Thursday, September 20, 2007

Confessions of a Gym Junkie

It has been a week since fasting month started and I have to say that I’m getting the hang of working out at the gym during the fasting month. It was not as daunting as I thought it would be even when I go through the same workout routine that I use before the fasting month. I did have to modify it a bit from the original routine but those modifications were more due to time constraints rather than me feeling more tired after the day of fasting. I have to be honest that it does get more challenging every time to get myself to go to the gym as the days go past this month. An acquaintance on mine commented that I’m going to find myself looking for excuses not to go as the weeks roll on this month but I’ve determined to prove him wrong. It’s not done out of spite but to take his comment as a personal motivation to challenge myself.

For the past 3 weeks, the gym has become somewhat of a therapeutic sanctuary for me to get away from the house. When I work out, I can focus myself on what I’m doing and how my body is reacting to the loads or routine I’m putting it through. I become more aware of my pain thresholds and when I can try to push beyond it. Not surprisingly, I find myself zoning out during the work and becoming oblivious to what’s happening around me. It’s strange but true that I find myself getting more mentally relaxed when I work out at the gym. There is no need to think about anything else other than meeting that goal of the distance that I have to cycle within the amount of time I’ve set or the numbers if sets or reps that I still have to do. Each time I finish a routine, I get that rush of personal accomplishment and the reaffirmation that I can do what I set my mind to.

I usually go for my gym workouts between 8:30 – 10:30 pm and the number of people at the gym during that time seems to be varied from day to day. There have been a few days that I get to work out at the gym with scarcely 20 other people around but other times the gym gets packed with people working out. The crowd at California Fitness Sunway generally seems to be both local and international students from the nearby colleges, some people my age who must live around the area and a few fitness fanatics with biceps the size of soccer balls. After going there for a few weeks, I’ve began to notice a few people who came to the gym as regularly as I do. I usually just give them a nod of acknowledgement if they happened to catch my eye but haven’t really talked to any of them yet other than the staff at the gym.

As for the G-factor, a blogger friend of mine called my gym “West Hollywood Fitness” but personally I have yet to really find how much of it warrants the moniker. There are quite a few regulars who are pleasing to the eyes to behold but I’m much too absorbed in my own workout to notice anything more than the cursory glance. And that was because on top of looking like they just stepped out of a fitness magazine photo shoot, some of the more eye pleasing regulars were really vocal with the grunts when they work out which makes them even harder not to notice. However, given my track record and the absolutely uselessness of my rainbow senses, I wouldn’t be surprised that I would not notice a thing until they come up and bite me in the behind. On second thought, even that may not do it since there is nothing back there to bite. It’s so flat that everything would just slide off like a Teflon pan.

After working out, I usually indulge myself in a 15 minutes sweat session in the dry sauna room. Having heard about the horror stories of what goes on in saunas in some other places, I was relieved that nothing of the sort goes on here (at least that I know of). It used to be that most often I would get the room just for myself but lately the sauna room does get a bit crowded when I go to use it. Not that I don’t mind other people using it but I could appreciate it more if some people would be considerate enough not to be too loud when they’re in it. Seriously, some people can just go on and on jabbering loudly to their friend in the heat without a care in the world for others who are trying to use the 15 minutes to relax and wind down.

Regardless, I’m still happy with the progress that I’ve made working out these past week especially those that are becoming more noticeable in the mirror. Call me narcissistic and shallow but part of the reason I signed up for gym membership to develop a better self image of myself. I’m tired of feeling inadequate and desponded about the way I look when I now have the means to change all that. A more positive self awareness seems to be a welcomed byproduct of the efforts that I’m putting in at my workout routine. I feel more relaxed and confident nowadays compared to before I started on this journey. I still have a ways to go to reach my goal but at this point I can safely say that I am happy with what I have achieved.

Knowing that I can achieve this will just spur me on to do more.

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