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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

Before coming here as a freshman, you could never find me at the gym. I simply never found the motivation to get a gym membership, go for a run, or follow a workout video. Yes, I did exercise from time to time, but overall, I wasn’t someone who did consistently. I knew I wanted to change that and become more active, and so I decided that once I arrived at Holy Cross, I would get myself in a new daily routine; one which incorporated exercise.

The first Monday of being on campus, I impulsively decided to go to the gym. It was my first time at The Jo, or honestly at any real gym by myself, so naturally, I was nervous. I went to the treadmill that was isolated away from the others and walked/ran for a half hour. Then, I tried to use some machines. I honestly had no clue how to use some of them, but I approached it with confidence and figured it out (I also just looked at the images on the side of the machine explaining how to do it). When you first go to the gym, know that it is okay to make mistakes – I still do. It takes some time to learn how to use all the equipment properly and to develop a routine for yourself. Just try out everything and see what feels right for you.

For many, the gym can be an intimidating place, especially at first. Trust me when I say,  it’s really not bad. It’s important that you have to be confident in yourself, because whether you believe it or not, you CAN do it. It really was just the initial push of going that was the hardest. Once you get used to going everyday, or however much you wish to go, you begin to enjoy it and it honestly feels odd NOT going. My issue in the past was that I felt like everyone was judging me as I worked out. Please know, that is not the case. Honestly, no one cares that much – just focus on yourself. I also feel better knowing that the varsity athletes and the regular students have separate gyms, because I know I am not being judged by, or comparing myself to, an athlete who trains daily and is at their physical peak.

I would recommend taking it slow. Don’t expect to be super fit from going to the gym for a week. Dedicate yourself to it and you will make progress. I made it a point of going every weekday. I do a day for legs and another for arms and core. I recently went to my first spin class at the Jo, which I really enjoyed and will definitely do again. If you feel like you need more of a guided workout to push yourself, then I would recommend the workout classes offered through the Jo. However, don’t be hard on yourself if you need to take it slow or you can’t keep up with the pace. Be proud of yourself for going and making the effort. I have noticed how the running speed that used to be hard for me just a few weeks ago is now more manageable. Just trust that you can do it, because you can.

Most importantly, never compare yourself to another person. You can be on your level 1 while the person next to you is on their level 10. You can’t compare yourself to someone who has maybe been going to the gym for months or years when you are just starting out. It takes time and you will make that progress too. It might sound cliche, but just remember to be confident, and trust the process.

Ashley Bunici

Holy Cross '26

Ashley Bunici is from Long Island, New York and is a Political Science Major and Disability Studies Minor, on the pre-law track. She loves to volunteer and be involved in clubs, spend time with friends and family, and travel.