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5 Lessons I’ve Learned from the Gym

My time spent at the gym has taught me much more than how to perform different exercises effectively and how to feel weird muscles in my body that I didn’t know I even had.

Investing in myself at the gym has taught me five mental lessons that have become much more valuable than the physical ones.

1. Determination.

In any part of life, being able to step into the metaphorical arena and completely dominate is an extremely important step in conquering your goals. Determination is what gets you to the door, what drives your passion, and what will make your goals a reality.

2. Strength.

Obviously, I’ve become physically stronger since I started lifting weights, but my mental strength has increased as well. Mental strength is the challenge inside yourself that pushes you to go harder in whatever field you’re in. It’s built through challenging yourself; be competitive with yourself, be consistent, and be prepared. Develop these skills in the gym with your workouts and watch them carry over into your everyday life. Before you know it, you’ll be one-upping your previous exam grades and planning out your life more than you ever have.

3. Dealing with failure.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of gym fails, especially since I started as a beginner with my athletic background having been buried over ten years ago. However, when something is important to me, I’ll admit to being a bit of a perfectionist. So, innately, I didn’t handle my handful of gym fails very gracefully. I would stop my workout and leave because I felt like there was no point anymore. I have definitely seen myself doing that in other areas of my life as well, such as school and self-care. Didn’t do too hot on the quiz? I probably wouldn’t have studied much more for the test, since I believed it was useless. Felt like I ruined my diet by having dessert? I probably would have finished that pint of ice cream afterwards. Spending time training in the gym has helped me identify weaknesses in my mental health and self-confidence, address them, and rectify them, so I can progress in all areas of my life.

4. Confidence.

Increasing my physical abilities in the gym has translated into the belief that I can increase competencies in other parts of my life. The gym has built my self-efficacy and plays a major role in how confident I am in my ability to accomplish goals. Whenever I have a challenge or task now, I believe in myself so much more. Pride and confidence is the most rewarding self-love you can give yourself!

5. Work ethic.

How many of us are procrastinators or give up on a task very easily? Depending on what the work is, I can identify with those attributes. Training in the gym has taught me that it is absolutely essential to focus on practice: practicing lifts, practicing vocabulary flashcards, practicing solving equations, practicing self-love. If you want to get better at something, you just have to do it and keep doing it.

We all know that many of life’s greatest lessons are learned outside of a classroom or a book. I’ve personally found those five in the gym, and they have taught me so much more than my Ancient Athens textbook (sorry history buffs). Lift, learn, and repeat, gals!!!

Lauren is from Richmond, Virginia. She is majoring in English and planning to pursue a Masters degree in education. She can usually be found reading, volunteering, lifting weights, and/or jamming out to Ariana Grande.
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