Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Gyming With Loser Lungs

I did that thing again where I give up, lose hope on blogging and write a big long blog post on how I am going to take a break. I remember doing that probably a year ago right now and then I had a power nap and realised it was a stupid mistake. I wrote a blog post on my train journey home the other night saying I was taking a break and then this morning I find myself in Costa in the middle of Media City UK with a large latte and my laptop and inspiration strikes. 
I don't really quite know where I am going with this blog post, it has no theme and no background. Anyways to the point, I joined a gym about 3 months ago. I know I know calm yourselves, it's a terrifying thought to me too. 

Lets give you some background, I hate exercise. I hate running, I hate sports and I sucked at PE for all of my education. The best day ever was when high school ended and I never had to do PE ever again. I skipped into the sunset leaving my shit Decathalon trainers and plastic PE kit in a burning pile on the floor *maybe slight exaggeration. I've never been confident with my body at all but then again who is these days? But having asthma as well made running for me the near impossible and a terrifying prospect.

 So all in all, I opted out of becoming a fitness guru and stuck with dance classes which felt less threatening. Yes, I know. Total girl cliche. 

So anyways I skipped through life not reaaaally caring about sports and fitness. Until I graduated from university, took a look at how unfit I was, realised I'd suffered from the Student Stone and quite frankly, I wanted to get fit  and look like Beyonce. So I faced my fears of the gym and signed up on a cheerfully cheap offer. 

Let me explain how I function when I run - I run, I think I can run, I run for a little more, my lungs get tight, I think I can keep going, my lungs get tighter, I panic, my lungs seize up because I am panicking, I fail at running, I lie on the floor in a suffocating mess and declare I will never exercise ever again. This one time at band camp I even got so bad with breathing my lungs expanded, got all impaled and rubbed up on my rib cage and I got hospitalised because I couldn't breathe and the doctors thought I'd had a heart attack. Asthma is a barrel of laughs.

SO facing the gym was pretty scary, I mean, I don't even know what 90% of the machines in the gym do and the 10% I use, I either don't know how to use properly or I can barely function on them. But never the less I have persevered and yes I can't run for more then 10 minutes but hey, I am progressing. So here is my advice for all you people scared of the gym or have asthma and find sports worse than a Monday morning.
1.No One Cares
I had this perception I'd go to the gym and all the gym goers would gather around my panting wobbly self on a treadmill, point and laugh. Turns out that kind of stuff doesn't actually happen in a gym. Everyone is just doing their thing, getting their sweat on and quite frankly could not care less how bad you look in a pair of lycra trousers
2. The Gym Is For Fitness, Not Fashion
Okay slightly hypocritical of me when I coordinate my gym outfits with my trainers but overall I am not fussed if I look butt rough, I am there to work out and not look pretty. Granted, some times I go after work and I have a face full of work make up on but other days I go straight from bed in the morning and me without make up is the beginning of a Tim Burton movie but like I say, I am there to work out and not look pretty. Ladies, it's best to go o' naturale because sweating through mascara just ain't pretty. Like Beyonce says, you wake up like this, you flawless. Amen.

3. Compete With Yourself, Not With Others
I find this the hardest when I hear everyone talk about how long they spend in the gym or how far they can run on a treadmill. I have to remind myself I am still new to this running malarcky and my asthma/lungs is/are a work in a progress. After the first month my lungs made massive improvements as did my endurance, my asthma nurse even noted how my lungs were getting stronger. I then fell ill with sinusitis 2 months later and has thrown me all the way back to square one. It sucks and I feel weak but each week I compete with myself to get a little bit better, So yes your other half or your dad or your best friend may be able to run 10k in 30 minutes because they are a gymming machine but you ran 10 minutes today without reaching for your inhaler and that's a big deal so well done you. 

4.  Wear You Asthma With Pride
I would say asthma has prevented me doing a lot/any sport when I was younger but its never completely stopped me enjoying life. Many years ago I was involved in a study at Manchester University helping teens feel confident with Asthma (I was totally a science experiment). It can be quite daunting doing something you know is putting yourself at risk but see it as a challenge. For example I aggressively talk to my asthma in my head when I am running because it makes me feel like Batman kicking the bad guys ass. And don't be ashamed to flash your inhaler about the place like a badge of pride, I totes do. 

5. Don't Take It Too Seriously
I know people who go to the gym religiously and then refuse to eat dessert. Who refuses to eat dessert? Okay I know you shouldn't eat crap all the time and I am so guilty of this but as long as you're maintaining a healthy lifestyle aka not eating McDonalds every day then its okay to come home from the gym and reward yourself with a slice of cake or a chocolate bar. Life is too short to be living off vegetables alone and no good story ever started with 'So I was having a salad'. 

I am still crap at running, breathing and overall gymming but I hope 6 months down the line I will have noticed major differences. Especially with my asthma. So if you've ever been too afraid to join a gym, I can promise you, no one will laugh, no one cares you're shit and whether you're sweating mascara in a tight pink lycra outfit or exhausted after a 2 minute run on the treadmill, you're still going to come out of it invincible and flawless.

Now, excuse me whilst I go and run myself a Beyonce body. 
p.s. and it is totally okay if you fall over in the gym or fall of a machine or drop your iPod mid work out. That shit happens. 

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