Like a few people I've met recently, I spent my childhood and teenage years being very inactive. I hoped never to be called to participate in any physical activity, avoided PE (physical education) classes at all costs, often very conveniently and sometimes violently ill!
What it all meant was that by the time I became an adult, there were many things I could not physically do. I was a weakling. When travelling, my luggage was limited to 19 kilos because I was unable to lift anything beyond that off the conveyor belt onto the ground.
Followed by a less than graceful fall down a flight of stairs where I pretended not to need any medical attention, I often injured myself doing very little. And one day, a few years after the fall, I stepped onto a road and my hip froze. It was stuck. Just would not move and I found myself standing on the road hoping that the drivers would see me.
It was then that I decided I needed to do something.
I wasn't looking to do a lot. I just wanted to be able to be able to do simple things without injuring myself.
Not knowing exactly where to start, I figured I'd need some help. I wasn't going to do anything outdoors and so decided I'd go to a gym. I was also very worried about injuring myself and so decided I needed a personal trainer.
I contacted a few gyms that had personal trainers and did a few trials. It was very confronting. There were machines I could not move even with no weights loaded on them. What was more confronting was that some gyms were more interested in me signing up than in how they could help me.
I realised if I wanted to succeed at this, I needed a place where I felt safe, safe from being judged, safe because they care about what I want to achieve, and care enough to help me work through my limitations while being conscious of my injury. I figured I could have this if I found a gym that offered privacy. I also needed a trainer who is understanding, non judgemental, knowledgeable about people with injuries and willing to use that knowledge to help me.
It was at this time that I found Fitline, a fitness studio and it fitted the bill. I loved it. My trainer was patient and knowledgeable and knew just how much to push me. Some days I'd train at lunch time, on other days I'd train after work. Some days I'd arrive really enthusiastic, on other days I got there angry. Whatever mood I was in, I knew that if I just turned up, I'd leave with happy, knowing I'd accomplished something.
In less than a year, I found myself doing many things I hadn't done previously. In addition to the studio, I started going for walks around the whole Docklands waterfront in the morning. I was walking everywhere, from Melbourne to South Yarra, from Docklands to Victoria Market, I even learnt how to ride a bike! I was so inspired I started thinking about competing!
Is there something that's been holding you back? Something you've been thinking about doing?
Give it a go and see where it takes you.
Next time, I'll tell you about how I'm transforming my body now.