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Dublin: 1 °C Sunday 18 March, 2018

12 things you'll understand if you're a reformed gym phobe

Feel the burn.

GYMS USED TO illicit feelings of fear and an anxiety deep within me.

It all seemed very aggro, hyper masculine and intimidating – an impenetrable world that required some kind of secret password to enter.

One big girl job and a dent in my current account later, I roughly worked out how many times I would need to attend the gym to make back the money I’d just spent on a gym membership.

And then, some weeks later, miraculously, I started enjoying myself.

Now, this isn’t a constant phenomena, unfortunately – some days I would rather eat my owns hands than step on a treadmill or pick up a bar.

But a good 75% of the time, I feel part of the club, I initially felt excluded from.

With that, however, I’ve developed certain traits that seem a world away from the gal who you used to sweat profusely at the very thought of the gym.

1. Making people who stare you out of it while you use something wait even longer

Honestly, having exceptionally muscular men (on record, another gal has yet to do this to me), stare at you – or worse, pace passed you – as you use a machine or a weight would be enough to spook me into going home.

Now, I just stare back. Unwavering. And I try and bang out another two sets too.

2. Being horrified when someone doesn’t wipe down a machine

I used to strictly believe towels belonged in bathrooms, not gym bags.

Now, when people leave machines hot and sweaty, a sense of horror comes over me.

3. Forgetting gym clothes is now extremely annoying

… As opposed to an excuse not to go.

Except if it’s like, shoes. They’re kind of important.

4. You’re not afraid to ask people for help

Before, I used to suffer in silence when I knew I was doing a move wrong, or I saw someone doing an exercise that I didn’t know how to do.

Now however, you realise that you kind of need your back to survive. So, if you feel like you’re making an arsehole of yourself, just ask.

5. You don’t stand (or sit, if you’re spinning) at the back of the class

You’re front and centre ready to show ‘um who’s boss.

6. You try to convince your friends to come with you, instead of dodging their invitations

Yeah. You’re that friend now.

7. Knowing your phone’s on low battery but squeezing in a lil workout anyway

Got to make the most of those #tunes while you can.

8. You’re actually not as weak as you thought you were

And weights don’t seem like something just for the boys.

Throw on another 5kg, pls.

9. You don’t care what you wear to the gym

Listen, in an ideal world we’d all be wearing lululemon and Fabletics rig-outs every day of the week. But who has the time or the disposable income, really?

That top that you also sometimes wear as a pyjama top? Great choice. Besides, it’s just going to get sweaty anyway.

10. You hate doing washing more than you hate going to the gym

It. Never. Ends.

11. You don’t hate fitness Instagrammers now as much as you want to be them

I just want to know how you got your arse, ok?

12. You’ve finally accepted that not everyone is staring at you while you do something

The initial paranoia is normal, sure. But trust me when I say literally nobody cares about you or workout.

Do your thang.

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