Why I Love To… Go To the Gym

For Justine King, it’s about challenging herself, focus and seeing familiar faces

I never thought I’d be someone who actually enjoyed the gym. For years I was a gym member who forced myself to get there two or three times a week, walk briskly on the treadmill and pick up a dumbbell or two with very little clue what I was doing then wonder why my efforts didn’t seem to be having any physical effect on my body. It wasn’t until I joined my current gym, Swan Leisure in Rathmines, that I was given proper guidance as to what I should be doing while I’m there.

There is a real community environment in the gym and people work out there at all ages and levels so instead of the intimidation I felt in other gyms, I felt comfortable going to classes like TRX, circuits and boxfit knowing there would be others like me in the class. I got a proper workout programme from a trainer who essentially took all of the cardio out of my workout (except for a 10-minute high incline walk to cool down) and instead had me lifting weights, doing walking lunges and pull-ups at least four days a week.

Over time I almost outgrew the classes and now prefer to challenge myself in my individual workouts by lifting heavier each week. My programme gets updated about every four-five weeks and I can’t believe my progress. I actually enjoy going to the gym and miss it any week I am too busy to get there. Of course, there are days that require an extra bit of self-motivation but I never regret a workout once it is completed. As a freelancer I can spend a lot of my working day on my own, so I use the gym as an escape to break up the day and see some familiar faces as well as releasing the natural endorphins you get with exercise.

Justine King is a stylist, justineking.com