One hurdle people often have to overcome when starting a fitness routine is feeling awkward and insecure. It’s not easy feeling out of shape, or not knowing how to use the equipment and walking into a gym for that first time. I’m lucky, I grew up in the gym. My father actually owned one and my mum was always taking aerobics classes and even had a bodybuilding for women book way back in the 80s. Even still…..I have felt awkward in the gym. I actually have never been on a treadmill because I’m not exactly sure how to use one and worry that I’ll look silly. I’ll do the elliptical, stair climber, strength training machines and free weights but never the treadmill.
I was also fortunate that when I decided to start working out again last year my husband was already going to the gym every morning. He is one of those annoying natural athlete types-you know, the type of person who tries any sport for the first time and excels at it. Me…….not so much. He played football, was an amazing baseball player and excellent at track. He’s the guy other guys timidly approach at the gym to ask for recommendations on exercises for shoulders, arms, etc. So I had a first-rate workout partner who could lead our routine, remind me of exercises I had forgotten and correct me if my form was wrong. Now, I can honestly that I am confident in my abilities at the gym. Nevertheless, days when my husband takes the day off and I hit the gym by myself, I still feel a tiny bit out of place.
So I get it, I understand feeling awkward at the gym. But don’t let that stop you!
Remember almost everyone feels this way when they start going to the gym, we’ve all been there. Also, remember that all the regulars at the gym actually respect you for being there and putting in the hard work to change your life. Honestly. They are not judging you or making fun of you. Any gym I’ve been to, the regulars would not tolerate anyone ridiculing another.
Finally, just because you’re new or inexperienced, or out of shape realize that YOU may actually be inspiring others. When I started going to the gym I noticed one older lady was there every day. She was well over 300lbs and stuck to walking slowly on the treadmill-but she was there, working. My husband said, “She’s the only person I can bank on being here at 4:30 every morning when I come. She’s completely committed. You gotta love her perseverance.”
To this day, she is there every morning. Now she’s running on the treadmill, doing the elliptical and lately I have noticed that she has started using some of the strength training machines. She has also lost A LOT of weight. She is well under 200lbs and seems to keep getting fitter and fitter by the week. She always has a big smile on her face. I’m sure she was nervous and insecure the first time she stepped into the gym, but she didn’t let that stop her. We say hi to her every morning and wave, I don’t know her name or anything about her but every day she is our inspiration.