Exercise Class Anxiety
Rural Adventures

Exercise Class Anxiety

‘I’m pretty much anxious about most stuff, but few things cause me more stress than doing something brand new…’

I’ve spent the past few months drastically increasing my exercise as a result of having turned into a lazy pie since moving to North Wales.  When I lived in Scotland, I ran with my neighbours most evenings and, since they knew where I lived, it was difficult for me to get out of.

Now that I’m in Wales and don’t have any neighbours, I have no one to knock on my door and force me out.  After going up a dress size, I’ve decided that I should probably do something about it.  And I knew I’d have to go it alone.

Time constraints…

I don’t always have a great deal of time in the evenings, although it’s easier now that it’s lighter at nights.  I get home around 6ish, and often end up doing garden maintenance, writing or preparing dinner.  To combat this, I’ve been running during my lunch hour in the hope of reducing my weight and building my fitness back up.

After keeping this up for a 6 whole weeks (go me!), I decided I’d check out the local leisure centre in Machynlleth and change up my routine a bit.  I found a half hour ‘Ignite Core’ fitness class which, to be honest, sounded a little bit painful, but I thought I’d check it out anyway.  I mean, how bad could a 30 minute work out actually be?

After building up my courage for 3 weeks (I told you I was anxious…), I finally called and booked myself a space.  The leisure centre told me I needed to make the payment up front and, as I provided the staff member with my bank details, I knew this would definitely convince me to go.  And go I did…

A cautionary tale…

Unfortunately for me, I had spent the previous week on a diet, having cut out all my major food groups…you know, pasta, crisps and wine.  Knowing the class started 5pm and was only 30 minutes long, I decided to still go out for my usual run at 1pm.

So, there I was, all nervous at the leisure centre reception, asking where the studio was, where I might find a changing room and being desperate to ask (but not doing it), how many people usually came along.  As it turns out, it was 7.

The 7 female participants, along with the female instructor had clearly done the class before.  They were all fit as hell and kitted out in their lovely gym stuff, laughing and joking with each other.  Me?  I slunk it at the back and tried not to speak in my Scottish accent and make it know that I was the New Person.  It didn’t work.

The girls were lovely and the instructor even lovelier and I found myself feeling quite proud for having forced myself to make the effort. This smug feeling of ‘Hell, yes, I can do anything, me!’ lasted roughly 15 minutes.  At that point, I was beat after doing circuits and was pleased to hear that we’d be retreating to mats to do some floor work.

Back of the room… 

I took a mat at the back (obviously…) and lay down to start my sit ups.  Unfortunately, the second I raised my head off the mat, my head started spinning.  I lay back down in the hope that the feeling would pass, but it only got stronger.  After a minute, I started to feel really queasy and silently prayed that no one would notice I wasn’t doing much.

I tried to hide it as well as I could, but at the point I realised I was going to be physically sick, I had to leap off the floor, run past all my new friends, and dart down a flight of stairs in the hope of reaching the ladies before it was too late.

After a minute in the stall, there was a knock on the door and a loud voice, which announced to the entire bathroom ‘HELLO?? ARE YOU OK??  SIAN SENT ME DOWN TO SEE IF YOU WERE ALRIGHT??’

And so, any hope I had of not letting the entire leisure centre know that a mere 20 minutes in to my first ever venture to their facility had rendered me completely useless was lost.

I eventually managed to pull myself together enough to make it back to the studio and sit on the mat.  And this pretty much where I stayed until the class ended.  While the other ladies were involved in sit ups and planks, I was involved in, well…trying not to pass out, to be honest.

Afterwards, I stumble unsteadily out of the centre and back to my car, where I sat for 20 minutes until I felt well enough to make an attempt at driving.  I then went straight home and went to bed.

I think it’s pretty safe to assume I won’t be hurrying back…


Suzanne x




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