Following through on following through

Yesterday I went in to work with my running shoes, my favorite running shorts, a sports bra, shirt, socks, and even an extra pair of underwear.  I was all excited, thinking, “Well I didn’t run this morning before work, but I’ll use that free pass I have to go to Lucille Roberts after work to get my run in!”  That feeling lasted a couple hours.  But as the day wore on, I started trying to come up with excuses and reasons not to go: I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m feeling lazy, it’s not the end of the world if I don’t run today, I’ll just do yoga at home, I don’t want to run on the treadmill (which I have now twice, in different places, written as ‘treadmille’.  I caught the error and corrected it both times, but sheesh).  In the end, I put my running clothes in a desk drawer and went straight home after work.  I did bring my running shoes home, though, hoping I’d be able to go running this morning.

And I would have, if it hadn’t been for the fact that we got freezing rain all night and by the time 6 am rolled around everything was pretty much a sheet of ice.  That, by the way, is not good for running.  So I went in to work with my running shoes, telling myself that today would be the day that I went to the gym.  And for the first part of the day, I was totally pumped for it, especially after dubbing this month Follow Through February last night.  Shortly after lunch, though, the excuses bug bit again, and I started questioning whether I really wanted to go to the gym.

I just kept thinking about gyms, and treadmills, and ugh, how much I loathe them both.  Running on a treadmill, to me, just does not compare to running outside in the fresh air.  Two miles on a treadmill feels like an eternity!  And it doesn’t help that gyms always feel stuffy and crowded.  But you know what?  I went anyway, and I’m really glad I did.

While mulling it over this afternoon, I realized that even though I’m no big fan of the treadmill, my distaste for it was not really the reason I didn’t want to go to the gym.  To be perfectly honest, I was just scared to go.  I mentioned yesterday that I get nervous about going to places that are new and unfamiliar, and often this produces so much anxiety that I end up not challenging myself, and staying home or away from the new/unfamiliar place instead.  I feel much more comfortable going places with a friend or family member.  But because this is Follow Through February, I felt like I had a responsibility to myself to push past the fear and anxiety and make good on the promise I’d made to myself.  And this, friends, is what FTF is all about for me: breaking bad habits, shaking things up a little bit, and reaching outside my comfort zone in order to experience things that will make my life better.  After all, just because you’ve gotten used to something the way it is doesn’t mean it couldn’t stand to be improved.

I ended up joining the gym.  It was a really pleasant environment, the employees were really nice and no one put any pressure on me, I have an inexpensive month-to-month contract that I can cancel any time, and I’m hoping this will keep me from missing runs because of the weather.  I also like the fact that it’s a women-only gym, because I’ve never felt comfortable lifting weights (if I do end up doing any weight lifting) around men.  Silly, maybe, but there you have it.

Hopefully, this is a good sign, and I can continue following through on various things this month.  Have you had a chance to follow through on anything yet?

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6 comments

  1. I’m so glad that you followed through and made it to the gym! I really relate to being nervous about new places — it’s having to figure out the “way it works” that is such a hassle. And each gym has its own unspoken rules, it seems — I’m always worried that I’m going to piss someone off. BUT now, next time you go, it won’t be unfamiliar any more! So that will be one more reason to make it.

  2. Good for you for recognizing and acknowledging the potential reasons you were making excuses for going to the gym. They sound pretty valid to me. And I don’t blame you for not liking to lift weights around men; no matter how innocuous those men may be, I always feel like they are either judging the way I lift my weights (random men have in the past offered me advice) or trying to get a peek at my tummy when the bottom edge of my shirt lifts above the waistband of my pants. Silly me, but I just can’t shake those feelings. I don’t have any feelings about working out around women.

  3. Good for you joining! I with you though nothing like running outside! Treadmills hurt my knees how odd is that? Anyways, I also don’t like lifting with the men, so my husband made me my own workout room and I love it! I still have the gym if I feel like going one day, but pretty much all is done at home or outside.

  4. pretty sure we do the same thing. hah! whenever i am all amped to run or work out later in the afternoon, i usually start to pick over excuses. and those excuses tend to be lame. and i also get really anxious and intimidated whenever i need to go somewhere new for the first time. and alone. also — hatehatehate weight lifting around guys. reaallly gotta get over that….

    but yay, you did it! excellent following through 🙂 as for me, i followed through on my running plans yesterday! i made a pact with myself to run three times a week in addition to all my yoga-ing and climb-ing because, well, i miss it 🙂 but you know what? i kind of love treadmills 😉

    have a wonderful thursday!

  5. good for you! i totally relate on the whole being-nervous-about-a-new-place thing. maybe it’s a family thing! it does feel really good to push yourself past your fears or anxieties, doesn’t it? AND that is AWESOME that is all-female.

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