The Gym.

For the last few years I've been slowly getting more active. It's not really been planned; I started walking more, even using a treadmill at home when going outside was not a pleasant option and it's grown from there. I've been steadily increasing the amount of activity I regularly get, and back on the 1st of August last year I started attending a local gym.

I've not discussed this much outside of a few friends and some infrequent comments on Twitter when I've had a question or some tangential point to make. I'm not entirely comfortable advertising it publicly for a number of reasons but I think it's something worth discussing in broad terms here. I've been weight training for approximately six months; I do even lift, brah! The fact that I'm training and not focusing on cardio is probably an indicator that I'm not trying to lose weight; in fact I expect my weight to steadily increase. My motivations are partly fitness focused for sure but I also have to admit to some vanity — and that seems a fair and reasonable motivation to me.

My Apple Watch has been a pretty great tool for gauging how well I'm doing on any particular day and for trying to ensure that I'm eating sufficient calories. Watch-owning friends also send me some encouragement when they get notified that I've hit an achievement. They're little things but they actually do help with motivation. Attending with a friend has also been indispensable — and though we don't necessarily work out together constantly, I have someone on hand to help me out or spot me when I need it — and someone to drag me to the gym when I don't necessarily feel like going.

One of the things I've had to account for is the time requirement. I spend about forty-five minutes to an hour per workout, two to three times a week in the evening. Considering travel time this becomes an hour and a half, which after work and allowing for some time to take a break and cook and eat dinner, dominates my evening on those days each week. My attendance has more value to me than playing PS4 games for sure, but I have had to make the decision to sacrifice other leisure activities to make this work.

This has been a pretty big deal for me, and has been positive for my self image as well as for my health. I've been watching my weight, my heart rate during workouts and at rest, and recently also my blood pressure, all of which suggest that I'm doing something right for myself. I'm also changing shape, which is definitely gratifying, though I haven't yet achieved my goal of performing an actual pull-up, I am getting closer, and doing so in spite of steady weight gain over the past few months.