Gyms scare me. The bigger they are, the scarier. I had been a member of several smaller gyms in the past, but never really used my membership to the fullest. But I knew that I needed to take it to the next level. In the fall of 2009, I was a year into Celebrate Recovery and finishing up my 12 steps – I was on cloud nine feeling so much better about life and dealing with my fears. So I decided to face this fear of the gym. I chose the biggest, scariest one that I could find and it just happened to be the closest one to my house. Life Time Fitness. It looked like a huge mall (not a fan of those either). I decided that I was going to go in and look around and probably not join – just facing my fear of the big, monster gym. I’d probably end up rejoining the ladies gym just down the road – it was much safer there. I told the sales guy that I wasn’t joining – I just wanted to see it. He gladly showed me around and eased a lot of my fears. It wasn’t so bad. It was clean, open and spacious, the staff was friendly, there was a ton of equipment to use … it wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be. As you might imagine, I ended up joining that night. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
This has been an emotional journey just as much as it has been physical. Since I didn’t really know how to start, I joined a class called TEAM Fitness – a group fitness class led by a personal trainer. I stayed in the class for over a year, getting the opportunity to work with 3 different personal trainers and meet a lot of like-minded people (those trying to become more healthy) along the way. The first trainer helped me break down some walls and fears that I had about working out and being in the gym. In one session where no other participants showed up for class, we got to work one-on-one and she helped me to relax and laugh at myself. I didn’t have to be perfect, I just needed to do what I could and it was ok to mess up – just have to keep trying and it helps to laugh. It was a small thing but a big break-through for me. The second trainer is just crazy! She kept the class interesting by doing new things all the time – we were all over that gym. She taught me to change things up and keep it interesting. I’m not so afraid to branch out and try new things at the gym now. The third trainer has been a huge encourager for me. I lost another 20 lbs within the first 3 or 4 months of joining LTF. But then I hit the dreaded plateau. By the time this third trainer took over the class, I was deep into the plateau and quite discouraged. I was working hard but not seeing any results. She has helped me to refocus and get a plan together to get over this hump. I’m working one-on-one with her now as well as a weight loss coach and we have a plan and I have hope.
Since joining the gym, I’ve also learned that I love cycling! I started out by taking cycle classes and eventually started riding with the outdoor cycle club. It has been so much fun for me!
LTF is a place where I have developed a good support team. I have met many great people along the way, have had many different workout partners, and learned a lot from different trainers and instructors.