…Ok, I know he was just doing his job. But I really didn’t *want* a “fitness assessment” in the first place. I told the marketing director from the racquet and fitness club precisely that. I just wanted the free orientation with the personal trainer that was offered so I could learn how to use the cardio equipment and weight machines should the urge strike me to actually work out

Over the phone, you can’t really tell if someone is rolling their eyes, of course, but I got the distinct impression he was.

He kindly explained (in that patronizing sort of way) that I should want to know my body composition, get  nutrition counseling, and yada yada…I had to (kindly, I hope) interrupt him and explain, “Look, here’s the deal. I come from a place of obsession with this stuff. When I wasn’t Reebok Stepping or pumping iron with the Smith Machine, I was studying to become an American Council of Exercise certified personal trainer. I used to work out so much that the staff at the gym said they were having my mail forwarded to the Stairmaster.”

He had no idea who he was talking to. I mean, I was the Workout Queen. I literally won the title in 1996–had my before and after pics on the front of the club newsletter. I was a Gym Rat Extraordinaire and they even gave me my own parking place (I am not kidding!). My husband calls that my ‘bulimic period,’ since I would eat pretty much whenever, whyever, and whatever and then exercise all the more to make up for all the “energy input,” sometimes 3 hours a day. That was before I started training for the marathons with long runs that could take 6 hours. I know that most of this was behind me by 1998, but I sense just how quickly I could return to it. It frightens me.

I tried explaining to “John” on the phone that I am now in a place of enjoying my freedom and only beginning to try to re-enter this “world” but, this time, do so sanely. I do not want to know numbers of any kind. Not even sets and reps for the free weights I might or might not use. I have been walking in freedom and I want to continue to do so. No weight, no measurements, no calipers, thank you very much!

When we hung up, I thought he understood and I figured that the person that I would have the appointment with would as well.

Truthfully, my family and I joined this club to enjoy tennis and racquetball, primarily…it is closer to home than the club that we have been members of for the past four months (and have hardly used), and if we want to do additional exercising, we could.

So yesterday, my appointment time arrived and “Cheryl” greeted me warmly, sat me down by her desk and got out all the paperwork for the “fitness assessment.” So I explained it all again. To her credit, she actually seemed to applaud my aversion to numbers, labels, scales, and charts.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 
Stand firm, then, and do not let 
yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 
– Galatians 5:1

I was surprised by myself, though. She described this computerized print-out program thingie I could get. Each time I go in, I can tell the computer something or other and it will spit out the program I should do today. I was surprised at how tempted I felt by that…just to have a “check list” of things to do when I go in…then the incentive program they have…earn points for each visit. Oh my word. Is that stuff ever tempting. I don’t really understand this part of me that seems driven by these sorts of things.

I didn’t give in to any of that yet. Well, that isn’t so, as I did log in to the Fit Rewards program online to see what they give points for. Thankfully, I could see it wasn’t likely to be a good fit for me just yet.

I wonder when I will be free from fear? This is like I felt about adjusting my food about 8 years ago. Maybe now it is time to apply these principles to this area of my life. I want NOT to live in fear. But to really BE free…not just avoid, but experience HIS sufficiency to keep me from obsessing and losing myself.

Cheryl asked me what my goals are…I have to keep that ever before me. I just want to have fun and stay sane with this stuff. I would love to worship the Lord as I move my body. If I could do these things, I would be thrilled. Add to that fun with my family members or new friends on the tennis court and I would be really thrilled. Simple, it seems. I just want to live LIFE. To be “normal,” free from obsession. I want to glorify and praise the Lord with my thoughts and my actions and my words.

No more Gym Rat Mania…