I haven’t worked out in four months, and prior to this January it had been years since I had lugged my butt to the gym. But in January I forced myself to get back in to shape. My muscles were extremely tight especially in my back and legs, I knew that was just welcoming an injury.

In April, I had popped by Thika Road Mall and seen a bunch of people at the main artrium right outside Carrefour, garbed in orange t-shirts.  I found out there was a new gym, but was skeptical at the beginning, I needed to see it. The gym at the time was under construction. After seeing the progress they had made, I was impressed and decided to sign up.

I went home and told my sister about it only for her to tell me she had already signed up a few weeks earlier with a monthly membership rate of 1,850 shillings. Damn her! I could have saved the 300 bob. Month after month, we waited for easyGym™ to open, but there were numerous delays caused mostly due to shipping in equipment. Finally it opened 2 weeks ago.

For someone who was eager to work out, I wasn’t part of the swarm updating membership and working out on day one. I knew it was the overzealous type – the hype monsters who fade away after the first few months – who would be at the gym all day the first week. True to form that was the case. I opted to go in on Wednesday to update my details and get my gym access code on Wednesday that week. I was in and out in 2 minutes never to return for another week and a half.

In my defense I was ill the whole of last week. Then something happened on Friday that forced me to get my ass up and head to the gym. The excruciating pain I had felt in January in my lower back muscles just above my gluts returned with a vengeance. By Saturday I couldn’t walk properly it was as if muscles on the right side of my back had to compensate for the tight and shorthened muscles on my left and it was painful. I couldn’t sit or stand with ease at all. It was excruciatingly bad.

I have suffered from muscle imbalance before, after working with ignorant and overzealous gym instructors, the kind who look at you and decide you can carry weights heavier than you should, and I ended up in hospital and undergoing months of physiotherapy and radiotherapy 10 years ago. Right now I don’t take it for granted.

Since then for me, staying in shape was all about cardio, so Zumba or Yoga were my goals. But easyGym™ doesn’t have those options. They have something they call Pack 45 which is a full body work out.

I know, yet I signed up for it. But here’s the thing, when you look at the other gyms around, I saw the “Mwili yako ni Mluhya” (Your body is built like a Luhya) exclaiming instructors at other ‘gyms’ in the neighbourhood. This is assuming that since my body looks like a certain ethnicity they already know how to make me shed the fat. Ignorant!  Then you have the 20k per month rip off gyms.

I am tired of instructors with limited knowledge or abide by no clear safety and professional guidelines  on form and mostly ascribe to the “I know what you need’ mantra when you walk in to the doors of the gym. They just bark orders at you without understanding what you need and get any history of your experience in fitness, diet etc.

The long and short of it, I hurled, well, I dragged my behind to easyGym™ at TRM on Monday afternoon and went straight to Waringa, the Assistant General Manager of the gym, and asked her for a gym instructor. I had been talking to her months before the gym opened, she knew exactly what I needed. God bless her heart. There were several trainers but she called Cecil.

Cecil was absolutely amazing. First he listened to me before deciding what I should do. Because unlike most instructors I have encountered, my goal isn’t weight loss that’s a result. I am interested in getting my flexibility and agility back. Cecil listened to me and unlike I have ever experienced before, he gave me a series of work outs to gauge my body form and areas of imbalance.

It was meant to be simple, in my mind at least. After a 10 minute cardio, I barely made through. I was just on the fitness bike for this short time span, but I was painfully out of breath, I just couldn’t believe how unfit I was.  I then did a few exercises that rendered by legs jelly, leaving me sweaty and exasperated. Let’s just say only eating two bananas for sugar and potassium before the gym isn’t the smartest idea.

I wrapped up the session, Cecil’s note book was full with notes on my form and I scheduled my next session for tomorrow. Cecil’s professionalism blew my mind, what was clear, he understood the muscular skeletal form of humans and also pointed out the general development and natural imbalance of female vs male body forms. He understood that for me, it’s more than just strength training, I needed the full package, conditioning and endurance.

This will be exciting and painful. My thighs are still on fire from Monday, two days on. I am looking forward to seeing just how far I will be able to push myself. Let the games begin!