Even though that mirror session felt like it lasted hours, in reality, it couldn't have been more than 30 seconds. That half a minute really turned my day upside-down though. I kept catching myself snacking and I was trying to do little things like take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. I came home that night after my usual nine to five and looked in the mirror again. I don't know what I was expecting to have changed but for some reason, I had a glimmer of hope that I'd be prouder of what I saw. I wasn't. I went right to my couch, turned on my DVR and went right to Instagram so I could see how great everyone else's life was in comparison to mine. After some double tapping and scrolling, I came across a picture from my local CKO with a group of people all smiling after a workout. Everyone looked so happy and excited. The caption under the picture was about how everyone goes at their own pace and everyone supports one another for reaching every little milestone. I'm not going to lie, it was a little corny. But... I kinda really liked it and it really did make me smirk a little. A tap or two later and I found myself booking my first "free trial class" for the next day.
I remember being nervous as all hell. I kept fighting myself whether I could do it or not. I went on the website, hunted for videos, and even searched google for everything I could find out about CKO. Turns out, they really ARE all about their community from what I could tell.
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I had an orientation with the trainer before the class. She made me feel really welcome and she broke down the 10 or so moves I needed so that they'd be really easy to remember. I told her how nervous I was and she told me how she felt her first time too, 45lbs ago. She said that's why she became a trainer at CKO. Apparently, most trainers and owners were members with big weightlosses too. That made me feel really good. Like these people would understand the struggle I was about to have for the next hour.
Classes started and I felt a little out of breath in the first 20 minutes. The trainer came up to me during class and gave me a huge thumbs up as she called out other drills. No one else was watching me but her because everyone was too busy with their workout on their own heavybag. I kept pushing and the next thing I knew, class was over. Time FLEW! I was drenched in sweat but so was everyone else. I got my stuff together and headed out. The lady at the front desk said I looked so happy and the trainer for class ran up to me and said I did a great job. It felt so great to be acknowledged by people that understood what I just completed. They really DID seem like a community and they were really down to Earth. They didn't try to sell me on anything. They just reminded me to use the other two classes soon and told me to stay hydrated.
I got home that night and was too tired to think about much else. I couldn't even remember the last time I worked out like that. I took a shower, ate dinner, and headed to bed after a little TV. I didn't even go on Instagram to look at other people's lives. I just kept thinking about how great of an experience I had at CKO earlier.
The next day while at work (and admittedly a little sore), I got a text from that lady at the CKO front desk. I expected it to be some salesy tactic about some promotion or whatever but it wasn't. Instead she asked me how I was feeling and told me how great I did yesterday. I replied and we had a quick conversation. She actually told me to wait a day before I go back to class. She mentioned how it's good to let the body rest after my first class. I was still skeptical and waiting for the sales pitch but it never came. I apparently wasn't just a number at this gym.
Sure enough I went back 2 days later. The front desk lady was there again and was happy to see me. She told me how I'd have a different trainer that day and introduced me to him. I completed class again, took a corny group picture that I was actually kind of proud would be on their Instagram later and went right to the front desk to talk about membership. Again, I expected some sort of tactics but it was all pretty cut and dry. They even took back the $20 I spent on that "Triple Play" and put it toward the membership cost. I committed.
It's been a little over a month now. CKO is part of my weekly routine and I go 3 times a week. I've lost about 11lbs and the trainers and front desk already know me by name. I've taken a ton of corny pictures with people who are becoming friends and I'm even going out to a "CKO Night Out" with them and the staff next week. The workout has never been the same twice, classes are always fun, and it feels like I can get through anything when I complete these classes. But you know what really changed? Ever since I've been taking these classes, that jiggly body, those saggy arms, and that sad down-on-myself confidence level has gone away. Don't get me wrong, I still have more weight to lose but I smile in the mirror now. I see changes happening and I even find muscles! My clothes fit better and I take more pictures where I'm not hiding behind people anymore to hide my body. I'm genuinely happier because I know I'm working on me. Now I'm the one posting about my great life on Instagram and I don't ever compare myself to others.
Maybe I had to hit that low to push myself to find that high again but I'm really glad it happened. I think I'm even more glad about seeing that corny CKO group shot that night that I felt so down. I went from feeling hopeless to making a change for the better and I never once felt like a number at a gym. I haven't been forgotten. Instead, everyone keeps celebrating my weightloss with me. We all celebrate each other together. Who would have thought that in this day and age, a gym like this even existed. Turns out, it does. If you've ever felt that low, have frowned in the mirror, or felt like nothing worked, I strongly encourage you to try one of those CKO Triple Plays. They're not kidding when they say they'll change your life.
(The writer of this post asked to remain anonymous)