It’s very hard to say that you love the gym without sounding like a d*ck.
But when I say that I love the gym, I’m not talking about the concrete, metal filled environments or the egotistical men in the weights section (no’one really loves those). I’m talking about the way it makes me feel- how I’m more confident as a person, stronger in my body and more efficient with my time. And I love how it’s been the one thing I can turn to when I have felt truly fed-up with life, and the last possible thing I’ve felt like doing is putting on my gym gear or going for a run.
But from what I’ve learnt, those are the times when it is absolutely essential that you go.
Two, maybe three years ago, I’d never had an anxious thought in my life. Then moving out, university, and graduate life happened and I found myself in a period where unexplained, unjustified bouts of anxiety became a common, regular occurrence. To someone who has spent the majority of their life happy, unphaseable and so chilled out you could put me in your Pimms on a hot summers day, I found these feelings very hard to deal with. Exercise has had a huge part to play in helping me to deal with them in a positive, pro-active way.
And so now, three times a week, come rain or shine I will go. In the cold, in the rain, when I’m tired or at 6am I will go. And three times a week I plan on going for near enough the rest of my life.
Frailty permitting, of course.
Some might say why?
Well firstly, we only get one life. I don’t want to be one of these people who go through it short-selling themselves- wishing they was slimmer, more productive at work, earning a little more. All of these things are up to us, and us alone. That doesn’t mean to say that they’re easy, but they are achievable if you work hard enough for them.
I’m a firm believer that you can have anything you want in life if you work (and dress) for it.
It’s tired and it’s overused, but being the best possible version of myself inspires and motivates me on a daily basis, and being fit and healthy just happens to be a large part of that.
Not to mention, the mood lifting benefits of exercise are unparalleled. There’s always controversy when any healthcare professional speaks out about the importance of regular exercise for anxiety and depression sufferers, but it’s scientifically proven to improve your -mood- even if it’s just from bad to a little better.
And lastly, I don’t like the thought that if I were to be chased by a scary person, or a particularly large and ominous dog, that my cardiovascular fitness would let me down in my attempts to escape (best to end on a humerus note, hey).
So the next time you find yourself feeling down, whether that’s for the first time or the one hundredth time, reach for your trainers and don’t look back. I can promise you that no matter what, you won’t regret it.