In which my cat makes me go to the gym

I did something yesterday that I’ve been working up to since August last year. I called a local free weights gym to see if they could give me advice, check my form, and generally just introduce me to the gym environment so that I can progress with my lifting (which has unfortunately plateaued again).

My oldest cat Hex — my first ‘baby’, long before I knew I decided I wanted actual babies — passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, leaving me feeling bereft. I’ve been up and down a lot lately struggling with work and life throwing lemons at me, but this was the final nail in the coffin that pushed me to rock bottom. I did nothing but cry and watch Harry Potter (my favourite ‘self pity’ TV) for about 3 days, before finally giving myself a massive kick up the butt.

This has to be a catalyst for change. I can’t go on full of woe, achieving nothing. I realised (not for the first time) that I have to start making the changes I promised myself last year when I went back to working for myself. I KNOW I need to get out of the house and do something that doesn’t include staring at a screen all day. If I don’t, I’m only letting myself down.

And so… like I said, I rang the gym. And the guy invited me down for an intro session, which I went to this morning. We went over my standard lifts: the squats, deadlifts and overhead press which I do at home. Then he introduced me to lat pulldowns, and other back/shoulder exercises to help me reach my goal of doing a pull-up. I was thrilled to discover that my squat was immediately stronger when not having to overhead press the bar first! I was complimented on my depth, too. ;)

It wasn’t a sausage-fest den of huge dudes groaning over their dumbbell curls, although apparently it’s generally quiet first thing. And, even better, I didn’t feel hugely out of place or self-concious like I thought I would.

It’s not that working out at home isn’t doing the job any more; I still use youtube for perfecting lift form, NerdFitness and the Stronglifts 5×5 for workout inspiration, Maxinutrition has some great advice on how to build muscle (their pro-fat approach is right up my street, I eat everything spread with butter or mayonnaise). Working out in my undies with my barbell (don’t do that at the gym) still kicks my ass, helps me maintain my weight and makes me feel like a badass superhero, but I’m limited by my lack of equipment and — especially recently — lack of space.

I don’t know if adding the gym to my already busy timetable is The Answer, but it sure as hell is a positive step forwards.

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14 comments so far

  1. Chantelle said:
    On April 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I’m so sorry about Hex. I remember you posting pictures of him when he was just a kitten. I hope life stops throwing lemons your way.

    Reply
  2. Helen said:
    On April 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    You ARE a badass superhero.

    I’m so sorry to read about Hex as well. Big hugs x

    Reply
  3. Raison717 said:
    On April 10, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Sorry about Hex *hug*
    Bloody well done about going to the gym. I hope it continues to give you both physical and emotional strength xx

    Reply
  4. Jenni said:
    On April 11, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I can’t imagine what it must have been like to lose Hex. I love what incredible strength you show in this post though <3

    Reply
  5. Mumblies said:
    On April 12, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Why not take up swimming? All pools offer lessons if you are still convinced you can’t swim and you get very reasonable rates if you go on a regular basis. Swimming not only keeps you fit and expands your lung capacity it is also brilliant for toning up muscles. :o)

    Reply
  6. Ken said:
    On May 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Go on you for getting out the door — I think I paid for 2-3 years of solid gym membership, I think I probably went about 2-3 times in that period!

    Reply

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