Friday, March 24, 2017
The gym. The dreadful gym.
This week, I registered for the third time in 8 years. The first time was in 2009. I lasted about 6 months and then gave up, even if I was doing good progress. Then, in 2012, I re-registered. But that only lasted about 3 months. I then decided that I hated machines and sweaty people. So I carried on being almost totally inactive physically, except for basic daily activities: walking to my car for work, shopping, and home activities. Meanwhile, my husband, who loves the gym, kept on getting fitter and fitter.
We love travelling. Every chance we get, we spend our vacations abroad or even travelling with our tent-trailer in Canada or the States. And those trips are the only time of the year I walk a lot. We do the trails in national parks or walk through cities that are new to us.
Last summer, we were in a beautiful hilly national park. We took a trail that was much harder than the ones I did before. While climbing a stone, I heard a snap in my knee, and fell to the ground. I had torn the internal meniscus in my knee while forcing to get onto that stone. My heavy weight, my weak muscles and tendons did not protect my knee. The fall also broke my ankle and my elbow. I had to be carried down the hill on a stretcher held on by two teams of 8 people switching every few minutes, because of my weight.
I was immobilised for a while and became dependent on my family for daily activities. That is when the realisation of my situation really hit me. My body was no more capable of sustaining the activities that I love and that I want to do when I retire in 3 years. As I regained slowly my autonomy and my mobility through physiotherapy, something happened to my mind set. I realised that my body was a gift given to me to fulfil my dreams but that I was responsible for taking care of it.
That is when I joined SparkPeople and started walking and swimming. But I could feel that I needed more, like strength exercises to improve my general well being.
So for a third time, I joined the gym, that was not the dreaded gym anymore, because my vision of the sweaty people was one of admiration, and my view of the machines was one or partnership to improve myself.
It's all a matter of perception, isn't it!
Long live the gym!