Last week, I witnessed a young, overweight woman shyly walk into the gym as I worked out. It was obvious to even a blind man that she was absolutely terrified of being there. With slouched shoulders and her face to the ground, she slowly walked to the darkest corner of the gym, took a pair of 10lb dumbbells and tried an exercise that was clearly ineffective. Frustrated with what she was doing, she moved further into the dark corner behind the boxing bag, in a bid to hide from the mirror and onlookers, and re-tried.
I almost felt compelled to walk over and let her know it’s okay. She reminded me of myself pre-gym rat life. Unlike her, I was super skinny but I was terrified to step a foot in any gym. All I could think of was becoming that clueless and frail person, who is secretly videoed, and plastered on IG or Youtube for a good laugh. I have learned many things during the course of my fitness journey and I hope these three points can help someone out there too scared to take that step out of fear of judgment:
- Not everyone is watching or judging you. People may glance or notice something you are doing but at their core, they are there to get a good workout done and head home. For the few who are out to intimidate and judge by sneakingly taping others, it says a lot about them and shouldn’t faze you!
- You need to focus on yourself and what you hope to achieve in your workout. Block out the noise, listen to music and get down to it.
- Pat yourself on the back. Even the most ripped gym rat started from somewhere. You are on a journey for your good and every move you make is progress to your end goal, whatever that may be.