This morning has already been one of those. You know, the days when it seems like everything goes wrong before you even leave the house? Mine began with stubbing my little toe getting out of bed - think about that. Getting. Out. Of. Bed. Come OOOONNNNN. Then having to hold in the agonising, searing pain (yes, I'm a wuss) for fear of waking the other half. Limping to the bathroom and then releasing a litany of swear words which would make Roy Chubby Brown blush!
As if that wasn’t enough, I then stumbled out of the bathroom only to then fall down the stairs! OK, well that might be a little dramatic… the last 3 steps. But STILL!!! The morning routine was then fully in swing. Coffees, breakfast for the family and transferring packed lunches in to bags. Oh the routine! Both leaving for work, kisses, well wishes and off we go.
The journey to my work on a this particular day is about 15 minutes through lovely villages and along country roads. It's gorgeous and I feel very blessed to have such a delightful commute. Well, normally. But today I'm sharing the road with IDIOTS. On this day, no less than SIX drivers nearly ran me off the road - 2 of which were on their damn phones. I mean, really?!?!?! I start to think, 'so, Tuesday - fuck you!'
I reach work which for me, today, is a small, private gym. It's an awesome facility with an awesome community of members and I love being part of it. I particularly like the mornings where I'm coaching one of my lovely team, only to look around and see that the gym is predominately filled with other women. All working hard, smiling, laughing and enjoying being there. It always fills my heart with joy. That might sound a little weird, but let me explain.
I used to be absolutely terrified of the gym, all those people wandering around in lycra so tight I could see what they'd had for lunch! 'Gym bunnies' trotting about with perfect tans, bouncy boobs and a full face of make up. People grunting and high fiving over a barbell as they slam it down on the floor. Oh how I longed to be part of their club. Me in my baggy top and trackies, my four boob sports bra (you know what I'm talking about!!) hair scraped back in to a messy pony, little towel to mop up my sweat and of course the butterflies in my stomach. They rarely left me! I HATED it.
So how did I go from that place to where I am now? Good question. It took time and there isn't just one thing. It's a combination for me. I guess the first was actually having a clear sense of what I wanted to achieve out of my gym membership. Sounds simple right? But let me ask you, how many of you reading this have had or currently have a gym membership which disappears out of your bank account every month and yet the receptionist at the gym wouldn't recognise you if you stepped through the doors? Yep, thought so. Me too - for about 10 years!!!! That's one hell of a savings plan.
I always ask my team this - what do you most want out of working with me. I really want them to think about that as it will serve as a great reminder on the days which are a struggle. That clarity of goal keeps you accountable and focused. Two things I had been previously lacking. So how did I figure this out? With the guidance from my personal trainer! I knew I couldn't do it on my own, see past 10 years for evidence. So I invested in a coach. Expensive, but hey - I'd been burning through gym memberships for 10 years - this investment will actually generate return! And to be really honest, I would have paid twice the amount if I'd known just how life changing that decision would be.
My coach then handed me my programme which I was to follow strictly on the days I wasn't having one to one. Woah, hold up - wait a minute… lifting weights???? You have given me the wrong programme! I can't do that! I'm not that strong, and I don't want to look like Arnie! I can't possibly venture into the free weights area of the gym. I mean, that's where the gym bunnies and peck vest crew hang out! Me and my four boobs wouldn't be welcome! He merely smiled and said - trust me. Just that. Oh, OK then - I'll just trust you and it'll be all fine! I won't feel the need to pee my pants at the first sight of a perky butt in lycra…. Sickeningly, he was bloody right.
Over the next few weeks we worked together in a few one to one sessions to teach me the basics of lifting weights - dumb bells and resistance machines first - but it felt fucking INCREDIBLE. Once I'd gained confidence in the movement and my programme, I went solo and started training myself a few times a week with a twice weekly session with my coach. I went early, like 6am when the gym was at it's quietest to build my confidence and keep my four boobs to myself. Lying on my back produced six boob back then so…. Before I knew it, it was a pattern. Alarm, shake, gym, shower, food, work, repeat.
I started looking forward to getting to the gym and setting up my bench. I even started chatting to some of the other folk training early, sharing smug looks that our work outs were done by 7am. Waving good bye and shouting, see ya tomorrow while shaking that morning's post work out shake. Who was I!!? What was I becoming?
Then came the pivotal moment. I hadn't weighed myself since I started with my coach. In fact, only he was allowed to weigh me - I'd thrown my scales out! Instead, I'd taken a photo in my underwear and then not looked at it again until today. That was 12 weeks ago!!! I arrived home from a weekend workout and decided today was the day! Pulled out the underwear, put it on and then stood with my back towards the mirror. It took me a whole 20 minutes to turn the fuck around!!! I was terrified. What if the same Kerrie was looking back at me. What if all those hours sweating and grunting (yes, I grunt!) in the gym amounted to nothing. What if nothing has changed. Ah fuck it. Oh. My. God.
I turned my back to the mirror again, hands over mouth, a little excited whimper emanating from my throat. That can't be me… Around I go again. Except it is me. A leaner, more toned, less flabby, non four boobed me. HOLY SHIT!!!! I looked incredible. Yes, I'm saying that about myself because I fucking earned it! WOOOOOOOO! I immediately text my coach, to which he simply said, 'Yep, but keep going - those weights won't lift themselves'. Master of the understatement, but I know he was proud because he only made me do 10 burpees the next day rather than the normal 25!
I trotted in to the gym the next day with a smile on my face, greeting the familiar faces and being waved hello to back. I had purpose, I had conviction, I had familiarity, I had confidence, I had a goal. I felt comfortable there. Wait, what? I felt comfortable in the gym?! In the free weight area of the gym?! In the gym bunny, peck vest area of the gym?!?! Except they weren't scary lycra clad bunnies any more, they were friendly men and women working to their own goals and working through their own issues and supporting me and each other in each of them. Hey, need a spot? Hey, nice lift! Hey, you look amazing! Keep it up, nicely done. It wasn't judgemental, it was a genuinely positive place. In the main. Every gym has douche bag dickheads - male and female. Please ignore them, they're caught up in their own self importance and reflection! I discovered that the fear I had created was in my own head.
It didn't stop there for me though; my confidence soared, I went clothes shopping - previously having shopped online. I started dating again. I was entirely more sociable. I had more energy. My skin was bright and blemish free to the point I was happy to leave the house without makeup whereas previously I feared having rotten vegetables thrown at me! I felt empowered. I felt strong. I felt vibrant. I felt worthy.
There is something quite special about gripping a cold, steel bar and pulling it off the floor. The sense of power it gives you. The sense of strength. The sense of 'I can DO this'. That and what it does to your body. Running will absolutely make you smaller. Lifting weights will sculpt you, keep you lean and toned.
My depression and anxiety was in check. I was having far more good days than bad. I was happy. Truly happy.
So, how's about that gym membership then? Shall we make today the day we put that to good use? Go on, I promise you that you will NOT regret it. I'm right there with you. You have GOT this. Let's go lift up some heavy shit together.
For more about working with Kerrie and the services available from Limitless, please get in touch.