Yesterday, for the first time since I relocated to Minneapolis, I walked into the gym with the intention of lifting weights.
I know that strength training will make me a better, faster runner, but it’s something that I am not a big fan of. In all honesty, this is the reason why I kept going back to Orangetheory Fitness because it actually pushed me to do what I need to get done to build some arm muscle.
But now that I’m on my own, I tell myself that I’ll frequent the gym. That I’ll do the exercises that I learned in Orangetheory and put them into practice because duh, I did them for over a year and a half so I know what to do to build my arm strength.
There’s still something that holds me back from going to the gym and working out. And it’s gym intimidation.
When you hit the trails to run, it can be intimidating. What if people see how ridiculous I look, you think. But the thing is, you are gone in a flash. Even if you aren’t a fast runner, you see someone and they are out of your sight in 10 seconds, so how much damage can they really do?
Yesterday when I walked into the gym, I was expecting it to be empty. After all, it’s a small gym in my apartment complex.
Nope. There were two guys, owning the free weight section (where I was headed) and immediately I panicked a little bit… maybe I’ll just go back upstairs and do this later. Instead, I faced that gym intimidation and set up my spot in the corner… grabbing a few free weights and taking a few deep breaths and I started to do the exercises that I knew best.
And still, even though I had a clue as to what I was doing, I never felt super comfortable to be in the gym. It’s not that the guys were rude, or mean, or even cared that I was there. I just felt so out of place like I didn’t belong.
It sounds silly, but this is a legit fear — I’ve heard it from a lot of people. That’s why they’ve created gyms that have judgement free zones and workouts that you can do right at home. But just like any other fear, the best way to beat it is to face it. Because you prove that yes, you do belong and you know what you’re doing.
So next time you are too intimidated to hit the gym or the trail, take a deep breath. Do it for you. And know that you belong no matter how new to it you may be.
Do you have a fear of gym intimidation? How do you get over it?
Cardio or weights —> which one do you prefer?
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