Last Saturday I joined the (hundreds? thousands? millions?) of people who decided this year will be the year. The year to get in shape – more specifically, a shape that isn’t so round.

That’s right. Say hello to one of the newest card-carrying members of the Opelika Sportsplex and Acquatics Center.

Actually, they don’t give you cards. But I do have a five-digit number to punch, so I’m in.

Unfortunately, my husband and I live in Auburn, so we had to shell out the not-so-wallet-friendly “non-resident rate.” But you can’t put a price on fitness and health – actually, it seems you sort of can.

But I keep telling myself it’s worth the investment.

I’m more than a little overweight, and the sedentary lifestyle of an associate editor doesn’t help matters. Walking over to the coffee pot probably doesn’t count as sufficient daily activity.

My husband and I started thinking about getting a gym membership over the holidays. Upper respiratory infections delayed our signing up, but finally the day came to take the plunge.

Inexplicably, I developed back and shoulder soreness Saturday. I think maybe I was having some pre-workout anticipatory soreness.

Sunday we showed up at the Sportsplex for our scheduled orientation session. A couple of the trainers took us through, showed us how to use the cardio equipment and each of the weight/resistance machines. Part of me was thinking, ‘Psh, I’ve used a treadmill before. Let me at it,’ but it was nice to have a refresher on the weight machines and be familiarized with all the rules. I have to say, there’s some pretty fancy stuff out there at the Sportsplex.

So far I’ve tried out the pool, the indoor walking track and one of the stationary bicycles, where after a half an hour of pedaling I still hadn’t managed to find anything good to watch on television.

(Yes, my priorities are still slightly out of order. Give me some time).

Did you know the Sportsplex also offers a number of group fitness classes? Zumba and BODYPUMP seem like good options – I’m just trying to ignore the thought that maybe I need to be in a little better shape before I try these workouts.

See, Tuesday I plucked up the courage to attend Cardio Intervals. It was a great class because the intervals mean you don’t do the same thing the entire time. You do one thing, then another, then another, and repeat.

I went through intervals of wanting to cry, wanting to pass out, wanting to throw up and just wanting to leave, and repeat. So I feel I got the hang of the class pretty well.

And by Wednesday I could barely walk.

But waiting to work out until you’re in better shape is like cleaning the house before the maid comes over (not that I’ve ever had a maid) or trying to straighten up your life before you hand it over to God. It doesn’t really make sense.

But I’m still wondering if I’m in good enough shape to go get in shape.

Alison James, associate editor for the “Opelika Observer,” has loved to read and write since she was 5 years old. She loves meeting new people and telling their stories.