If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
~Dale Carnegie

image Photocredits: Kamaara

He is hypermetropic, longsighted if you may, because he positions my report form some distance from his face for a ‘closer look.’ He goes over the whole thing then gaincomes to one of the subjects and starts prodding its grade in an attempt to draw my attention. He looks at me, the grade then back at me. He is neither happy nor sad but telling from the shifting room temperature, a bombshell is about to drop. I smile, not the most appropriate thing to do but you know what they say about its power, he doesn’t flinch. I know he wants an answer. I also know the answer in my head is not the one he wants. I keep smiling, the stare gets sterner. I break. From upbeat straight to sarcastic. It’s an A! I want to add something like ‘for crying out loud or heaven’s sake’ but the Holy Spirit does not forsake me. It’s also a minus He retorts. A clever child knows this is the point to throw in the towel. It is also the point am about to get a pat on my shoulder for scoring a C in my worst subject. So irony does have a mother!

During my coronation to adulthood, he gave me cash and said I could have my own booze. While going for my first interview, he asked me not to wear my ‘do me I do you’ clothes and if asked how much I wanted as pay, a hundred gees would be a great place to start. Call this amazing guy my dad and that light touch towards serious stuff is the reason I tell him my moves. Well, most
of them. Because sometimes people have to stay in the dark so that the light comes to them as a surprise. Like Troian and Patrick Adams pregnancy; such an adorable celebrity couple. No need to ponder if you don’t know them, some of us also don’t know the difference between aqua and turquoise and that’s pretty much the same thing. I didn’t tell him I signed up for the gym because he’d ask me to slaughter a bull during Christmas or help cut cane from the shamba because I am sturdy or whichever bad joke that brew in his vile pot of sarcasm.

For a couple of months I contemplated going to the gym. I really loved the idea of wearing beauteous clothes paired with matching sport shoes carrying water bottle and a towel along the streets. So swerve! I spent unending hours on YouTube watching gym classes and that only soared my thirst and I finally annexed it to my bucket list. Thankfully, I had already saved enough. But there was one problem, I just couldn’t bring myself to getting started. Gym intimidation is a thing. It was so crazy that one time I went to enquire only to make a U turn right at the doorstep. After what seemed like centuries of meditation, consultations and research, I went and signed a one month subscription; no second guesses, no cold feet, no fear…just me and my newly acquired confidence.

Would you like to start right away?

Wait, what!

I heard him perfectly well, I just didn’t have the answer to his conundrum.

Lemme come back in the evening

He alooked at me and smiled wryly. I guess he read my face and knew this was not something I was cut out for. In fact, he’d bet he was only going to see me twice or thrice before I capitulated.

Wait until I surprise you!.

That afternoon, I went to schedule an interview at Modern Coast and it didn’t go as intended. I mean, everyday people get turned down for interviews and that’s okay. But if they have a watchman with a vicious attitude, the end comes before the beginning. I wasn’t even allowed in the premise! He made me question my reputation. Do I mirror a terrorist? While in my purse I didn’t have the slightest of weapons, let alone a pen, I didn’t even have a pin I could use to break a lock! I went ahead and made it clear that I wasn’t seeking employment but he looked at me unsatisfactorily and asked me to leave my documents with him. I envisioned punching him in the face and running like a mad woman but how far would I go before the police and other residents got to me. Or maybe it was a good thing cos God knows I was there to collect evidence of their impoverish services. Dear Modern, I still don’t like you.

Nonetheless, I was glad they ostensibly pushed the red button that saw me solidify my stand for turning up that day. From Modern to the gym is a five minute walk but I took thirty. Something was telling me to wait a little longer but another kept insisting it not only had to be the day but the moment as well. It was was like the left and right sides of my brain had taken up arms against each other and none was willing to back down. Good thing my mind was already made up, nothing was going to stop reggae!

I stormed in boldly like a boss only to find the receptionist gone. He might have had low expectations in me but at least it was his job to direct me! Now all I had was a room occupied by purely men whom I couldn’t tell apart the trainers from the clients! It was like a vehicle had come and dropped all the nicely built ones just in time for my arrival. Psst, such a waste of wishful thinking. Now I was convinced maybe waiting more wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Five seconds in my predicament and I had already broken three commandments. Father I know it is a sin but let me enlighten these people by telling them a man with six packs in sweats looks like a full course meal. And their large number just made it a buffet! Instead of asking where to start, I asked for the washroom. I know, I know. Bear with me, am trying so hard to make this work. Lucky for me, the washrooms revealed the room where classes were but unluckily they just ended. It was now just me and my broken heart. Could all that tussle be for nothing? My soul refused to die. I did not gather all the courage just to come and shred them in a nanosecond. No. I had to do something. So I took out my phone and worked out with the videos I had from YouTube. It was more of at home workout in the gym.

