Time to take first steps into the gym

Instructors Emily Smith and Nicola Parker welcome John to the gym
Instructors Emily Smith and Nicola Parker welcome John to the gym

So far, there has been plenty of reluctance and not a lot of running.

Gyms terrify me. I know they are no longer dark and intimidating places filled with people who look like they should be on World’s Strongest Man over Christmas.

But they are still somewhere I am guaranteed to feel self-conscious.

And so it was with some trepidation that I step through the doors at Bridlington’s sparkling new lesiure centre.

I needn’t have worried, the staff there are warm and friendly and definitely not judgemental.

Instructor Emily was the poor soul given the task of making me not look stupid in the gym, but first up was a health check to see where I was starting from.

And things are looking much more rosy than when I went for my health MoT at the start of December.

A calorie-contolled Christmas has been tough, but the scales show I have dropped from 17st 10lbs to 16st 7lbs. More than a stone has gone already, and it also means I am no longer officially classed as ‘obese’.

I am merely ‘overweight’ which may not be something to celebrate, but it is a sign of progress.

The blood pressure is still annoyingly high, but I am guessing a stressful morning at work before it was assessed, and being in an environment which worries me, played a part in that.

And so we move into the gym, where Emily teaches me how all the equipment works, what parts of my body benefit from each machine.

At the end of my induction, I am given my own personalised programme, a workout to complete two or three times a week, with exercises called things like ‘ab crunch’, ‘bicep curl’ and ‘leg press’ -

things which I wouldn’t normally associate with myself, but I have a new sense of enthusiasm.

I need to ignore what everyone else in the gym can do (and what they think of me)and concentrate on building a better me.

With new equipment, glorious sea views and an encouraging atmosphere, if this place can’t help me to learn to enjoy exercise, nowhere can.