It's that time of year yet again.
Everyone is resolving to have a fit and healthy 2017 (including me), though by the end of February the number of people who have really resolved to get fit will be obvious.
For most people, getting fit involves getting some sort of membership. Whether its an online fitness program (there are so many, and some of them are fantastic), getting a membership for the local gym, or ordering one of those infomercial workout DVD's, most people are going to try something.
My angle is that I'm going to try going to the local gym. It's right beside campus (and I live on campus) and students get a steep discount on access to the facilities - pool, fitness center, track, etc. I headed over there one night, determined to pay for the first month of that pass and commit myself to being a paying full access member of the gym.
As soon as I walked in the door, my heart started pounding in my chest. Fit people... fit people everywhere.
I didn't fit in. I was just a skinny-fat unfit person who didn't know a barbell from a normal bell. Not to mention I was the only one wearing winter clothing, even though the lobby was filled with people who weren't actively working out. Are fit people immune to the cold or something? (Would I ever love that benefit though.)
Have you ever been in that position? Wanting to join a gym but just too intimidated to try? I couldn't even get up the nerve to check out the upstairs area when the woman at the front desk said I could look around.
If you haven't (if you're a fit person or just someone who has no social awkwardness at all)... I'm here to tell you why going to a gym is just so intimidating.
It feels like everyone is looking at me.
Who knows - maybe they are, maybe they aren't. The fact of the matter is that I feel like they are. Do you have any idea how scary that is? I don't want people judging me based on the amount of arm muscles I have (not many) or the size of my stomach (growing as I polish off the last of the Christmas chocolate).
How embarrassing would it be to use a piece of equipment wrong?
Pretty damn embarrassing. Oh gosh, was this supposed to be used on my arms? Really? How the hell did I manage to do a leg workout with it then? I guess that's why everyone's been giving me weird looks...
How embarrassing would it be to have to ask how to use a piece of equipment?
Ahhhhh no way. I don't want to look incompetent. I want to project this aura of 'I'm a fit person' - when really I'm not. Maybe I'll just stick to the treadmill and stair-climber. That's cardio. And they're easy to use.
I can't stop thinking about how I look compared to all of these muscular people.
Honestly, I can't help but feel like a walrus next to someone who can run at twice the speed I can. Some people might call that motivation. 'You could look just like them if you try!' In my opinion, it's just intimidation. Like they want me to get out of their gym and go back to where I came from.
It's a real struggle to get up the courage to go to the gym. I'm rooting for anyone out there who's trying to make their fitness resolution a reality this year, and remember...
Despite the eternal truth in that statement, your health and well-being is more than worth it. Fight the fit intimidation (whether they mean it or not) and get that workout in!