I finally made the decision to go back for the first time since the shelter-in-place orders were lifted. Was it safe? Were people respecting the rules and showing care for others?
When I woke up today, I genuinely didn't think I would be going to the gym for the first time again today. As badly as I've wanted to go, I was too nervous about the risk. Not to mention, I had been planning to visit home for the past few months, so I wanted no chance of transmitting anything to them. Now though, I've already returned from those travels and had no intentions of traveling anywhere again any time soon, I don't live with anyone at risk, and I was gaining more confidence in the care taken by each gym to keep their members safe (thanks for the first-hand testimonials, friends!).
I started my day at 6 am... snooze... 7:15 am and jumped straight onto my iMac to work on my business. I'm trying to build a new routine centered around growing and elevating my business, so my goal is to get up at 6 am each day, take a few minutes to wake up, focus on gratitude, get refreshed, and immediately dive into work. The goal is to work on my business in the morning so I can work on my fitness at night. As badly as I want to be a morning fitness gal, it's just not in the cards for me! Plus, I always like taking the stresses of my work day out on some heavy weights ;)
Since I got up late, I just grabbed a quick LARA bar and some grapes for breakfast. Honestly, it kept me pretty full, and I was genuinely happy with this as a full meal to start my day! For lunch, I made and packed a very simple salad made of lettuce, Instant Pot chicken (comment below if you want to learn how to cook it in 10-15 minutes, fresh or frozen!), sunflower seeds, avocado, and salsa, followed by a side of carrots. Using salsa as a dressing has quickly become one of my favorite ways to eat a salad without going through the hassle of making a homemade dressing - it's so easy and so delicious!
For dinner, my boyfriend surprised me with one of my favorite paleo-friendly salads from our favorite local sandwich & salad restaurant! This one consisted of spring mix, artichoke hearts, black olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, avocado, chicken, and cilantro lime dressing. I came home to the surprise in my fridge, and I was sooooo happy! The way to my heart is through delicious & healthy food, always. It's so nice coming home, not only to any meal so you don't have to think about what to make for dinner, but your favorite meal. Brownie points, bf. Nice work.
While I ate, I turned on The Circle - France so I could watch the final 3 episodes and see who wins! If you haven't seen any version of this show (US, Brazil - all 3 are on Netflix) and you like reality game shows via real-life social media, this is the show for you! I also want to put it out into the Universe that I would like to be on Season 2 of The Circle. I may or may not have submitted my audition tape already... pick me!
So after 3 hours of binge-watching, I decided it was time to get my booty movin'! I had a long day at work today, so I knew I wanted to do something intense, but my home workouts just weren't cutting it today. This was the very first time I genuinely considered going to the gym since the pandemic started, but I was so nervous. What if I contract it? What if I unknowingly spread it to someone else while I'm grocery shopping if I get it asymptomatically? What if people aren't wiping down the machines? Do I wear my mask the whole time? What if I get light-headed and pass out? BREATHE, LJ.
I think it would be a different story if I lived with my parents, or someone who is in a high-risk category, but I trusted myself and decided to give it a try. I thought, "Okay. Just walk in there, scope it out, and if it's crowded or you see people not following the rules, you can leave!" So I walked in with my mask on, scanned my card, and got my temperature taken. So far, so good.
Everyone else was wearing their mask too, which honestly surprised me. I swear, people did a better job abiding by this rule than a lot of grocery shoppers. Don't get me started. Anyway, it wasn't crowded and everyone had a cleaner-soaked paper towel in hand everywhere they went. Everyone kept their distance and cleaned up after themselves. I was so pleasantly surprised - it was such a relief.
Sometimes, there's just nothing like working out in a gym environment. I'm the same way when it comes to working on my business, or even my day job. If I don't have a specific location that takes me out of my comfortable, relaxing environment, it's harder for me to focus and dedicate myself fully to the task at hand. I think this is why it was so hard for me to workout at home every single day, and especially when I was working from home for a few months. I would work at my desk in the dining room, then travel 10 feet to my couch in my living room to relax, and then take 3 steps forward to the living room floor to workout. It just didn't feel motivating at all to me.
That's why I missed the gym so much. The moment I stepped in there, it all felt right again. I mean, I picked up weights for the first time in months! I had space to move around and get my heart rate up. There were people! Other people! And they were all exercising! Ahhh, I'm so happy I took the chance & finally went back.
I hope this blog post helped you feel a little more comfortable about heading back to the gym for the first time. You make whichever decision feels right in your heart, and know that you can always turn around and walk out if companies or members aren't respecting you or the rules. Please be mindful of those around you, clean up after yourself, and keep yourself safe too. Wear a mask when you can and step away if you need to breathe freely to catch your breath for a second. If you do live with people with compromised immune systems, or if you frequent locations populated with higher-risk individuals, consider them in your decisions as well because what you do outside of that area can be brought inside. Don't forget that.
Stay safe & be happy!
Thank you for being you & thank you for being here,
About the Author
Leah Jean is a life & success coach to women worldwide, and a self-proclaimed confidence guru. She coaches and inspires women to create the life they have always dreamed of living by gaining confidence, knowing their self worth, becoming financially independent, and enhancing the quality of their daily life and career, all while maintaining a healthy foundation for their mind, body, and soul.