Don’t let “gymtimidation” get you down
By Jillian McMullen, Staff Writer
For someone as uncoordinated as I am anxious, walking into a crowded gym instantly makes me want to throw up. I’ve never been a traditional workout kind of person, so the weights section with its thousand-and-one different machines and its wall of racked barbells has always been a source of intimidation—more accurately, “gymtimidation.”
I’m tormented at the prospect of hopping onto one of those pulley-operated machines in an attempt at having a proper shoulder day, but instead of feeling that proverbial burn that everyone talks about, I lose grip of the bar, the weights come crashing down with a loud metallic clank, and everyone stares in my awkward direction. It comes down to being worried about being recognized as “the new one” at the gym. Nobody wants to be singled out as the one who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
However, this kind of thinking is never going to help me reach my fitness goals. There’s only so much cycling you can do before your body begins to plateau. Bodies need a lot more than just cardio to be healthy. Weight training can help boost your metabolism into optimal functionality, so your body continues to burn calories even after your workout. If I’m to have the strongest body I can, for as long as I hope to have it, I have to get over myself and my anxiety.
You just have to remind yourself that everyone started out as “the new one” as some point. Despite how it seems, none of those health nuts who are always wearing the most stylish athletic wear and who know how to execute each exercise with perfect execution walked into a gym for the first time with inherent fitness knowledge. Don’t let your pride hold you back. Nobody is there just to watch you struggle. Everybody is just focusing on making it through that last set.