Gym Confessions of a Couch Potato

Confession of a Couch Potato

Thumbnail image from Pixabay

By Susan Goldfein 

I’m all for self-improvement, as long as it doesn’t involve exercise. I’ve become a gym-o-phobe.  The mere thought of a sports bra and sneakers can ruin the most perfect day. But perhaps “-phobe” isn’t an accurate suffix to explain my condition. I don’t fear the gym; I out-and-out hate it! 

This attitude represents a transformation from my former self who was once dedicated to treadmills and StairMasters. Perhaps I took too many steps and am suffering from a case of burn-out.  And, although I have succumbed, I’m unable to make peace with my slothfulness.  So, heeding the suggestion of motivated friends, I have called into play the following strategies: 

Gym-Time Motivation Strategies

Scare Tactics: Laziness is hazardous to my health. I’m susceptible to osteoporosis, and am being very unkind to my cardiovascular system. I’m depriving my brain of the super-oxygenating results of the elliptical machine, not to mention the danger of weight gain. But when I learned how much bouncing was needed to work off an Oreo cookie, I simply decided to forego the cookie. 

The gym can be scary... Image from Pixabay
The gym can be scary… Image from Pixabay

Bribery: If I go to the gym, I should reward myself. Now this was an appealing idea that actually got me into workout attire. But I got sidetracked looking for potential gifts, and before long it was time to go straight home because the dog was starving! 

Personal Trainer: If I hired a personal trainer, I couldn’t wriggle out of my commitment. So, I hired a trainer who came twice a week.  She was a lovely, fit young woman, a perfect role model.  By the third week, I experienced a noticeable shift in my attitude.  I no longer hated the gym; I hated the trainer. 

Vary the Routine: Doing the same thing gets boring. Take various classes. I looked at the schedule. “Yogalates”? Sounds like a drink at Starbucks. Kick boxing? Too aggressive. “Zumba”? That sounded goofy enough to be fun. I attended a class and as soon as the Latin music started, I got the feeling that everyone but me had been doing this for their entire lives, while I was tripping over my feet trying to keep up. Luckily, the loud music drowned out the sound of the door closing after me as I quietly slipped away. 

Susan’s newest book, “How to Complain When There’s Nothing to Complain About,” is available at and other online book sellers. Read her blog at  Email Susan at 


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