Feeling a little girly, and some thoughts on my gym experiences

This blog starts with some bad news, but I promise it has a happy ending. And, along the way my readers can call me girly.

I am starting the 100 mile in 31 day challenge the day after tomorrow. It had been a while since last I was at the gym, so I decided to have a tune up tonight. I went to Lifetime Fitness and decided to dedicate a full hour to walking, with the intent of doing 3.25 miles. I got dressed and headed upstairs, found a good treadmill, donned my headphones and off I went. At about the 40 minute mark, I noticed a hot spot on my right foot. I decided to soldier on through it and finished my 3.25 miles in about 65 minutes, which was great, but I blistered my foot.


It isn’t a big blister, so it isn’t like it will slow me down. At dinner my wife and I got to talking. A while back I had a huge blister in exactly the same spot on my right foot. It disrupted my workout schedule for almost 2 weeks, and relegated me to the bike. At the time we diagnosed the problem as crappy socks, and since I have purchased proper running socks. But, the problem is back. My wife and I suspected that the shoes were the culprits.

When I started this journey, I went out and bought new Sketchers. Now, I have never been one to shop much for shoes. If they fit, I am good to go. I think, in this case, that was a mistake.

We decided to go to Dick’s Sporting Goods after dinner so I could get properly fit for shoes. The salesman, Wade, patiently worked with me as I tried on no less than 8 pair of shoes (can you start to feel my girly-ness coming through?). We had a long discussion about whether I should get walking shoes, running shoes, or trainers. Their website said that walking shoes were the way to go. Wade disagreed and suggested runners. Then we discussed my future aspirations to get back to racquetball, and so trainers came into the picture. We kept trying different things, and Wade made a lot of trips to the back. At the end of it all, I bought TWO PAIR OF SHOES (at this point I am feeling full-on girly). Both are Asics. One pair is running shoes, the others is trainers. They look similar so I am going to have to do something to tell them apart once they come out of the box.

Both pair felt great, and I will have confidence in them as I continue my workouts.

Now, some thoughts about my trips to the gym. When I first started this back in March, I didn’t much like going to the gym. I blogged then about my fears of being judged, and not fitting in. When I would walk in, I kept my head down and my eyes mostly on the floor. When working out I also mostly kept my head down, hoping never to make eye contact with anyone. One of the most horrifying experiences was the day I saw the barrista from where I get my morning coffee. I almost stopped working out altogether.

Lately things are different. I arrive with a spring in my step, and walk to the locker room with my head up. When I get to the workout area, I keep my head up as well, I look around and even occasionally nod at the other regulars (like the guy who I am guessing is a bit older than me and always has on a gray Coast Guard T-Shirt).

What I am experiencing is this thing called self confidence. I am, by no means, a cut Adonis. I am still obese, and have rolls where they shouldn’t be. I do weigh less now, and will weigh less in the future, but I am a long way from being what anyone would objectively call “fit”. The difference is that I simply don’t care anymore who might be looking or what they might be thinking. I know that I am doing the right thing, and that I am doing it well. I am not just there once in a while, I am in this thing for the long haul. There are people now who might see me and think of me as a regular too.

Today after my workout I was walking from the gym to my car. While still in the building one of the trainers smiled and asked if I had a good work out. I nodded and said yes. In the past, that would never have happened because she’d have never made eye contact with me.

I am still a long way from my goal, and I have months, if not years, of work ahead to get there. Once I get there, I will have a lifetime to maintain. But, I am feeling better about my workouts now than at any time I can remember.

Yes, indeed, self-confidence is a very good thing.


  1. Self confidence is what most of us are missing, even when young, fit, smart, educated and attractive. One of the things I love about looking back in life is that you can really see these things. (Hindsight and all that…) We all walk that path. We all struggle with confidence at some point. I’m so happy you’ve got it securely in your grasp now. I’m with you there. We all have something awesome to offer the world, but sometimes we can’t see past our own insecurities (or rolls) to see our light shine. I’m glad yours is out there as a beacon now. Well done.


    1. Thank you. Yes, my confidence is most definitely up, and rising. Glad to hear yours is too. We all have a lot to offer the world when we get out of our own way and stride confidently.


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