Injured Runner: Pretending I belong at the gym

The gym is an interesting place. And, I picked the most un-“gym-y” gym to go to. I joined the YMCA at the end of January and while it’s been great, it definitely has been awkward and uncomfortable at times.

I’m just not used to being around a lot of other people while I exercise. When you’re a runner, it’s the norm to run away from strangers as you get your workout done. In a gym though, I feel like everyone is starring at you and judging you.

How many times have I been on the elliptical and if someone is on the machine next to me, they will look over to glance at my screen? Pretty much every time.

Why do you care how long I’ve been on the elliptical or what number I have the resistance on? I have a freaking stress fracture that’s healing so leave me alone and mind your own business!

Maybe it’s just newbie gym goer paranoia. Maybe nobody else really cares what I’m doing.

I do have to admit that when I’m at the gym and on the elliptical, I do spend time observing other gym goers. I mainly do this to help pass the time because I cannot use headphones while I workout so I’m not listening to any music or podcasts or anything. (Back when I was running, I rarely listened to music because my running time was time spent with my thoughts).

So, what have I noticed? Not everyone wipes down their machine after using it. Some people wipe down the machine before and after using it though! A lot of people use the treadmills, which I just can’t wrap my head around on days when the weather is so nice outside. I just want to yell at them and tell them to take their run outside!

It’s also interesting to see how people use the treadmill. Because I’ve been going to the gym on a regular basis, I’m starting to recognize the same people. There’s this one girl who uses the treadmill at a way-too-fast-speed because she will sprint for less than a minute, and then literally hop to the side of the treadmill while the belt is still running, catch her breath, and then go back to sprinting. She repeats this pattern a few times and clearly spends more time resting than running. But, who am I to judge? I’m the one who got injured from running, after all …

Along with being a slave to the elliptical, I have gone to several group classes. So far I have learned that I like flow yoga the best, because I feel like I’m getting a better workout. The jury is still out on Pilates. I have only gone to one class so I will try again another week. I haven’t done a spin class yet and am kind of afraid to, but will hopefully get my butt to one soon. (The reason I’m afraid is because I’ve done a spin class outside of the Y before and it was pretty difficult! But, a great workout!) And the pool? I actually haven’t done any swimming since becoming a member of the Y. I’m still trying to figure out not-so-crowded times to use their pool.

 

Do I love the gym? No.

But, it’s definitely keeping me sane and moving during my sabbatical from running.

 

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6 thoughts on “Injured Runner: Pretending I belong at the gym

  1. I really love this. I’ve been trying to go to the gym too and I observe just like you mentioned. Its so weird sometimes how people act .

  2. My use of treadmill nowadays (twice or thrice a week) is to get a jog on 8+ degrees of incline. I feel bored while running on it, this gives me a feel of trail walking and it’s a good warm up. And yes, I sometimes saw others running and check on their numbers, I watch their foot strike which is really hard to notice most of the times.

  3. I also am injured and have been a gym goer. While I am not new to it, it is not my favorite place. Lol. I like to find different cardio workouts pre-made on pinterest because indoor cardio is SO MUCH easier for me if I have something telling me what to do. I despise the elliptical (LOL), but I do thoroughly enjoy spinning! You should try it! I do the same for crossfit style works out or weight routines. I don’t like thinking about my work out (ahhh running is so effortless and peaceful) so having a weight our crossfit routine ready to go is my savior.

    I hope you heal up soon! I feel your pain. 🙂

    • Ohh looking up pre-made workouts is a good idea! I will have to do that next time to switch things up a bit because yes, it can get pretty dull …
      Thanks for the suggestion! – Sending positive vibes your way in your recovery as well!

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