It wasn't too long ago that the very thought of a gym filled me with fear - to be honest the closest I ever got to keeping fit was bending down to my printer to collect my monthly direct debit which, like for so many people, is an irremovable amount from that long list we stare at each month - to remove it is to be defeated from the once glorious notion that you too (And i) could have the body of even one of these two!
I'm trying most of the classes at my Nuffield gym (I'm sure all gyms offer pretty much the same) with only a few left to try on the "Roycey does them all list"
Zumba is most enjoyable so far and remains top of my list, Why? I'm just loving the freedom of expression and a chance to dance like a man free of caring what anyone thinks and doing it sober and in the daylight hours makes it so more fulfilling!
When you come from a place I've come from you have little or no self esteem and you have probably spent a lifetime trying to keep everyone happy and more the point constantly worry about what everyone thinks of you - it's truly draining!
Today (Through much work on many levels) I care not what prople think of me Why? Because I respect the person I am today and have no real idea who that old fag puffing pot bellied, tired eyes grumpy, self loathing Roycey was!
A good example of "Not giving a toss" was a while back when I got called a "Poof" for simply mentioning the very fact that I could "Twerk" in "Zumba!" This effected me not one bit other than the terminology which was both bigoted and frankly insulting to the whole gay community! Now if we were to rewind the clock a few months and years and I would have left Zumba quicker than the irish women from Big Brother! (No, me either) Today however it just makes me work harder!
Why I hear you cry? (Or not as the case may be!)
The gym, classes, boxing, walking on a 28 hour charity event, cycling 100k, spin, sit-ups, crunches, the plank, it has built up an inner strength and belief and a amazing things I never knew existed grew from within; "Self Worth" "Self respect" and the most life changing "Pride"
I dance in a room filled with 15 passionate ladies dancing like we were in the middle of a packed Cuban night club, poof? Whatever!
The one slight problem I will face should I ever dance the Zumba dance outside the safety of my dance class is I am learning with and from women, so I am learning the "Female" moves and not the "Butch" male ones - do I care - nah, I'll just throw in a few grunts to cover my obvious campness!
When you come from a place of little or no self esteem it's difficult to see any way of finding anything to make you happy, (Trust me i tried everything) after a while you slip down into a very dark place, most doctors give this the title of depression and rightly so, it's not a pretty place but I have a solution which may go a little way to throwing you a ray of hope from the day to day grind and loneliness of life!
I found out something profound in my life recently, if your hurting inside the only way to fix it is from the inside out, NOT the outside in, the gym is the perfect solution should you feel the same way! Start slowly and watch your confidence grow! Watch yourself start to believe in yourself, watch yourself become proud of your body, watch your lifestyle change and watch your mind body and soul take a new path!
I write this blog not for me, im doing it and feeling the results so don't need telling, I'm writing this in the hope just one person may go for a walk, try a run, do a sit up or honestly commit to a simple one month of gym membership! I have found a very small way of filling my mind and soul with positivity that I searched for and craved for, for so so long - I've got "Self esteem!" And I LOVE IT!
I honestly wish I could film myself giving it all I have for an hour in Zumba and you would see the biggest smile EVER! I get it wrong, I throw in a few of my own steps, I sweat, I swear but most of all my chest grows and I feel amazing as I depart and walk (Head held high) onto the damp streets of Croydon! More than this I've made some friends,I talked to someone rather than an e-mail, a tweet or a Facebook message, I have a great laugh and more importantly I did something positive just for me! Not for one other person, yep, something for YOU!
I truly can't find any negatives!
Yoga is now staring at me to try it, the problem is I can get bored very quickly, but try it I will, along with a few other classes on offer! So much on offer and so many challenges to try how much more exciting than staring at twitter getting all het up nobody is tweeting you or waiting for an e mail from someone who doesn't really give a toss about you!
Boxing is my new found love and it is bloody brilliant (I go to Rose Hill Boxing club and I get bandages on my hands and everything!) and truly uplifting, I have the most amazing trainer, Ian, and not only does he push me, I now have the confidence to push myself - I've even named myself the "Wallington Whirlwind" which could not be further from the truth! Imagine the move you make when walking into a spiders web and you kinda get the idea of my combinations! Having said that I found some things I have never seen before - muscle! Give me a mirror and I'm kissing the guns - vanity? No! Pride! (Ok, maybe just a tad of vanity!)
For those who knew me before and have been in my company they will happily tell you that prolonged exercise, determination, focus and hard graft for goals and aspirations to be met didn't appear too high on the "old Royce's" list - today, just below my family and equal to my career, they sit nicely in second spot - a bit like Man U will do behind Liverpool come May next year! (That's for you Ian & Tim, get ready Mr Ramsay, you're cooking!)
If you're feeling low, lack confidence, think your worthless, have no "get up and go", if you have that "Cant be bothered attitude" simply take a step into the world of a gym and I categorically promise you this - you will have a new purpose, new energy, new goals but importantly you will know a new you, full of what it takes to meet this world head on. But and it's a huge but, it's going to take effort, it's going to hurt, it's going to take done commitment but you will feel a inner achievement that YOU did just for YOU!
I won't blab on about my weight loss, muscle gain, healthier lifestyle, the changes I've made, I don't need to, get into exercise and they will naturally come for you too.
Today I walked into The London Studios and a very lovely Irishman who execs and makes fantastic TV for ITV (I won't mention his name) said to me "You look bloody fantastic Roycey (He actually said it twice) those two comments made every single trip, bead of sweat, dance move and sit up worth while, that's called "Pride" and it felt brilliant!
My life has changed and the gym and exercise has been an integral part of the new Roycey! Why not come and join me on the journey? lets dance like nobody cares, run like our life depended on it, spin like Bradley, swim like there was a bar at the end of the pool and most importantly change, from the inside!
Try it - it works, honestly it does.
Thanks for reading.