Walking through the front doors the smell of sweat fills your nose. This will be one step toward your new health regime. Looking around, you begin to notice the other people spread throughout the room and they glance your direction before continuing with their progress. You take a deep breath and walk further into the room, looking from one piece of equipment to another, it looks so foreign. The question pops into your mind, how will you know how to use the machines, when someone stops and offers their help.
You look again at the intimidating sight before you and accept. The man looks to be in his mid-thirties and is in excellent shape. His t-shirt hugs tightly on every muscle and you realize this is someone who could motivate you. He leads you to the first machine, the whirring of the treadmills next to you makes you wary, but slowly you step on and press start. You increase the speed until you are running and before you know it sweat pours off your face. After twenty minutes, your skin glistens with perspiration making you feel satisfied with your workout, but you aren’t done.
The stranger leads you to the next machine and you begin to feel nervous. There are a lot of weights and you don’t know how much you should do. The machine has a seat with two bars on each side for you to hold on to. The two legs rests in front of you are intimidating, but the man instructs you to put your legs on them and he puts the weight on thirty pounds. You push your legs toward each other and feel an intense pull on the outside of your thighs. You grit your teeth and do ten reps and take a break. You look around you again and notice that everyone else is gracefully moving through the motions of their workout.
A woman two rows down from you takes deep breaths between every rep and you jump as you hear a crash below you. There is a basement that you hadn’t noticed before and you look over a ledge to see a weight room with men whose veins are bulging in their necks and muscles are rippling through their shirts. You begin to walk away when you hear a loud grunt and then another crash. The men below are making loud sounds of exertion before dropping their weights abruptly.
You decide to give the machines a rest and walk toward the weights and pick up two ten pound weights. You watch another woman who seems to know what she is doing and mimic her. You put one foot forward and lunge, the workout hurts but you push through it. The woman in front of you doesn’t have a problem, so you continue. After doing several other workouts in which the woman in front of you doesn’t seem to have a problem, yet you are struggling, you decide you’ve had enough for the day.
As you walk out you look behind you again and see the same people that were there before you arrived still working on the machines. You sigh and exit welcoming air that isn’t filled with the stench of sweat.