A Normal Day at State
Here at Iowa State there are some amazing facilities available to students. One in particular is State Gym. I got to know State a whole lot better last week. One of my goals for this semester was to start going to the gym again, I know cliche start of the semester resolution but I really meant it. I was an athlete in high school so being in a weight room wasn’t a completely foreign thing to me, but high school was over two years ago. When I first came to college I made this pact to go to the gym everyday no matter what–that lasted about a day. Like most people the most exercise I got was walking to class, which by the way can be very taxing. But anyways this semester I decided to change all of that and last week was the start of something much needed.
I went into my first day at the gym thinking I would ease myself back into lifting and start with some light weights. Boy was I wrong. When I first walked in I saw all of these in shape people and immediately felt out of place, so I told myself I wasn’t going to be outdone by these gym rats. I walked over to the bench area and set up my weights, while doing this I began a conversation with this dude that looked like he majored in weightlifting.
“Your first day in the gym,” he asked.
“Nope, I’m in here everyday. I usually come in the mornings though,” I lyingly replied.
“Oh, so why the light weight,” he asked holding back a smile.
“I’m just warming up, just wait I’ll add more weight,” I remarked.
He shook his head and walked off to continue his workout. Now around this time I am thinking what did I get myself into. I laid down on the bench to start lifting and I could barely get the bar off the rack–I won’t say just how much was on the bar but just know it was between 134 and 136– I think I burned more calories struggling to get the bar off than I did during the rest of my eventual workout. When I finally lifted the bar up it felt like I was holding two mini whales. I began to start my reps, I was okay bringing the weight down but on the way up was where I encountered problems. As I was grunting trying to lift this bar I just so happen to look over and see a girl lifting the same amount of weight. Now at this moment I knew I could do two things; quit and move on to another exercise or add more weight. Being the competitive person I am I foolishly chose the latter. I got up and added 10 more pounds to each side. I laid down and just as I began to lift the bar off my arms gave out. The weight just collapsed on me. Luckily, the safety bar stopped it from crushing me. The weight collapsing on me wasn’t even the bad part, no that would be the fact that the girl I was in this mental competition was the one that lifted the bar off of me. After she lifted the bar I made up some excuse like I hurt my wrist reading last night. Don’t laugh it was the only thing I could think of at the time. She just nodded and said “I bet.”
I immediately got up and power walked upstairs to the treadmills. I thought to myself there is no possible way I could embarrass myself on a treadmill. It is safe to say that was foolish thinking. I stepped up to on the treadmill and selected my workout, leg toner sounded easy enough. The workout started off slow, but I didn’t like that. I looked around and saw everyone else running and thought to myself I couldn’t be the only one walking. That is when trouble started. I began to turn up the speed to a jog, not acknowledging the fact that I had selected a workout. Just as I began to get into a comfortable jog the incline and speed started to increase. At first it was no big deal, and then the speed just kept increasing and increasing. By the end of the workout my legs were noodles and my lungs felt like they had been set ablaze. I stepped off the treadmill and fell straight to the ground. I had no control over my legs. And guess who came to my rescue again, the girl from the bench. I couldn’t believe this. She helped me up and says, “Let me guess you hurt your ankle stepping off the bus?” I didn’t even respond. I went straight back downstairs and began to put my jacket on to exit the gym. Well, I grabbed a smoothie then I exited the gym.
My first day back in the gym was quite the adventure. It was painful and embarrassing, but at least I went. I learned a valuable lesson that day, don’t compete with girls they always win. Stepping outside your comfort zone is a part of the adventure of college. Hopefully some of your adventures won’t be as painful as mine.