“Why do you come/go to the gym?” has been a question I’ve been hearing for most of my gym life. I’m petite, or for want of a more popular word, slim or ‘fine’ as we say in Guyana; and I weigh about 124 lbs (figure I saw last time I jumped on a scale), so people seem to have a hard time understanding my presence in the gym.
To be quite honest, I love the gym! I have been hooked on workouts for as long as I could remember – flashback to those Denise Austin morning workouts, when you cleared the living room, got dressed and surrendered yourself to sweating with the celebrity fitness guru. From then till now, I have feed my penchant for exercising. I like going to the gym – I’ve been a member of five local ones; whenever I travel I pack my gym gears because I definitely try as best as possible to set aside time to work out. Could I also have a fondness for gyms? I’ve gone to so many – in Guyana and around the world.
I know and have deciphered my reasons for going to the gym but quite a few persons seem to believe that gyms and working out/exercising only serve one purpose. To be very truthful, I myself am guilty, at times, for looking at people smaller than myself and wondering, “But why are you here”? We must understand that people join the gym for a variety of reasons. Weight loss is really not the only reason, though it might very well be the #1 reason.
My reasons are very straightforward; you can catch me sweating it out in the gym because:
- Exercising by its very nature is therapeutic. I revel in pushing myself and sweating it all out. After a rough day, the gym is a sweet release and a sure mode of reducing stress and anxiety. Needing a distraction? The gym is your friend. Unbelievably, the gym provides for an exceptional dose of solitude. Even though I have a gym partner and my class is filled with persons, I still feel like I am alone – in my pursuits, in my quest to conquer this exercise, to make it to 15 reps, whatever it is. I delight in these few seconds where I forget about the world and focus on my breathing, my mind is cleared of all negative or unhappy thoughts. I am thoroughly focused on my gains. I am completely free of anything social and I am just in my element. The experience is completely fulfilling – I am alone and at peace.
- Importantly, it’s healthy. Lots of research and articles exist detailing the health benefits of exercising. From combating disease to improving your mood to boosting your energy (I elaborate in my last reason) to improving your sex life to so much more. There is much physical and mental goodness to be had from spending a few minutes exercising. For me I also like the fact that I get to work on my strength and endurance, and I get to stay fit!
- I want sculpted arms and abs and lean and toned legs – like Janet Jackson (insert photo of her in a crop top) and Kelly Rowland (cue photo of her in something armless). I have been fan-girling them for as long as I can remember. I am working on my body for me. I’m not party to the “society says we should look this way” gang but I do believe that we should have our own expectations for our body, and we should work on those as best as we can. Do it for you (not for the gram)! Maybe it’s not going to the gym, maybe it’s eating healthier, or walking in the park or saying goodbye to meat, whatever it is, make sure it’s what YOU want and you’re comfortable with.
- I love to eat … a number of things that are usually considered unhealthy and can contribute to excess fat in areas we would rather not have excess fat. So I exercise and from time to time would eat whatever my heart desires, to ensure I am completely satisfied and I don’t cheat myself out of having a good body and meal. Please note that I wouldn’t eat a box of chicken every day then think that I should work-out every day to cancel the calories, that’s not how my system works.
- After working out I am completely energized and ready to conquer the world, or go home to my computer and get consumed in starting or completing one of the many tasks on my to-do list. For someone as full of activities as I am, I really need the energy if I’m to be productive and as creative as the task requires me to be.
Notice that none of my reasons have anything to do with losing a single pound, in spite of that, sometimes I might lose a single pound and that’s okay. I love to see the changes in my body – My stomach looks well, my arms are toned, my butt is round and firm. I feel great. I look great. My mood is improved and I am energized, my creativity and productivity are amplified. All thanks to exercising and keeping fit.
Long story short, when you see me in the gym, I’m really just preserving my sanity and building my dream body.
Why do you go to the gym?
Source featured photo: B E Fitness Tower Gym