I mentioned, in my introductory blog , the sense of loneliness that sometimes comes from self-discovery and unemployment. When the work-social life we were so accustomed suddenly disappears from our lives where do we turn for that sense of belonging? With friends preoccupied with jobs, boyfriends, family etc., it becomes hard to carve out weekly bonding time we desperately need. Rather, we find our own group of people with a common interest. In my case, a common goal: fitness.
Back around the holidays I was out of shape. I felt sluggish, the cold New York weather beating down on my confidence. Every outfit a reminder of how much weight I gained. Luckily a Crunch Gym was scheduled to open in my town come Spring 2016. Eagerly, I signed up and was able to go to their sister gym 20 minutes away until its official opening. Before my present dilemma, I would work 5 days a week returning home by train earliest at 7:30 P.M. It’d be too late and being too tired for a work-out, I dedicated myself to go weekends. At that time I couldn’t even do a sit-up unless someone was holding a doughnut in front of me. Every Saturday and Sunday morning I’d wake up to get in an hour cardio training and light weights before noon. I had two goals: get the perfect ass and be able to run a mile without passing out.
I started going to a weekly Zumba class Sunday mornings. I immediately fell in love with the routines and energy of the instructor. I could actually use these moves while out dancing! The more often I went the friendlier I became with the ladies around me. Though I had no contact with them outside of the gym I felt a common connection with them for that hour we were together.
When my time freed up in April going to the gym became my new ‘job’ several days a week. It gave me a purpose. By this point I was already noticing results and I achieved what I set to accomplish (well, sort of. I could run a mile but I’m a perfectionist with the Brazilian booty). Fitness was no longer an aesthetic past time but an emotional survival tactic. The drive was personal time I used to blast music, the endorphins released were an immediate confidence booster and the familiar faces gave me a sense of belonging.
Finally, just before Memorial Day Weekend, Crunch Gym opened in my town and my Zumba instructor, Ashley, was scheduled to teach twice a week. Her first class was almost maxed out, as so many of her classes are, with new faces. In the crowd three of us were followers from the other gym. Having to teach the entire class her routines she asked myself and the other two ladies to raise our hands while saying. “If you can’t see me follow them. They know what to do.” In that moment I realized, more than I had in the previous weeks, that I was a part of something. I wasn’t so alone anymore.
Originally, when I joined the gym it was to be back in shape and be healthy. Over the course of several weeks it became a lifestyle. Now it’s my sanity. My body is a long term project that I have committed to for life and nothing beats the sense of pride I get from seeing results after all the hard work I put into it.
For some working out is just a necessity to looking good. In my case it has become a community. The more classes I join the more involved I am. I’m a part of the #CrunchCrew!
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Feel free to leave a comment or message me about your experiences