Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The First Step To Start A New Journey

After years of thinking and talking about it, I finally signed up for a gym membership this past week. I’ve always put it off before both because of financial constraints and my own hesitance to work out in public. After my good year last year in terms of being able to actually lose weight at the end of the year instead of gaining weight like I usually do, I have to say that I feel motivated to lose even more weight and tone up my flabby physique hence my rationalization on why I need to start going to the gym now. I also can afford shedding more weight health-wise if I wanted to get my high blood pressure under control. As it is now, it is a surprise that I’m still able to function normally without having my head pop in a spray of blood every time I get stressed. I’m hoping that these benefits would be sufficient to push me to overcome my extreme reluctance of working out in public.

I actually did some weight training using free weights back when I was in college. It was quite fun in the beginning since I made new friends who shared the same interests of staying in shape. It didn’t hurt either that I was continuously surrounded with wall to wall eye candy/fantasy material to get me motivated to work harder to measure up. Unfortunately for me, I got too easily discouraged by the lack of progress I made compared to the other people that I trained with. After slacking too often on my training program, it felt easier to just drop it rather than pushing myself to reach the unrealistic goals that I set for myself. Add to the fact that I was inflicting more hurt than good by using the wrong techniques when training with free weights, it was just a matter of time before I felt that it was not turning out to be all that I hoped for. To this day, I still regret giving up so easily back then when I could have easily stuck with it and try to learn the right way of doing it. Things could have turned out differently had I felt more secure with how my body looked if I had just continued on then.

When I first started working at my current office, I also made use of the free gym facilities that they offer to the staff. At first it was all good since there were a bunch of us who would always make it a point to work out together after work. As time passed, one by one of my gym buddies started to skip our session till in the end it was just myself who continued on with the regular workout session. It was at that point when I started feeling self conscious about working out in public again. It also didn’t help that the gym equipment always had a long queue of people wanting to use it and that they only opened from 5 to 8 pm during the weekdays. Although the company did provide a person to man the gym during operating hours, that person’s responsibility was more to maintain the gym equipment rather than helping out on showing people how to use the equipment correctly. In the end, I was back to square one by working out blindly and disappointed at my lack of progress. The last straw that broke the deal was when they would only allow normal employees to use the gym at only particular days because they set aside the other days for closed gym sessions for management staff. Although that policy has been changed, I have not been back to the office gym since then.

I hope that I would have a totally different experience with this new gym that I’m joining. For one, I have to pay a monthly fee to use the gym so I know that I would be putting in more effort to make sure that I get my money’s worth. Not only do I have to fork out the monthly fee out of my own pockets but I also signed up for a one year commitment to stick with the gym membership so I know I will have at least that long to fully utilize their facilities. To doubly make sure that I maximize what ever gains that I hope to achieve this time around, I’ve also decided to sign up to work with a personal trainer for the first 3 months. It will cost me a bomb to have it but based on my own personal experiences, I would need someone to teach me how to use the equipment properly and to continue to motivate me until I feel confident enough that I can continue on by myself.

It took me 2 visit of the gym pre sales membership booth before I decide to sign up. I also checked with some of my friends who I know are gym goers about the pros and cons of the gym facilities as well as the price that they offered for my monthly fees. It took some wrangling but I managed to get the initial gym joining fee waived and only have to pay RM 115 to use the gym facilities monthly. Since the gym doesn’t start operating at Sunway Pyramid till July, I don’t need to start paying the dues till then which will allow me to start paying off my personal trainer fees which should be fully paid off by the time I start using the gym. That would at least help in terms of not being too much of a financial burden at this point. I guess it is too early to see how much this change would impact me but what I do know is that I’m terribly excited about the whole thing.

It’s hard to explain why that I’m so excited about such a trivial matter. Probably it is because this move represents a change that I really wanted at this point in my life. I’m really hoping that this early birthday present for myself would pay back in dividends later.

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