Odd one out

I have found out that working full time, being a wife, a mother of two kids, and finding time to work out has brought my time management skills up to scratch more than just a little bit!

Before I moved to a commercial gym I would get home from work at 4:15 pm, say a quick hello to the kids and my husband and then get changed and head into the conservatory where our gym is to start my workout.

The majority of the time this worked out quite well, Oscar would play outside in the garden and we could see each other for the whole 45 minutes that I was training and Ava-Mae was either still having her afternoon nap or playing in her pen with toys whilst Craig would get tea ready.

Once I was finished it was time for tea, bath time and cuddles with the kids and then bedtime at around 7:00 pm. This gave Craig and I a good hour or so to spend time together and catch up on the day before we went to bed.

I couldn’t help but feel that I could get more out of my day if I could just get up that little bit earlier and train before I started work, I was already getting up at 6:30 to spend 20 minutes on the cross trainer each morning so why couldn’t I get up an extra half hour earlier? This in turn would mean that I could be at home at 4:15 pm and have more quality time with my family instead of going straight into the conservatory when I got in.

I wasn’t able to use our home gym that early in the morning as I’d wake the whole house up, so we decided to try out the gym where I work, it opened at 7:00 am and with 45 minute workouts it would give me just enough time to get showered, dressed and in the office for 8:00 am.

I had my induction one morning before work and was quite nervous, I’d never used the free weights area in a commercial gym before and was worried that I’d look totally out of place and not have a clue what I was doing, despite having trained at home for the last 8 months.

I had no reason whatsoever to be afraid… the guy who took me around for the induction was brilliant, he showed me where everything was and how to use the machines, I had loads of questions as I was used to using different equipment and here there were machines solely for one exercise. Induction complete and I was itching to start my first training session the next morning!

UCP Marjon Sports Centre

I made it to the sports centre at 7:00 am, earphones in, music at the ready. I made my way to the lockers, dumped my gear and headed for the gym.

On opening the door my heart was pounding… were my clothes suitable, did I remember where to go, what if I messed up and made an idiot of myself, what if I forgot everything and couldn’t remember how to do any of the exercises?! I felt like the odd one out!

In only a few paces of walking into the gym I was petrified and I didn’t have Craig with me to show me where to start. I took a quick look around and saw seven or so others already busy in the gym. Most were on cardio machines but there were two guys already in the weights area and they were your stereotypical monsters, if I thought I was nervous before I was even worse now!

Deep breath in and I looked at the app on my phone to see what I was working on first, it was Friday and I hadn’t been to the gym all week so today was an all over workout, starting with dumbbell shoulder press. I wandered over to the weights section and found a bench to use, then plonked my towel and water on the floor and headed to the dumbbells.

My nerves set in and I couldn’t remember how heavy I was lifting at home so grabbed the 5kg’s to be on the safe side. Settling down onto the bench I began my first set…boom! All the worry went away, I was back in my new found element and felt good about my form. The next couple of sets and I had cranked it up to the 12kg’s.

A few exercises in and I was between sets on bench press when one of the guys that I was somewhat intimidated by when I first came in made the effort to let me know they’d be happy to spot me if I needed any help. Craig had been reassuring me that most people in the gym would spot if you asked them to but I wasn’t too convinced as I was sure people wouldn’t think me to be serious enough of a weight lifter to help. Although I didn’t need a spot just then, I did ask for some help with how to set up some of the machines for certain exercises and they were great.

Just the fact that someone who was obviously zoned in and busy with their own workout would take the time to offer a word of help if needed, really made my day and made me feel right at home. It just goes to show that you should never judge a book by its cover!

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