Well, you'd think with a title like that, this post might have more to do with being mentally stable and the like. But no... (though now that I've thought about it, I'm sure there are some metaphorical parallels).
"Stability check!" are the words that tumble around in my head, like clothes in a dryer, while I'm in the gym.
Me. In a gym. Go figure.
I started going in June, thinking (rationalizing?) that if I could get into the habit of being active before I started school, perhaps I would continue to go once I got stressed out with papers and whatnot.
So far, so good.
I have realized that although I appear confident to the outside world in most facets of my life, get me into a situation where I have to get out of my head and into my body and it's like my confidence checks itself at the door and is replaced by a big knot of fear in my gut.
So, I spent the first month going into the fitness centre at the university, keeping my head down and doing my best to stay out of everyone's way, as I huffed and puffed through about 20 minutes on a stationary bike. I also hoped that if I started going in the summer, when there were fewer people around, I might be comfortable enough to keep going once it's packed with students in the fall.
After that first month or so, I had enough courage to try a few of the machines, after having watched people use them (though trying not to watch too obviously, of course...) and occasionally asked someone who worked there for some rather in-depth pointers.
Well, it's been about three months now and I'm still going three or four times a week, so at least for now, I'm in the habit.
I thought to myself, "If you're going to keep coming here, you should really learn how the hell all this stuff works..." So, I signed up for training.
Yes, me. Training.
Just one session... to learn a few things here and there... but still...
My trainer's name is Chris. He was one of the people who had shown me the odd machine here and there. And although I was hemming and hawing about possibly wanting a female trainer, ultimately I thought that this fella had been nice enough to me, never treating me like I was taking up too much oxygen in the gym, and has a relaxed way about him, so I scribbled his name down on my form, hoping that I wouldn't be turned away for being too unfit or something... This is a university fitness centre after all... there are real athletes there!
Next thing I know, I'm setting up an appointment.
What have I done? I ask myself, near panic.
So, I went in for my session. We spent a good deal of time working on posture, before moving on to actual exercises. Apparently, my posture stinks. (My words, not Chris's.)
His words were "Stability check!" Over and over again. After only one session, those words stick in my head, as I forcibly suck in my gut, pull my shoulders back and down and draw my head back into "garlic breath" position. Seriously, that's what he calls it...
I must say, this feels entirely UN-natural at the moment. I feel horribly, horribly conspicuous... even if it is more stable.
I'm supposed to keep this posture through my entire workout. Then there is the matter of breathing. Must remember to do that... I do tend to forget...
I appreciated Chris's low key character. I couldn't be doing with a "No pain, no gain; do it 'till it burns, man!" type of trainer. Low key is definitely better. (There you go, Chris, you've been immortalized in a blog... Stay low key though, OK?)
As for me, another small hurdle is over... I now have a semi-plan to start the school year with. And so far, it doesn't hurt, which is good. I'm actually thinking about signing up for more training... (Students get such a good deal, it seems worth it...)
Classes start in just over a week. That'll be the real test. Not only will the gym be packed, I'm guessing, but since I'm also teaching a Spanish 201 class now, it is likely that I will see some of my own students in the gym... Oh dear...
Just keep thinking... "Stability check!"