Home is where most of us feel safe, unjudged, at peace, comfortable, warm. When leaving home, that is when the world might turn into a battlefield for some– dealing with other people’s attitudes, behaviors, lack of empathy, etc. We never actually know what will come of the day when we step outside our doors; it is unknown, but we leave and hope for the best. #fingerscrossed
Truth be told, I can understand why the gym can feel like home for some and for others feel like a battlefield. It is easy for someone like me to say the gym is my second home because I work at one, I pretty much have been going to a gym ongoing for years now and while different gyms have different atmospheres; I always try to go in thinking “this is my time, I am here for me” and ignore the white noise in the background. Not so easy for many others to do, different reasons but still remains a common denominator: They don’t like the gym. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, I definitely am not looking to sway you to go to a gym that makes you feel uncomfortable because I was that person once & felt like an outsider in a big room full of people who all were on different missions, not to mention I struggle with social anxiety, so for me it was like one of the hardest things to adjust to.
However, I do not want people to be afraid to go inside a gym and be themselves, you are allowed to not be knowledgeable about equipment, you are allowed to be confused as to where to start, you are allowed to play it safe and use the treadmill, you are allowed to people watch, you are allowed to feel overwhelmed by how much there is in one room and think to yourself you can’t possibly do this, you are allowed to be scared of judgement from others, you are allowed to walk around and find something you like best. As a matter of fact, I expect this of people when they walk into a gym for a first time or try different locations to get a feel for the atmosphere and I expect it from those who have gone to a gym before but for whatever reason whenever they step into one, they are just as confused as to where to start as you are. I’d love to say it is easy, but nothing is easy about stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new or trying something that scares you — although I am all about giving it a go and not being afraid to not like it but also always putting your best foot forward so that you get a true feel for the situation.
Some of things that I find that are helpful when coming into a gym include:
having your exercises planned out ahead of time via phone or paper
bringing a friend, family member or co-worker
wearing comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely and gives you a sense of confidence
go in with an open mind but no expectations
talk to the front desk — ask questions, get a tour of the building
be observant of the type of people who come to the location — athletes, older adults, elderly, youth, etc
bring a positive attitude; don’t base it off other people’s experiences, base it off your own
take note of how clean / or well taken care stuff is
and don’t forget we were all here once upon a time.