First Time Joining a Gym on the Road

Before I started this post I wanted to take a moment and share the series of events that led me to be near my sister when the recent tragedy happens.  I mention it because this is why I personally believe in God/Higher Power and also I think it’s important to take a moment and acknowledge how this lifestyle can be a benefit.  Back in August I started looking for a job to be closer to Charleston where my daughter lives and I knew it would put me closer to my Mom in Myrtle Beach and sister in the Charlotte area.  The search came down to two job offers which I received on the same day.  I prayed quite a bit about which job to take and ultimately chose the one that allowed me more freedom to travel. The other job was working on cutting edge technology and would allow me to travel internationally (a dream of mine), but I made the choice based on being closer to family and giving Lee more options.

Initially we were going to stay in San Antonio through November 1st and then head to Charleston.  After having our first Facetime with Oliver though we decided to head this way early, even though it meant we would have to pay an extra $700 in campground fees for two weeks.  The monthly rate at the KOA doesn’t start until November and we both winced at the high weekly rate, but we wanted to be there.  IF I hadn’t gotten a job we would have been gate guarding and that wouldn’t have been possible.  If I took the other job I would have spent the first month in London and Lee would have stayed.  Instead we made the unusual choice to spend the money and drove 1200 miles in three days to get to Charleston. Originally we were going to take four days to get to Charleston.  We arrived very late, setup and the next day went to see Kyrston and Lee met Oliver.  Tuesday morning I got the news about my nephew.

I grabbed a rental care and was able to get to my sister within 4 hours.  Lee called the campground close to her and snagged their last available spot.  We needed to stay through Halloween weekend and the campground was packed.  Lee packed up the rig, followed behind me, and was with me by 3pm.  Through all of this I didn’t need to worry about my job oir money because I was now a full time employee with bereavement pay and my boss was someone I had known for twenty years.  It was not lost on me that the other position would have put me in London and I don’t know what I would have done.  If we were gate guarding we could have packed up and left, but we would have risked upsetting the company we worked for and it would have taken days to get there.

It was a horrible tragedy and something no one should ever have to go through, but I am so grateful that God put me in a position where we could support my sister and her family.  I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge that.

After the funeral, we came back to Charleston and were lucky enough to get our same spot back.  In general I am not a huge fan of KOAs but the Ladson/Charleston Holiday KOA has been amazing.  Their monthly rate is extremely reasonable($675 for two people) and we absolutely love our site.  All of the people we have met here have been super friendly as well, and it’s close to grocery stores, laundromat, etc.  When we got back and set up I jumped on the scale and saw that for the first time I was over 160 pounds.  Menopause took me to 140, and stopping smoking added another 20 pounds.  I knew I needed to do something and I looked around to see if there was a gym close by.

The reason I chose a gym was I had stumbled across a video on weight loss from a doctor who was my age and she talked about the need for resistance training.  According to her, I could do all the cardio in the world, but at our age we needed to convert the fat to muscle.  Many, many years ago I worked out in a gym and I liked it, so since we were going to be in the same area for a couple of months I decided to give it a try.  Initially I felt hesitant, but I went at lunch and signed up at a gym 3 miles away and last night I had my first workout experience.

The gym is 24/7 which is important to me, and has lots of machines.  The cost is $35 per month with no contract required, and they gave me half off the activation fee which ended up being $30.  I am sure I could have found a better deal somewhere, but I liked how close it was, and the woman I signed up with was very nice and low pressure.  The only unfortunate thing was when I put on the one pair of gym shorts that I own I discovered they had a huge hole in them.  So I had to go to a nearby Kohl’s and grab a couple of items so I would have something to work out in.  The best part of that trip was that I saw a Donato’s right near the Kohls!  We absolutely love Donato’s which is a Columbus based company, and had no idea they had them in Charleston, let alone so close by.  I grabbed us a couple of subs, which were deee-licious, and then I knew I was definitely going to need to start working out.

When I went into the facility, I went from one machine to another and tried them all.  Thankfully there were small explanation cards on each one and most were self-explanatory.  I could have gotten help from one of the trainers if I needed it, but I preferred just working through it on my own.  People seemed to recognize that and respect it and folks just gave me space.  I didn’t feel ignored or anything, just allowed to do my own thing which I appreciated.  I focused mainly on my upper arms and did not push it.  I lightened the weights on each machine to the point where I felt some resistance but wasn’t straining  and tried to do at least 20 reps on each one.  I also spent some time on the treadmill and the cross country ski machine, just to throw in a little cardio.  I was there a little over an hour and I feel pretty good today.  A little sore in the upper body, but nothing too terrible.  My goal is to go a minimum of three days a week and more if possible.  Between work and spending time with Kyrston and Oliver I am not 100% sure when the best schedule times will be, but I am not putting too much pressure on myself.

Any exercise is good exercise!  I am also walking the dog and walking when possible while I am on conference calls just to keep myself moving.  The other side of the equation of course is eating.  I am trying to reduce carbs and reduce processed sugars but I am not eliminating them completely at this point.  Now that we are settled I need to get back to making healthy meals for both of our sakes.

That’s all for now but I do have some pictures of Oliver to share.  He has been such a blessing during all of this.  Holding him has been the best comfort.

My brother meets Oliver for the first time

Oliver meets Jack

I love how he sticks his tongue out. His grandpa does that too

Checking out the mirror I bought him


Then showing me how he can roll over now

Grandpa trying to get him to scootch a little



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2 thoughts on “First Time Joining a Gym on the Road

  1. Gaining weight in middle age is way to easy and losing it is the opposite…so many metabolic challenges that we never had when we were younger. Good for you for getting a handle on it now. I know you don’t need diet advice (everyone has one..right?) but for me intermittent fasting has been what is working. I stumbled on a book called Delay Don’t Deny and I discovered I can eat whatever I want as long as I eat it in a 6-8 hour window and fast the rest of the time. I think the hardest thing about “dieting” is feeling deprived and I never do.

  2. Pingback: First Time on a Diet – Camper Chronicles

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