Before college, I never stepped foot into a gym alone. All throughout high school I belonged to a club team. We would train every day after school. I never went to a gym without a coach or a very specific workout plan for myself. When I came to college and realized that I wouldn’t have a team or coach to help me, I found myself at a loss.
I knew I loved working out. And I knew I wanted to go to the gym. I wanted to sweat and be sore and do it all over again. But I uncovered the truth about myself when I came to college; I am lazy! My freshman year I lived so far from the gym I didn’t even attempt to go in the beginning. I put it off as something to start doing later in the year, but through this I failed to develop a workout routine for myself.
I would tell myself in the morning: “Okay, at 5 P.M. today you’re going to the gym.” I’d even pencil it into my planner. But come 5 P.M. I’d find myself in the library on my campus, dreading that trek to the gym.
By the end of my freshman year, I knew I wanted to start working out on the daily. So, the summer before my sophomore year I started working out and made a goal to exercise 4-5 times a week the next year. And so far, it’s been working. Making yourself go to the gym is insanely tough. Especially if you don’t go on a daily basis. But, getting yourself into a routine and finding a fun way to workout go a long way.
Coming to college, working out was not a priority for me. With this whole new world of friendships and opportunities at my hand, I was not preoccupied about the gym. A little way into the year, however, I started to feel gross. I was doing water polo twice a week, but this didn’t feel like enough. I felt like I wanted to do more. But there just always seemed to be something in the way of me hauling my lazy body all the way to the recreation center.
At first it was the fear. As a tiny baby freshman, I would find myself not going purely out of fear of embarrassment. I didn’t want to go to the gym with all the upperclassmen and end up dropping a weight on myself and ruining my college career. For the record, this was a very real possibility in my mind at the time. I wasn’t even sure what to do once I went. Do I go on the treadmill? Do I do exercises? Will people watch? Should I attempt lifting? Wait. What is lifting? I didn’t want people to watch me while I flopped around and embarrassed myself.
Once I got more comfortable with the school and the people itself, the problem morphed into an issue of distance. Last year, I lived on Boston College’s Newton Campus, a freshman campus about 10 minutes from school. This meant that we had to take a bus to and from main campus. Making it to the gym became an actual ride on the struggle bus. Getting myself to spend 30 minutes commuting merely to go to the gym was not something I was willing to do. This especially considering that in Boston from November to March the sun sets around 4:30 P.M. which makes doing anything in the afternoon impossible.
Long story short, I didn’t step foot in the gym.
Coming into this year, I set a goal for myself that I’d make going to the gym part of my weekly routine. I knew I would be living much closer to the gym, for starters. I got myself into the habit of working out daily over the summer so it would be an easier transition when I got to school. It was during my freshman year that I realized how much I missed working out. I felt determined to make a change.
I discovered that if I planned specific times a week to workout, going to the gym became a much simpler task. It’s become a routine for me. I feel much better after going and my body craves it even more than last year. I only go about 3-4 times a week. However, I discovered how good the routine feels and how much happier I am in general.
Similarly, I discovered a whole new world of working out. Boston College offers workout classes that are a great option if you don’t usually want to go to the gym. I became so comfortable with going to the gym that I even started lifting in the boy’s section.
I now love going to the gym.
Over time I developed a solid workout program for myself in which I switch up cardio, lifting, the machines and doing exercises with weights and the like. I know exactly what I like to do when I go to the gym and how to be productive with the time I have.
With the gym came a new friend group of gym-goers, as well. It’s great to have friends who love going to the gym because not only do they encourage me when I feel lazy, but they introduce me to new fun ways to work out around Boston. My friends have taken me to Spin classes, Bootcamp’s, different Yoga studios and all filled with amazing people and lots of workout motivation. On top of it all, they always have amazing discounts for students, which is amazing as everybody in college struggles financially.
Going to the gym is tough. It requires motivation and lots of will power. But once you get the hang of it, find fun ways to work out and make it a part of your weekly routine, it becomes simple and easy. It’ even pretty fun.