When You Get Back to Gym After an Endless Break…

So last week I mentioned that I would be blogging for the Sport Science Institute, yup a series on our blog about something I am doing, for the first time ever. It is time to do a little more than I have been doing, small changes are good… but at this stage I really need more. The first week was all about signing up and assessments… And I have to say, while I jumped at the chance to join up I didn’t really think about the steps you need to take in between “Yes, I would love to sign up” to actually “working out on the floor.” There are all sorts of nitty gritty details, like an access card and a fitness assessment. This is true to form, this is the gal that never bothered to pack for her honeymoon… I was thinking wedding and forever after. This is the gal that never gave to much thought to having a newborn, I was thinking about labour and life ever after. There is a lesson here… I need to look a little closer at the steps in-between.


Needless to say, the first step is a fitness assessment… wha–aaaat, the only the only person in the world that thinks I have a marginal fitness is my sweet mom, because I am always walking places. Folks, reality check… unless you walk with some purpose, you are just getting places and it doesn’t make you fit. And another thing, I avoid all things medical like you cannot believe… so the thought of someone checking my heart rate, gasp. Let alone checking my blood pressure and blood sugar. Gotta say, their team is super friendly and I was so distracted chatting away, that I hardly noticed the actual event… other than I had to do a number of crunches… and I had to ask what those were, what happened to good old fashioned sit-ups. And whatever you call them, I am fairly un-abled in this area… I have had eight kids and nary a tummy muscle to mention. That wasn’t all, there was visit to meet their psychologist and a dietician… and a sleep expert. These folk are not messing about, it you want to change then they want to help you do that.


By now I have done a couple of workouts… where a couple is more than two. I might have been a little over enthusiastic and arrived a day early for my first scheduled work out. This is somewhat mortifying, because I have to leave home at 5:45 in the A.M. in order to get there. I had this brilliant idea, about the early morning thing. I thought, I would go to bed earlier (sounds like a wise idea), but typically if I don’t say “GO TO BED” to myself, nothing happens. Here’s the thing, I can honestly say that if you haven’t been to gym at the crack of dawn for “oh about twenty years” and you then get up and pedal furiously on an exercise bike for fifteen minutes, and then fifteen minutes more… and so on, you may get home and not make it till lunchtime and just possibly crawl into bed for the night… at about 11:30 in the morning.


I made it to the next morning’s work out, bright and cheery and I have discovered that I still like working out… love it in fact. So that is a good thing. Turns out, I am not very good at it and there are basic skills that have quite literally flown out the window. I cannot think when last I grabbed my ankle to stretch a quad muscle… oh my word. Everyone else, all five folk (yes this is pretty much one on one), in the class appears to manage everything fine. I am sure that there are things other folk can’t do, but they seem so adept at well, everything. But I plan to soldier on, onwards and upwards. I haven’t been stiff or in mortal agony. I have worked out and I can feel muscles I thought were long gone, after only a week… so I am excited about the prospect of being able to do more in the near future.


Every time I say I don’t think I can do that, there is a friendly face saying, we are going to get you moving. Already a week of classes in and the word “I can’t” is being exchanged with “how do I?” My goals were fairly simple: get moving about, and get rid of all the “I can’ts” that have been creeping into my life. I was thinking that that would be enough… any other achievements will be a bonus.


But, there is a detail… that arrived with the fitness assessment… in the form of a sleep study. And this is going to take me from just blogging about my journey to totally engaging in this project. This is probably going to be my moment of truth and huge for me. I know how vital sleep is, and how the lack of it is a huge risk factor to all sorts of healthy living. And I know how good it feels to sleep properly. I am going to have to sort my appealing sleep habits out, for reals. I have to stop doing just one more thing, stop all the excuses… and learn how to sleep like a regular person again. Not only that, quite a few people are going to have to discover that the while the mother person sleeps, angels are not dashing around the house doing all those forgotten last minute things. It is going to be somewhat of a reality check for everyone around here. I might possibly have limits. Myself, I don’t believe I have limits… so how I expect my kids to expect that I do, is a whole new thing. This is not just about going to bed earlier, this is about lifestyle rearranging.

Gotta love the view from the gym as you step out the door.

