For years, the only place I felt comfortable working out was in the comfort and safety of my home. Now that I’ve taken my workouts to the gym, I look back and wonder why I thought the gym was so intimidating. I’ve given this a lot of thought so I could pass on some encouragement to others who also struggle with Gym intimidation.
So here are the reasons why I know I have every right to workout in the gym along with everyone else. Just as you do.
1. I pay the same membership fees as everyone else. Why is their money more worthy of gym space? The gym is just a place to go to sweat. It’s not a place for fit people to meet and admire the fitness that is apparent within their chiselled physique. lol! You pay, I pay, we all pay. It’s all the same moneys. Sweat freely my friends.
2. No one cares how sweaty you are. Seriously, no one cares. In fact, if I see a person drenched in sweat, red-faced, out-of-breath it makes me work harder and all I feel is mad respect for their perseverance. In fact, I make a point of encouraging them because who doesn’t like to be encouraged and respected? Yesterday, I watched an older gentleman crack out chin ups like gravity was no big thang, and as I walked by I said to him “Wow, Impressive!” ha! I seriously was so impressed I couldn’t keep the thought from escaping my mouth-hole. Then his wife did the same! Wowzers.
3. Plug into your iPod. Before I get to the gym, I go onto http://8tracks.com and find a playlist for my workout. It depends on my mood, and if I’m doing cardio, weight training, or both. I turn up my music and zone out. I occasionally break out into subtle awkward swaying dance. It’s as subtle as it is awkward. Most everyone else is in their own little music zone too. Even if they are looking around between sets, it’s because they are formulating their next exercise.
4. There’s no set demographic at the gym. If you regularly go to the gym and pay attention, you will see every shape, size, age, and ability. There are no classes there. No rank of importance. We are all the same, that’s what I love most about it. It’s my safe zone where I feel accepted no matter what level of fitness I’m at. Because really, go back to #2. No one cares about your workout, they only care about their own.
5. You will work harder at the gym. You will. At home, I’m distracted by my kids, my dog who is always under-foot (I swear one day he’ll be my demise on a set of stairs), phone calls, door bells, laundry piles. When I hold a plank, I see dust bunnies under couches and then my head starts to wander into to-do lists. There are so many distractions there, home is where my responsibilities live. At the gym, once I scan my card, that’s my time. Since I made the effort to pack up my gym bag, throw on some runners, drive or bike there…I have no excuse but to get to work and make the most of my time.
6. Sweat with style and variety…Where else can you go, that has a variety of high-end equipment at your finger tips? Sure, you can fill up your home-gym with a few pieces of equipment, but to stock it with variety would be expensive. For the price of a membership or a drop-in fee, you can try different types of cardio, strength training, classes, TRX, free-weights, machines…it’s all right there. Don’t know how to use the machines? Most gyms will give you a free information session and go through each machine. Better yet, hire a trainer. Seriously it was the best investment I ever made. We invest money into our clothing, nights-out, gifts for others, starbucks..but when it comes to our health suddenly the price is too high. Try a 5-10 session package and learn the basics of correct form. You’ll not only gain knowledge, but confidence. Invest in your health.
7. You may just meet some inspiriting people there. If you go to the gym and feel like a fish out of water, just do what I do. Smile. Hold your head high. Be friendly. Before you know it, you have yourself a little gym gang that just happen to go the same time as you. It’s a community of support and respect that I’ve never encountered before. We don’t bother one another during our workout, but we nod or say hi. Wave. The odd chit-chat. An acknowledgement of respect and camaraderie. For an introvert like me, it’s muchly appreciated.
So what are you waiting for? Please don’t feel intimidated by the gym, if you want to go. Just go. You have every right to be there just as I do. And if you see me there, say hi! Wave. Awkwardly sway subtly as music fills your ear holes. Sweat freely lol!
I’ll leave you a whole lot of motivation thanks to the ever inspiring and wise Eric Thomas.
Have a great day! From my heart to yours,