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My friend recommended me to a gym and I was given the opportunity to try the gym for free, for seven days, no strings attached. At first, we laughed it off. She just needed names to sign people up, and we both knew I'd never actually end up going. I'm just not the gym sort.
Eventually, I did end up going. One of my housemates was going to the gym at night, and I didn't want her to go alone, so I told her I would activate my trial so she wouldn't be by herself. She agreed, and that began my week of working out.
In the beginning, I was quite lost. I didn't have any goals, so I just sort of followed my friend around, getting her to show me how to use any machines I thought looked somewhat interesting. To anyone else working out that night, I'm sure I looked quite silly. I really had no idea how to use any of the machines, which muscles to work out, or even simple things like what to wear. I spent more time taking pictures on Snapchat to send to everyone than I did actually working out.
However, that first night sparked something in me. I liked the way I felt. The sore muscles in the next couple of days were a reminder that I was bettering myself, doing something that was good for both my body and my mind. I loved the idea of just turning on some loud music and walking on the treadmill. I've always loved walks, but there is no way I'm going to face the ice and wind of January just to wander around.
There are a lot of reasons why I've come to enjoy going to the gym so much. The biggest one, for me, is the mood boost. I've suffered from anxiety for a long time, and working out had done lots to help me. In fact, my doctor actually recommended it to me a while ago, and now I understand why. I set lots of goals for myself, and the gym is no different (another reason why I like it so much—I'm very goal-oriented and it's so cool to see my progress!) Working to achieve the goals I set for myself puts me in a good state of mind, and hitting small milestones feels so good. Every time I exercise, I leave the gym with a clearer mind, having worked through whatever was bothering me while running on the treadmill or using the rowing machine.
I also love going to the gym because I have the two best workout buddies I could ask for. Going to the gym with my two best friends gives me an extra hour or two in my day with them, and gives us more in common. We know each other's goals and we help one another to get to where we want to be, motivating each other to go to the gym and to push ourselves that little bit more.
Lastly, I love the physical effects. I may not be seeing any real progress (it's only been a week, folks) but I can feel a difference. Each time I go I can run a little longer, lift a little more, and extend that stretch just a bit further. It is so rewarding to feel the effects of my hard work, and know that next time I go back, I'll be able to push it even more!
I'm going back to the gym tomorrow to get my very own (albeit, not free) membership, and I'm feeling very optimistic. I can't wait to keep working towards a better, healthier version of me!