If you follow me on socials or watch my vlogs (you totally should), then you will probably know that I have been going to the gym quite a lot recently. I’ve been going around 5 times a week and, even though I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing, I’m enjoying it.
But, until a few weeks ago, visiting a gym even once felt like a really big deal to me. I was terrified, to be honest, and that’s why I didn’t do it.
Now, I know it sounds a bit silly, but I am writing this post in the hopes that there are other people out there just like me, and that I could help them.
My fear of the gym wasn’t a fear of exercise or working hard, it was literally a fear of being judged. I’m sure we’ve all encountered that
b*tch on snapchat that likes to film people in the gym and take the mess, and that’s what I was absolutely terrified of.
See, I don’t know how to ‘gym’. I used to lead a rather active lifestyle, but never through a gym environment and it just seemed so intimidating. Like how was I to know what to do with the machines? Some of them looked like medieval torture devices to me; I had absolutely no idea.
But, I did know that I wanted to exercise again, and a gym felt like the best place to do it.
I started watching YouTube videos. Not to even learn what to do as such, just to literally try to get over my intimidation. To be honest, at first, this intimidated me even more. But I ended up finding the AthleanXX channel and slowly worked my way through a few of their videos, and they definitely helped.
I’ve actually joined a gym near me that is ran by The Gym Group. They do a student price, and classes are included in the membership fee.
And, honestly, The Gym Group have completely changed my outlook about what a ‘gym’ is. Sure, they have all of the usual equipment that you’d expect. But, they also span two floors, have instructions on how to use each machine displayed on the side, and have friendly staff members dotted around who are happy to help.
I started out by doing classes, and I tried as many as I could to learn what I did/didn’t like. I quickly realised that Yoga is not for me, but I love Zumba, and LBT and Boxercise give me the best ‘worked out’ feeling.
And, I haven’t felt judged once. That was my main fear going into this, and I would definitely be honest if I did feel that way, but I just don’t. I know that everyone in the classes is there for the same reasons as myself, and likewise everyone in the gym is there for exercise, not for snap chatting.
Plus, The Gym Group have policies surrounding taking images in the gym that may feature someone else (eg in the mirror) and strongly discourage it.
I never expected to enjoy going to the gym as much as this, but honestly it’s been great for stress relief for me and I do look forward to going most of the time!
I guess all that I’m trying to say is what we all know deep down; there’s no real need to be afraid of the gym. If people laugh at you or ridicule you; that’s very much their problem, and it’s very unlikely. But, you should find a gym where you feel comfortable enough to report that if it ever did happen, for your own peace of mind.
Did you ever have ‘gym fear’? How did you overcome it?