Andy Crouch - Code, Technology & Obfuscation ...

On Joining A Gym

Woman Using Battle Ropes

Photo: Unsplash

Not a blog title I ever thought I would write but it is true. I have joined a gym. Actually, I have been going for over a month and a half. This is a massive thing for me. If I am completely honest it is something I should have done years ago. The thought of joining a gym frightened me. I have been a strict veterinarian for 20 years but my weight has always been an issue. Over the last few years as my son has got older and I get to do fewer activities with him my weight has done nothing but go up. I also noticed that I was starting to feel a bit burned out.

I tried home based exercise. I have done Yoga on and off through the years but that wasn’t going to cut it. I bought a spinning bike but in a cold dark shed, it is no fun. I also tried T 25 which was OK. That ended through injury and of all the things to injure, it was my thumb. Don’t ask!

So my son and a friend wanted to join the gym and I took him along for his induction. It was at the local sports centre and it was nothing like I’d feared for all these years. There were normal people (you know the ones without muscles) of all shapes and sizes. There was a range of ages as well with some members well into their 70’s and 80’s (who would beat me in any given task). Surprised I ended up talking to one of the staff who didn’t sell it to me at all. In fact, her pitch was underwhelming and it worked. She asked what I would want to achieve and how much time I could spare a week. I signed up a month later and have been averaging 5 or 6 workouts a week since. The funny thing is that after the first trip my fear turned into total enjoyment.

Now I am not someone that pushes their hobby’s or beliefs down everyone else’s necks. Yet, from a developers point of view, Gyms are well suited to them. You do not have to be social and it’s all about the data. I have an app which that’s hooked up to the gym machines and Google Fit. I track everything and have started to build an analytics dashboard about most of my life. The approach to self-improvement is like continuous learning that many developers follow.

Above all else, though it’s nothing to do with my physical state. The biggest improvement by far is the improvement to my mental state. I can focus for longer and I feel sharper. No matter how many hours I have been working I no longer have slow periods where I am fighting to keep going.