Gymming it up

I’m one of those people that is and has been a member of a gym for several years. Despite this, I’m not the fittest of people and still don’t go on a regular basis; I seem to go through phases.

Like many people with nystagmus, I have a terrible posture. We all sit very close to our computer monitors and if you’re like me, and have your nose pretty much on the screen for a good 10+ hours of the day, then you’re almost certainly leaning forward most of the time. No matter how hard I try, I hardly ever manage to sit at a computer with me back straight. I no longer wonder if I will have back problems when I’m older, instead, I wonder when…

My back, is one of my motivations for exercise. Obviously, I also want to be considered ‘fit’, but these days, that appears to be most people’s aspirations! Anyway, I’m no expert and I really don’t know whether, running, weight lifting, stretching and other exercises help with this, but it feels good, so it must be doing some good, right?

Let’s put the reasons aside for one moment. Does having nystagmus affect me in the gym at all? Well, yes, but…

no obstacle is insurmountable – something to “always remember, never forget”.

Weights – quite a few people have told me to use free weights. Remembering my experience of that at pervious gyms I had been to, I wasn’t keen on the idea. Why? Simply because I struggled to see the weight written on them! I used to have to bend down and get really close to them… of course, if you’re a little self-conscious, that sucks. However, at my current gym, the numbers are pretty large and easy to read whilst standing! If only it was that way in all gyms.

So, same old story for all the machine weights, but I always feel less conscious about getting closer to them, whilst it can still be unecessisarily awkward!

Treadmills – in my current gym, they have TVs built into them; great! Well, until I try use the touch screen to change the channel, volume or bring up some statistics about my run. Being touch screen and trying to multi-task (run and use the screen), I often mishit the buttons, but I suspect everyone suffers from that. The fonts are quite large, but I still have to be quite close to the display to read it (closer than I would when running normally).

Rowing – this is one exercise I quite enjoy like. Again, similar problems – I quite like to know how far I’ve rowed, but no matter what position I’m in whilst rowing on the machine, I never seem to naturally get close enough to read the screen. Same old, same old.

If only I had an excuse for situps and pushups. I guess I won’t even go into how I manage to play squash…

About James

I was born in the UK and have congenital idiopathic nystagmus (had nystagmus since birth and the cause is unknown). I went to university, where I studied Mathematics and have since been working in the City of London, doing a job I absolutely love.
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