Letters to Autumn 2

Letters to Autumn 2

Dear Autumn,

People like to question whether I can truly say I ‘exercise’ just because I don’t step in a gym anymore.

And it’s true. I don’t. I haven’t been in an actual gym for well over a year. However I still exercise. 5 times a week. (Most weeks, this week is weird because I’m not at work so I’ve shaken it up, next week will effectively be a total rest week as I’m hardly in London, then I gotta drop a couple of Sundays because I’m working)

The reason I no longer go near gyms?

I hated it.

It was kind of everything that I thought it would be when it came to gyms. I felt incredibly uncomfortable in them. I hated walking through the damn gym tog et to the spin studio. Turns out I also hated spinning. And so, I had to actively for some other option because I refused to believe that that was it. Because it wasn’t for me.

I happened to find the saviour in Frame at a time when I was gonna lose my mind and give up on this whole exercise thing, the supposed benefits aren’t worth it. I tried a barre class. It alerted me to muscles that I didn’t know existed (but now I do they never seem to not ache in some way…) It challenged me. While also somehow being super gentle. It was weird, but the important thing was that I didn’t hate it. The hype around exercise almost made sense.

Then I did a Box Train class. I semi hated that, but only because of the treadmills. I really hate running, I can’t pretend otherwise. It’s very low (like the bottom) on the list of way I’ll get my cardio in.

You know what’s at the top of that list?

Rebounding.

Literally jumping up and down on a mini trampoline is the best 45 minutes of cardio of the week (and also sometimes a lifesaver for my legs, this past weekend my legs were dead, they came back to be after those 45 minutes).

You know why I tried that?

The instructor.

She taught a different class that I used to do on Mondays and loved her, so I wanted to try other classes she taught. And now I kind of don’t know what my Saturdays would be without those 45 minutes of intense cardio.

You know what else felt safe enough to try away from the mostly masculine energy of a gym?

If you guessed weight training, you’d be correct.

Frame is primarily aimed at women. Which means almost all the classes I take are 98% women. That makes for a way less judgy environment. It felt like a safe place to start. And it was. And I’ve been doing it for coming up to a year now and I weight train twice a week. I even do it on Sundays (not gonna discuss how whack my judgement is in that for some reason I’ve decided that my last session of the week is also going to usually be my heaviest).

When I took out the fear of having to go a gym exercise actually became something I grew to enjoy. And now love.

I look forward to my exercise sessions those 5 days a week. They’re 45 minutes where I literally don’t think about anything but whatever the hell I’m trying to get through in that time. Total disconnect. And a drive to push myself a little bit harder if I can (that’s where the Sunday thing came from).

It’s pure focus. Which I never had when I went to a ‘normal’ gym, or did spinning. Te only thing I could really think then was how much I hated what I was doing. And mean actually hated, not the way I hate now, which is more I hate how much this burns but also kind of love it.

It’s also always changing, so I don’t even get bored (except for this one Lift release that felt like it went on for a tad too long and I was very much just moving through the motions of it by the end). It takes out the work of having to keep it varied or else everything will just plateau. And yeah, I’m letting someone else (it’s the same 4 people every week, I’m a creature of habit( but if I left it to myself I’d give up to be honest. I know myself well enough to know that.

It is highly unlikely that I will ever really be a ‘normal’ gym person. But that doesn’t mean I don’t put in the damn work. Because I do and I’ve got a stronger core and some low key aggressive quads to prove it.

Love,

Main sign off


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Sophie

Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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