I joined the gym about 6 months ago because I was out of shape, tired all the time and basically realistic about the fact that my twenties were filled with drinking heavily a few nights a week and eating burritos at 2am and that was no longer a sustainable lifestyle.  I’ve also got a pretty high stressed job that weighs heavily on me a lot of the time and I needed an outlet that was positive.

I played basketball all through high school and the first couple of years of college, so I knew that I could get into shape given the right circumstances.  Those circumstances mainly consist of someone telling me to do exercises at a frequency and intensity that I am currently not motivated enough to attempt on my own.  I don’t necessarily need someone to yell at me, but I do benefit from someone just telling me to do something in a way that leaves little room for me to come up with some lame ass excuse as to why I can’t do it.  Plus, I look at the trainers as coaches and in my experience arguing with your coach is pointless and just gets you into deeper shit.  So when Nat tells me to do something insane (fyi, Nat-wheelbarrows fucking suck),  I just go along with it and pretend that if I complain too much it’s going to be even worse.  The other circumstances would be convenience and cost.  I live super close to the gym.  I can wake up at 5:43 am and make it to a 6am class; and I did the math and in a lot of ways I can’t really afford to spend a lot of money on a gym every month, but I can justify it if I am using it regularly.

Since I joined in March I’ve been averaging about 4 visits a week.  Most of those are the 4 on 1 semi private sessions with a class or two thrown in.  I think the assessment days were a big push for me to get stronger.  Before I tried to max out on the squat, deadlift and bench I was severely underestimating how much weight I could lift.  When I understood what my 1 max rep was I was able to ramp up the strength training in classes to a point that I’ve seen a ton of progress in how much I can lift and as a result my overall fitness has improved.  I’ve lost a good amount of weight and gotten in infinitely better shape since I joined and started to be more conscientious about what I eat.  A lot of that realization came from conversations with Peter and Nat about the fact that what I eat is an important part of any plan to try and get into better shape (I haven’t done the Whole 30 solely because I want to be able to drink beer, but I think if I could get over that issue I’m sure it would be super beneficial).

Some of these conversations with the trainers have also just helped me focus.  I’ve been losing weight and gaining strength consistently for about 6 months, but I haven’t really had a goal or a focus to what I’ve been doing.  I’ve just kind of been working hard and eating right and taking the good things that have come out of those habits at face value.  Like a lot of things that I do when I’m living my day to day life I was just putting my head down and getting shit done and not thinking about the larger picture.

Last week, Nat asked me what my goal was, essentially why I am showing up 4 days a week and busting my ass and I realized I hadn’t really thought about it.  We talked through it for a while and nailed down some details and came up with a plan to keep me motivated and to keep me moving towards some short term goals.  I don’t think that “hey dude, I see you moving, but where are you actually trying to go?” conversations would happen at many other gyms and it’s been an unforeseen benefit for me here.

I’ve never really felt uncomfortable at other gyms, I didn’t seek out this particular gym because it would be more welcoming to me, more of a community or a social outlet.  I chose to join for the cost, the structure and for the convenience.  But even though I didn’t necessarily join for the reasons often advertised as the best things about the gym, I have found the community to be very welcoming and I think that the level of comfort that I feel there allows me to work as hard as I possibly can.  Sometimes I don’t want to answer an icebreaker question at 6am, but I get the point of why we do them and I want to have everyone feel comfortable more than I don’t want to answer whatever question one of the trainers is throwing at me before I’ve even been awake for 20 minutes.

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