The next morning I was up by four because I was told gym opens at five. You can roll your eyes all you want but that’s how much anxiety I had. I tried out every legging and sports bra in my closet before I decided to pick the most ideal then waited, pacing back and forth. Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock. Trying to buy time. I didn’t want to arrive either too early or too late. So at exactly quarter past five, I picked up my face towel, tightened my ponytail and walked out head held high.

It occurred to me that I had never left the house that early. It was so encouraging to see people going for runs others to work some from work and the mahamris and fried potatoes provided the ultimate aromatherapy. I could tell it was going to be a great day. When I arrived, I realized the instructor forgot to tell me or intentionally left out the part that classes begun at 6:00 and those who wanted personal trainers were the ones who either went earlier or left late than the rest. And since I didn’t pay for the extra attention and didn’t know almost everything in that room by name let alone by use, I decided to watch.

The enthusiasm there was real. Everyone doing their own thing minding their business just the sound of weights crushing on the floor and people screeching as they lift. Quite contrary to my expectations. Honestly, I expected to walk in and find a group of fine girls with flat tummies, tiny butts and thighs that don’t touch taking selfies for pervading the gram with #gymthings #bodygoals and such like hash tags, my bad. It was beautiful to watch. I could do this the whole day! A few minutes later, lost in my gaze, a man approached and asked why I wasn’t doing anything. I wanted to tell I him I was doing something, only that I was using my eyes. I didn’t, a newbie gotta be nice, right? Instead, I told him I didn’t know where to start. And he did the best thing anyone can ever do, not ask questions! He directed me to ride some thing that looked like a bicycle a hundred times, which I did. In fact I made it 150 because I didn’t want to hang. So much vigour for a novice, huh? He then returned and instructed me to ride another one which resembled a bike as well only difference was you had to stand and the legs went forward and backward in a linear motion as opposed to circular. As I did, I continued with the stalling in the mirror. All through telling myself how easy and fun it must be using the machines because everyone was flawless in their doings!

As I was about to hit the 70th mark, another man came to sight and heralded the commencing of group class. Phew, but did he have to come at 69? You can read that again, the pun is intended. I stopped immediately and trailed. We were only ten, and there were no men, well except for the trainer. Not that I was taken aback, if anything it was a booster for my concentration. I joined the back row and waited for the instructor who was at a corner tuning in the radio for music. All this this time looking at the girls and admiring their gym wears and thinking how deep they must be into this gym thing. Commitment written all over. I was impressed.

Barely had the music started when people were already on the move. It was cardio and on a scale of one to doing the correct thing, I found myself in the wrong step three quarters of the time. It was frustrating. It would be a white lie to say thoughts of walking out didn’t cross my mind. But I didn’t. Chalk it up to pride but I was worried that it would be rude and inconsiderate to the instructor. It also seemed like something one shouldn’t do. What they don’t tell you about these classes is that the shepherd does not leave his flock of ninety nine in search for one; the lost sheep has to find it’s way to mama. With a little bit of help yes, but it’s vastly your effort.

There were couple of exercises that went for two to three sets then small general breaks in between but one was at liberty to give themselves a break. Then there was a water break and as if I hadn’t embarrassed myself enough already, I didn’t have water. Who forgets to carry water to the gym? me, that’s who! Not to worry though, one of the members came to my rescue! We moved to the last part, my favorite, it was basically a smorgasbord of what my at home workouts had been serving me. A little crunches here and there, knee touches, planks and plunges and surprisingly I was better than most! You can call it finishing strong but that actually reinstated my confidence. Minutes later, I lay flat on the mat oblivious of the fact that everyone had left not believing I made it and feeling so proud of myself.

Want another round?


It was another trainer getting ready to personally train a client. That was my cue to leave. One day down, twenty nine to go. I walked out and immediately started running because the sun had already opened it’s eyes and I couldn’t risk all these people heading in the opposite direction giving me that funny look. Plus, nobody talks to a running girl at seven in the morning.

Want to know happened to the remaining days? Don’t quench the allegiance fire!

Sharoe ❤

18 thoughts on “Gymtimidation

  1. That’s good for you in fitness.. I really love it too… I don’t have to go the gym… I would like to workout at home only than gym and also it’s expensive the money…
    Have an Irie day…
    Ras Abu

  2. This was a super long read but I enjoyed every bit. Can’t wait for the rest of the updates, it can be a very interesting series! What’s the beef with Modern Coast though?

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