This summer has been super busy and unfortunately, the blog slipped down the priority list but we are back up and running now with a more realistic upload framework. Go us! We are going to try and get one blog up every two weeks from either myself or Rachel and then have a few guest bloggers every now and again.
In this short post, I want to chat about the gym. I have been a keen runner for over two years although with a hiatus from January 2016 for no reason beyond I got bored and busy. Anyways, by May and after my trips away I was beginning to feel self-conscious and uncomfortable in my own clothes so, I joined a gym. But, I didn’t just join any old gym either, I happened to join the only Hammer Strength Gym in Ireland and what I and the owners think is the best gym in Ireland. Initially, I didn’t really know what all the excitement was about being the only Hammer Strength Gym but I must confess I now get it. The equipment is out of this world. The staff are so friendly and helpful and not once have I felt intimidated or uncomfortable or as if I don’t belong there. Actually, I feel very much like I do belong there all because the staff have created a space that is welcoming. You can follow them on Facebook at The Gym Monastervein or on Instagram at thegymmonastervin. So, if you have a free afternoon-go! (Also, they don’t know I have written this, it really is my own humble opinion that everyone should try it out).
Anyways, I try and go every second day and I have different routines that suit my goals and were designed by one of the team members. I started at the end of May doing legs one day and arms another with abs and cardio both days and it usually took about 50 minutes. By the end of June, I was getting bored and finding the exercises were not pushing me hard enough so, I asked for them to be changed and boy, were they. I now do a mix of everything each day and it takes about 85 minutes to complete. Further, the steppers (stair master) was added in, which I have learned I hate but it does work so, I’ll fight through it.
I also do a TRX class once a week which initially terrified me. Firstly, I didn’t want to be the newbie who falls flat on her face and does the wrong exercise at the wrong time, so I brought my sister (I really do love her) and secondly, the idea of using ropes/bands to complete your exercises seemed like something from Cirque du Soleil. I thought, I’d never be able to do it especially as anyone who knows me, knows how accident prone I am so, this just seemed like a very bad idea. As I entered my first class all I could think about was sirens, screams and a bone no longer in its socket or smashed. Luckily, I am 6 weeks in and none of that has happened. (Yay, go me!)
Although, I have learned that my balance is not great, for the first few weeks I felt like Bambi on ice, my hands and arms would shake making the ropes shake making the whole exercise slightly precarious but as I grew stronger and began my new exercise plan I began to see significant changes. I’m still getting to know the exercises but I am not finding the class excruciatingly tough anymore, although it’s still tough -it’s an improvement I promise. For instance, after our first class, neither my sister nor I could walk for a week or sit down or really do anything that involved the use of any muscle, even typing hurt but as the weeks went on the pain lessened and we began to see huge improvements both strength wise and figure wise.
So, why I am talking about my exercise regime in so much detail? I suffer from anxiety, bad anxiety -it often cripples me, stops me from having a social life, from working, from even leaving my room and it has a number of causes mainly low confidence, low self-esteem and stress. However, since I started in the gym, I am learning to love myself (as corny as that sounds) and when I feel myself begin the spiral of anxiety I go to the gym and quite literally work it out of me. Further, I feel healthier and stronger than ever before. So, if you have had a bad day at work, or at home if you wrote an amazing essay but your supervisor or a reviewer tore it shreds and you feel like crying and giving up-go to the gym even for a half an hour. It really works. It gives you some me time but distracts you enough so you can’t think about whatever issues you have going on. I never thought I’d be a gym bunny but I feel like I am now. I miss it when I don’t go because I feel the negative thoughts I have about myself start to creep in, thoughts like I’m fat, not good enough, smart enough, whatever takes my brains fancy that day but the gym squashes them and keeps them at bay. I have never felt better and if this post encourages just one person to give it a try and it helps them then it has been worthwhile.