Last week my biggest issue, was I really needed to get some gym gear, I still do and I desperately need to get some sporty shoes. This week, I have other issues of course… while I still haven’t found shoes that I like, after looking all weekend, I also need to figure out actual gym logistics, you know like where the bathroom’s are… small details that could really enhance a gym experience. Anyway, there are plenty more weeks to blog about sleep and workouts. I will be blogging my journey through the Healthy Weight Programme every week over at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa…

Posts Over at the Sport Science Institute

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I would like to thank SSISA for the free training/mentoring I am getting in exchange for an honest blog post. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

24 Replies to “When You Get Back to Gym After an Endless Break…”

  1. I’m LOVING your blogs over there and here – this is such a great real life makeover!

    Favourite phrase in your post – lifestyle rearranging!


    When I first got my fitbit the thing that most shocked me is how little real sleep I was getting in comparison to what I thought I was getting. And still, nearly 3 years later, this night owl has to consciously and intentionally work on the sleep otherwise, like you, I’d stay up the whole night ūüôā

  2. Hay Marcia, I am glad you are enjoying it… Let’s talk about sleep: For the last year I was really intentional about getting to bed earlier… I am mortified to say galactic #fail. I have managed about on average two nights a week when I nearly get the sleep I need. Seriously, just not enough. When I do get the right sleep I feel so much better about everything. I need an intervention(!)… and I am going to have to do much more than try and get to bed earlier to get back into healthy sleeping habits. Watch this space… this sleep avoider is about to make some life changes. Hope you have a great day!!!

  3. Hats off to you! I’ve never been to the gym, except to drop children off. I would have no idea what they were talking about. The inbetween preparation sounds reassuring. I’m glad you are getting into it and look forward to following your journey. My problem with sleep is that if I go to bed early, I’m up before the birds. I’m a morning person.

  4. Good for you, mama – I’m interested to see how the sleep feeds into everything else. I adore sleep‚Ķ goodness, it feels so good! But I also know I get far to little of it. And you made it through what would be the hardest step for me – the ‘assessment’. Just thinking about it makes me cringe!

  5. Thank you Cat, who knew this would be the journey I would be on, at the beginning of the year… grabbing this opportunity with both hands!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  6. Hay Cheryl, I have to say that I prefer the great outdoors and fresh air, but the time has come to get back into gym for a couple of hours a week… so that I can enjoy the great outdoors more. I can get up timeously, but my word I am appalingly bad at going to sleep at night!!! Time for some new habits I guess!!! Have a great day!!!

  7. Following your journey and loving the blogs ūüôā :). I might learn to love my treadmill in the process ūüėČ

  8. Oh Christi, sometimes you just have to get through the stuff you would rather avoid, to get to the stuff you wold like to do… Crazy but appallingly true!!! Anyway another week is under my belt so to speak… sigh. I am totally exhausted, waiting for the wonderful energy boost “of exercise” to actually hit me!!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

  9. Thank you Nita, It is going to be quite an adventure!!! I tell you already I am being forced to sleep earlier, I just can’t stay awake any later!!! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

  10. Hay Cassey… it is pretty terrifying for me as well, this is not just about getting up in the morning and getting to gym!!! The more I venture down this path the more I realise that that could be the easy part. Right now the early mornings mean that just getting to the end of the day is quite the biggest achievement!!!

  11. Thanks Corli… This isn’t a breeze by any means… but I am doing it, committed to it and going for it!!! Really such a fab opportunity for me and I am grabbing it with both hands!!! Lots of lekker love to you all…

  12. Hi,let me give you an advice, because i care. I would really recommend you LPF with Shirley Boerssen. You have to start with the core, pelvic floor and posture exercises to enjoy doing exercises at the gym and outdoors (i am a physiotherapist :)). Please have a look at her FB page or contact her. She is from South Africa…maybe she is near you. She is a great professional,and my great friend.

  13. Hi Katja, I had no idea you were a physio, how fantastic is that… I am actually doing great at the gym, we have a biokineticist with us for every move we make, making sure that we do everything absolutely correctly. It has been fantastic, no pain, lots of core exercises that I didn’t think I could do at all, but they really help us to get everything right and don’t let us move on until we can manage the level we are at. You can have no fear that we are being very well looked after, thank you so much for your concern…

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