Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Happy Monday, dear readers! I hope you had a fabulous weekend.

As for me, while I wasn’t exactly a whirlwind of productivity yesterday (okay, I wasn’t at all), I still managed to write a lot on the weekend and keep my writing date this morning. I even made a healthy lunch and got things all ready to return to the gym.

This is going to be the toughest part of my new plan. The truth is, I really hate the gym. Not my kickboxing club–it’s usually not too difficult to drag myself there. But I loathe fitness clubs for the most part.

For me, the hardest part about working out at a gym is just walking in the door. Once I’ve done that, I’ve got it made. Then, if I can only keep going until I’ve gotten comfortable with the place, it won’t be such an ordeal. But that’s a big if.

Last year I stumbled upon an amazing deal. As an alumni, membership to my college’s gym is only $35 a year! And it’s within close walking distance to work, so I could do my weight routine during lunch and get it over with. I was quick to sign up and get the terrible photo taken, but did I actually go to the gym? Um, about twice.

I hate that moment when you walk in the door of a health club and everyone stops what they’re doing to stare at you. The dread of that moment is actually enough to deter me from going, but I’m not sure when I started feeling this way. Maybe it comes from the time when a woman couldn’t so much as sit down on a weight machine without some bohunk offering to show her what she was doing wrong. Free weight areas have a bad reputation of being dominated by grunting, inconsiderate, space-hogging muscle freaks, and sometimes they still are, but I think we’ve evolved past the idea that the only people who need to use weights are the ones who want to look like Arnie.

If worse came to worst, I guess I don’t really have to go to the gym. Kickboxing is a great strength workout, and between that and the running I’m planning to start this week, I should have the bases covered. But I know what weight-lifting can do for me. There’s no better, faster way to reach my goals than by supplementing my kickboxing workouts with a weight-lifting routine.

I’m putting this down in writing because I really don’t want to go. And for a pretty ridiculous reason! The gym will be practically empty right now, since it’s the summer and school is out…it’s a perfect time to get comfortable with the facilities so I don’t feel so awkward once it gets busy. Even so, I can feel the excuses for not going starting to churn in my brain.

So, wish me luck. And if I don’t go, feel free to call me a wimp!

How about you, dear reader? How do you feel about the gym–friend or foe? Does it take you awhile to get acclimated, or do you jump right in?

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  1. Elspeth Cross

    Good luck! The motivation is always the hardest part. Once you get there it’s too late to change your mind.

    Personally, I don’t need the gym. The crab grass in my flower garden is kicking my butt all on its own. You should be able to walk after a couple hours of gardening, should you?

  2. Story Teller

    Hi Elspeth,

    Thanks for the luck! I definitely need it. I don’t know what my problem is, because I actually don’t mind lifting weights. I just hate the gym itself, and it doesn’t seem to matter which gym I go to.

    Good luck with your gardening! Are you on holidays this week, too?

  3. Margo Dill

    I saw you post this on Twitter, and I had to comment! I agree 100%! My husband loves the gym–it’s like his hobby. Every time I join, I waste my money. 🙂


  4. Story Teller

    Hi Margo! Welcome to my blog, and congratulations on your new arrival! I envy your husband…how does he stay motivated?

  5. Chris

    I have a big problem with motivation, too, and I still haven’t figured out a way to break the ice. Once I get into a daily/weekly routine it’s not so bad, but the tricky part is getting started. Usually I’m motivated by fear (a certain pair of pants is too snug, or the scale tips a certain number, that sort of thing). But there has to be a better way. Hope you find one that works for you!

  6. Anonymous

    It eventually becomes a friend….

    Like any social situation – things get easier when you get to know a few people. A few friendly faces to get to the gym, say hi, or even train alongside with. You can find some solace just by getting to know a few of the more outgoing regulars, then it isn’t so bad. Over time, *you* become one of the regulars that scope out the new members.

  7. Story Teller

    Thanks for your comments! @ Chris – fear is definitely a great motivator, but for me, that would send me to kickboxing, not to the gym, as muay thai is definitely the better workout of the two. You’re right about needing to find that special motivator, though – just haven’t found it yet!

    Hi, Anonymous! Welcome to my blog. You said it well – this kind of thing gets easier with time. Even going to my club was a little nerve-wracking when I didn’t know anyone, but at least I joined that one with a friend. It’s just getting the gumption to go *before* you know anyone that’s tricky. And would you believe I’m an outgoing, social person? It’s just the darn gym that throws me. Thanks for your comment!

  8. Kim

    they stare at you when you walk in because you look hot… I go to that gym at said college (the other location though). It is populated with young-uns but the scenery is OK. And I agree that you need to get to know a few friendly faces. I know it helped me when I had people to meet up with there. We motivated each other and it was a social break. You have to decide what your needs are. My gym attendance falls rapidly when the weather is nice.

  9. Story Teller

    Hi Kim! Welcome back. How did you get to know people there? Just by chatting to the other people working out? I don’t tend to do that, as I personally like to be left alone when I’m working out. I have tried the buddy system, and it works, but only if your buddy is equally committed. I’ve found it difficult to find one who is.

  10. Kim

    Well I work there… so.. most of my buddies I found through work events. But I think they also have special sessions at Princess you can sign up for.
    Otherwise, I have a whole crew of people that I work out with, cycle with, run with. I have a triathlon club people and a cycling group and a running group with a bit of a drinking problem. (Actually…. hmmmmm)… I’ll send you the info.
    If you get a bit more competative at it, you meet a ton of people to motivate you. At races and at training clinics.

  11. Story Teller

    I have that type of bonding going on at my kickboxing club. I don’t really need it at the RRC gym, but someone to go with would be nice.


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