The Feels of Your First Day Back at Southwest Rec
So you didn’t get your summer body in time for summer.
Don’t feel bad. Heck, join the club.
The good news is, gyms exist all year round and it is never too late to pull a Jennifer Hudson circa 2010 (minus the lucrative Weight Watchers deal).
Of course, the first day back at Southwest will always be the toughest after a long hiatus. The days of lifting oreos are over and now you have to replace them with weights. And if you are lucky to have a gym partner who has agreed to show you the ways, don’t even think you’ll be able to quit in the middle of a routine without them stepping in and forcing you to keep going. (You’ll thank them later when you see those gainz!)
You will undoubtedly feel a range of emotions through your whole experience, maybe a little something like these.
1. You gather the will and arrive at Southwest after practically forgetting where it is (because it’s actually been that long), and take a moment to mentally prepare yourself for this new journey. You check through every form of social media twice while sitting in your car in the parking lot.
2. You make it inside and five minutes into your treadmill warm up, you question why anyone would ever do this for fun. You try to distract yourself by watching the television of the person next to you. They’re watching Food Network, of course.
3. After your warm up, you use all of your self control to not veer right and head back out the double doors or to Freshens for a 3,000 calorie “health” drink. Instead you begin to walk to the back weight room. You catch your first glimpse of the swole squad lifting and you start to turn back, convincing yourself that you don’t really need muscles. You finally push yourself into the testosterone-filled abyss, careful not to stare too hard at the guy from your chem class lifting twice your bodyweight. The scent of sweat and insecurity mingles in the air.
4. Everything is going pretty smoothly, when suddenly your post-Grog hookup comes up and asks you how many sets you have left on your machine. After a few seconds of awkward catch up and empty promises to hang out soon, you give up the machine when you know you weren’t actually done with your sets.
5. After that ordeal, you try to finish your first day strong with some ab exercises, only to find every. single. mat. is taken. You awkwardly pace for a couple of seconds and get some water. You even attempt to be adventurous and kill time by trying out a new machine. When that fails and you feel judging eyes watching you because you couldn’t figure out how seated calf raises work, you silently glare at the two girls laying on the mat checking Snapchat. You decide to leave abs for another day.
6. For your final exercise, you head upstairs to the indoor track to make up for the time you gave up on the treadmill. After just one lap, you tiringly stop to catch your breath right in front of the whole slew of cardio machines and make eye contact with the girl doing bicycles who knows you’ve only ran around once. You wheeze out a couple more laps (only to shove it in bicycle girls face) and collapse on the floor in relief when you realize you’ve finished!
7. Despite your legs feeling like jello and your sweat smelling like $2 doubles from Rowdy’s, you walk out feeling on top of the world, because nothing feels as good as surviving the first day back at the gym!
Of course that is until you wake up the next day after your soreness has settled in and you’re stuck walking around like C-3PO from “Star Wars.” Everyone has to start somewhere, right? You have already tackled the hardest part: getting back into the gym life.
From here on out, you’re well on your way to a fit future. Exercises will get easier and soon enough you’ll be the one gym newbies are gawking at! But for now, go shamelessly reward your first day’s hard work with some ice cream or tequila for dinner, because healthy eating is a whole ‘nother ball game you’ll tackle tomorrow.