Posted on May 12 2016
Blog written by Francis Elaine
I guess you could say it was a bold move—confirming a 3-month charge of $150 on a credit card I wasn’t sure I could pay off. I had no idea who my instructors were or if I even liked their style of teaching. So yeah, I was hesitant to jump into this pool without first checking the temperature. But, the motivation outweighed the doubt and I accepted those Fit and Thick terms and conditions at first glance (because who ever reads the fine print). As the next page loaded to confirm my new membership, I stared at my computer screen in disbelief. I’d finally joined.
I was a lot of things on my first day—anxious, intimidated, excited, nervous. So I ran a couple of miles in the afternoon to loosen up and ate pepperoni pizza as a reward. Had I paid more attention to the class name that Wednesday, I would’ve known not to eat so heavy on plyometrics and abs day.
Lesson 1: Read the fine print.
Lesson 2: You are as strong as what you eat, and diet will always constitute how well you work out.
I’d signed up for the 8:30pm class with Nicole Mejia, the fitness mogul my friends commonly referred to as “goals” on Instagram. Naturally, I was 10 minutes late. Thanks to traffic, I’d completely missed the stretching exercises. With no time to bring my knees to my chest or criss cross apple sauce, I went straight into the circuit workout—burpees. Or as I like to call them: burp up all yo’ food. Trying to keep up with the class pace, I kept my mom’s motto in mind—fake it ‘till you make it…or in my case, fake it ‘till you break it because damn, everything burned. No really, my body felt like the city of Pompeii.
Smack in the middle of their own workout, the ladies around me still made it a point to welcome me on my first day. A couple of them encouraged me with easy smiles, as I’m sure they saw the anguished look on my face. One member even suggested I buy bath salts for muscle recovery. At first, I thought she was exaggerating. I’d done cross fit before, and ran on a regular basis, so I didn’t exactly consider myself an amateur.
Lesson 3: I should’ve considered myself an amateur,because the class wasn’t lying when they warned me it might hurt to laugh the next day.
When finally we’d completed three very long circuits, I mentally congratulated myself for getting through the workout. Too bad it wasn’t over yet. Nicole motioned everybody to go downstairs for the final circuit—sprints. SPRINTS, when I already felt like a lung had collapsed. “What did I sign up for?” I joked (except I was sorta serious) when Nicole and fellow fitness guru Chabelys opened the door to lead us outside. As they both explained how many rounds of sprints we’d be doing, I’m not going to lie, I was scared. Not so much because of the running, but because of the other members in class. I didn’t want them to think the worst of me just because my speed was sub-par in comparison. I didn’t want to feel like any less of a member.
As I positioned my feet to sprint, I pushed off with everything I had inside of me, and even though it wasn’t much, I still heard my peers cheer behind me. That’s what made it click for me. It was in those final moments on that very first day that I realized I’d made a good call. I’d chosen a community of women who instead of judging weakness, encouraged strength. I’d found a group that could motivate its members even on their worst days. “What did I sign up for?” became “Why didn’t I sign up sooner?” and that scary pool I was so afraid to jump into didn’t seem so deep anymore.