My relationship with exercise 

I was shit at PE at school. I, for some reason did it for a BTEC and got a distinction purely based on my essay writing, not the physical side.  I didn’t like the teachers, the fact that they stood around in big coats telling us it wasn’t cold as we shivered during hockey, I didn’t like the lessons, and I hated that sodding bleep test with a passion.  

I grew up doing gymnastics but that died off after a few years when the training every Friday got a bit boring and I’d got all the qualifications I could at that gym. I started swimming instead and that lead on to the odd diving course. I’ve always loved swimming, every term I was being moved up a grade until it got to the point I couldn’t go any further unless I was going to start swimming for Dorset. This didn’t appeal to 13 year old me, having to get up at stupid times of the morning to go and swim competitively.  I started swimming because I enjoyed it, it was never about competition for me.  The only competition I had was with myself, seeing how long I could hold my breath for (it got to the point my coach was shouting at me to breathe because she was freaking out) or beating my lap time from the week before.  I didn’t want to race for the county and the final straw came when we were on holiday in Turkey and some bloke trying to sell us a knock off t-shirt said I had broad shoulders.  Great thing to tell a 13 year old girl…..still haven’t forgiven him.

I quit swimming, I still go every so often but the thought of getting in a bikini and scaring people with my pale and pasty skin is a bit much at the moment.

When I met Ben I did the generic thing of ‘get in relationship > gain a shit tonne of weight > complain about said weight’ and started walking around the roads I live in each night.  It helped a bit and I started losing weight but not as quickly as I’d like.  He in the meantime had joined the gym opposite our work and was going every day.  At the time I was working in the office of a scrapyard 10 minutes from home so could come home after work and go straight out for a walk/run.  For my birthday Ben signed me up to the gym – not your stereotypical present but I asked him to – and bought new gym kit for me so I had no excuse.  Not going to lie, I was shaking and felt sick the first time we went together, it combined everything I hated.  Exercise in front of people, going to a gym and potentially making a massive twat of myself, Ben had barely seen me without makeup at that point let alone getting sweaty and horrible!

It took a while but I got used to going and eventually started going on my own after work when I moved to my new job.  That then lead to a work night out where Ben and I started talking to one of the bouncers who’s a PT at the same gym and now we see him twice a week. I’ve learned to like exercise, when I first started it was all about how many calories I could burn in an hour, now I’m lifting heavier weights and not struggling as much. My fitness has improved and I’m seeing a difference with my body composition.  Obviously there’s days where I really don’t want to go, but there’s also days where I’m up at 5.45 raring to go.  I’ve learned that it helps me think more clearly, wakes me up and gives me more energy, and when I see the weights going up it does genuinely make me happy.

And I still occasionally go out after work doing laps as well….


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