said...

Conffession: I've had a gym membership for almost 2 years now and haven't been back since the first month or so. I think actually going to the gym is the hardest part. Once I'm there then some exercising occurs, hence why I don't like to go there! I do think they should have a gym without mirrors because who wants to see their fat self sweating! Although it does seem that mostly skinny people go to the gym so maybe they like admiring themselves? Nonetheless good luck on your fitness program...and yes I still have the gym membership.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

I ALWAYS wondered about the mirror thing too!!! Great minds, baby.

I never go because of the mirrors! (And because I live in Hawaii . . . so poinless, ya know).

I'm sorry about your GBS. ;( Bummer.

And yes, it's because muscles weighs more than fat. (and the brownie thing).

Pat said...

Becky, I feel so honored that you quoted me in your commment. THAT has never happened before.

Crash after your comment, I think there may be an untapped market for mirrorless gyms. Perhaps I should develop a busness plan and get right on that. I could call it Not through the Looking Glass" or something like that. Also I might consider making it an exclusive gym that won't accept skinny inshape people. Only the fat and out of shape wanted.

What do you think?

Eliza said...

I'm all for a gym with only fat out of shape people and no mirrors. What a great concept.