Let me start by declaring, I was never a big fan of the gym. I never understood the importance of working out or why people had the desire to spend so much time sweating and creating muscle soreness. I was the annoyed person on the vacation when that “one friend” just HAD to find a gym and could not spend more than two days without needing to get in some cardio or pump some iron. You could find me rolling my eyes and thinking, “really, you can’t enjoy your vacation without thinking about the gym?”. To say the least, I did not get it.
Fast forward a couple of years to a ski hill in Wisconsin. Beautiful snow-capped ski slopes, the smell of fresh pine needles, and the need for speed in my soul. All sounds like a picture-perfect vacation, right? It was until I absent-mindedly traveled, at a high rate of speed, down a black diamond slope and realized I had two options, crash into a tree or into the snow. I chose the snow but unfortunately came off the slope with a grade III ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, grade II tear of the LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament), and severe damage to the articular cartilage. In one fell swoop, I went from being a high-energy woman to an injured, dependent, incapacitated patient that endured multiple knee surgeries and 18 months of physical therapy. I knew once I was excused from physical therapy, I desperately needed the gym; but I was completely lost when it came to machines, weights, and fitness goals.
Knowing that I was not the kind to settle for average strength and moderate use of my knee, I did the unthinkable…. I joined a gym. If you have ever been a newbie in a members-only gym or if you are just starting out on your fitness journey you understand the feeling of complete and utter confusion. Here are some quick tips that helped me go from trauma to triumph in the gym:
Tips to Go From Trauma to Triumph in the Gym
Do not Stress About All Things New
Although it might take a few months to get acclimated and adjusted to new routines, habits, and all that shiny equipment, once you are there you will be a healthier, stronger, and more energetic individual.
Schedule Your Workout Wisely
Getting into the habit of being in the gym can be a tricky obstacle to overcome, but you MUST put yourself first. No excuses! We all have a tendency to put other tasks before tending to our own needs, especially if you are a mom, but giving yourself that time each week will make you an even better caregiver than you were before.
Get to Know the Place
You will gradually learn about the difference between dumbbells and kettlebells, the right way to do a push-up and how to set specific and attainable goals for the results you want to see. Just give yourself plenty of time and grace to learn.
Ask for Help
Do not be embarrassed to ask a trainer or gym employee for assistance. They have been in your shoes before and enjoy helping others reach their fitness goals. Nobody expects you to be an expert just yet.
Do Not Give Up
No matter how hard it is, or how much you want to quit…. DON’T. Once you start seeing results and feeling more confident, you will not be able to imagine your life without the gym!
Remembering some of these tips when you are just starting out or trying to recover from an injury with fitness programs. It may take some time, but I promise, you WILL get there.
By: Kristy Houle, E’ville Fitness Member