Whenever I do my washing, the clothesline tells people that I’m always ready to dress for a funeral as long as it’s on casual Friday. It’s not like I have an aversion to colour, but my recent wardrobe choices seems to paint me in a deep shade of gothic. Two years ago, I started going to the gym because I couldn’t sleep past 5am, and it seemed like a logical use of my time. There’s a 24 hour gym ten minutes drive from my house, so while Whakatane slept, I was shaking my jiggle in the middle.
Are you someone who signed up for the gym then went MIA? Here’s what I have learned about gym life and how you too can stay motivated and actually use that membership.
Where are the stereotypical motivational posters?
There are seven TV screens at my gym which play shows from various channels. Why would you do that to me? It's hard enough to be up at 5.30am, so you want to rub it in and remind me of what I could be watching if I stayed in my warm bed? The point is - would it hurt to have some motivational posters in the place? I’m old enough to know what Jazzercize is (should I really admit that?) and what they did right was made you feel good about getting sweaty! On a side note, thank goodness modern gym gear has moved on from the 80s.
There is one channel I like to watch sometimes which has trivia questions and come in handy for quiz night enthusiasts. Did you know that the Foo Fighters got its name from the word used by Allied aircraft pilots to report various aerial phenomena in World War II? Love the Foos.
Get in, work out, get out
When you’re half asleep, being social isn’t high on the list of priorities. Here’s the crazy thing, there are people already there when I rock up in the pit of darkness. That means there are people who have bigger insomnia issues than me, or they’re just far more motivated. I am hoping for the latter. I’m optimistic like that.
My routine is simple: Get in, work out, get out. I’ve noticed that guys are far more social than the women - they say hello to each other, stop and even chat between sets. Not that women are grumpy, I think we just have different priorities. Most people work out with headphones - they’re the ones who don’t really want to chat and usually avoid eye contact. I used to be one of those people. Now I’ve found a happy medium - if someone makes eye contact I give them a smile and if they’re nice and smile back,
I may even greet them good morning. But only if they smile back.
Wear gym gear that makes you feel like a boss
You don’t need to be kitted out in Lululemon to feel like a boss when you’re sweating it out. My gym wear is a collection of The Warehouse activewear on sale and ¾ tights I bought from Costco in Sydney. I love my tights because make my thighs look like an athlete’s when I’m doing squat reps - seeing the definition gets me through the sets as the lactic acid rips through my muscles.
Wear clothes that fit you well - not super tight that you spend all your time sucking in the effects of last night’s takeaways, but not too loose that you look like you’re wearing a bed sheet. That being said, loose clothing does help prevent that all too familiar sweaty butt patch. Nobody got love for that.
The ultimate gym soundtrack
Being a former hip hop dancer, many would assume my workout soundtrack would be a collection of rap, hip hop and warm down to rock anthems. Sometimes. What people don’t realise is that within my noise cancelling headphones is a playlist of musicals and power ballads.
Heard of Defying Gravity from Wicked? That’s my jam when I’m doing weights. Need an uplifting song to get you through leg day? Try This Is Me from The Greatest Showman - nothing like a rousing rendition of a self-love anthem that makes you hope you would be as badass as her if you ever rocked a beard.
I may not always love going to the gym, but I do like how it has made my body strong. Gym life for me isn’t about trying to be a dress size - it’s feeling good in my skin and being active helps me do that. Whatever your body shape - love that. That jiggle in the middle, my curves, these hips? Yeah, I own that...like a boss.
Ronna Grace Funtelar is a thirtyish storyteller, creative, writer and slam poet currently based in New Zealand. She is a hobby hiker, photography and sunrise enthusiast with a passion for mindfully helping others live beyond their comfort zone.
Basically, a shorty who knows her life purpose.