Over the last three years, I’ve tried to ‘get fit’ – I had a burst of loving running for a month or so, 4km every day on the treadmill, I tried lifting small weights in my flat at University (3.5kg max). Every time, I’d say I’ve ran out of inspiration, or I’ve just given up. Sometimes, I would try and exercise and I would just cry, because in the back of my head there was the constant voice telling me that working out was never going to make a difference if I wasn’t on testosterone. I listened to that voice too often, and I would always give up. Even though working out made me feel physically and most importantly, mentally more stable, I let the troubles I was having take over something that was really good for me.

I told myself that when I came home for the summer, I would join the gym, I put it off for two or three weeks, but eventually I joined two friends of mine and we all went together. Since then I’ve been going three to four times a week, and even though I’m only on my third week, it feels different this time – it feels bloody damn good.

Although I pushed myself to go before I had my first T shot, having that injection, at last, has put my mind at ease in a way I can’t explain with words. Without sounding totally stereotypical, I do feel as if a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Now when I go to the gym, and I work out, all I feel is excitement for the changes to come, and determination to better myself.

That’s what I’ve learned the most from going to the gym this summer – it isn’t about how much you can lift, how far you can run; it’s about bettering yourself. The gym allows me to feel better within myself both physically and mentally – I feel stronger as a person, and that is a feeling I’ve sought after for almost three years. 

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