Gymophobia in the New Year

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Gymophobia in the New Year

Thumbnail image from Pixabay

By Susan Goldfein 

It’s a new year and I should resolve to do more exercise. But I have become a gym-o-phobe.  Even the prospect of donning a sports bra can wreck my entire day.   

This attitude represents a serious change from my former self. There was a time that physical fitness was an integral part of my schedule. Three times a week I was the cardio fitness queen, pounding away on the treadmill and StairMaster. With the fierceness of a warrior, I fought against flab, torturing my individual body parts on machinery that might have been designed by Torquemada for the Spanish Inquisition. But now, I believe I’m suffering from an acute case of exercise burn-out. 

Heeding the suggestions of well-meaning, more motivated friends, I have tried the following strategies.

How to get to the gym

Scare Tactics. My current behavior is hazardous to my health. I’m at risk for osteoporosis, and cruelty to my cardio-vascular system. I’m depriving my brain of the super-oxygenating results of the elliptical machine. Fear of weight gain should be enough to get me moving. And it was – until I learned how long I had to spend working up a sweat to counteract one Oreo cookie. Best to forego the Oreo cookie. 

Personal Trainer. If I had an appointment twice a week, I wouldn’t be able to wriggle out of my commitment. This sounded foolproof, so I hired a trainer. Every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am this lovely, physically fit young woman came to my house. It was good for a while. By the third week, I no longer hated the gym. I hated the trainer. 

Vary the Routine. Relieve the boredom factor; don’t keep doing the same old thing. So, I checked the schedule of classes. Yogalates? Sounds like a Starbucks special. Kick Boxing? Too aggressive. Zumba? That had potential. I show up to class and as soon as the Latin beat began, I got the feeling that everyone but me had been doing this for their entire lives. Luckily, the loud music drowned out the sound of the door closing after me as I quietly slipped away. 

Zumba: not for the uncoordinated. Image from Pixabay

And so, the struggle rages. But 2021 could be the year that good judgement prevails and I will dust off my sneakers and at least go for long walks.    

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