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Health

How I Overcame Intimidation of the Gym


pink yoga mat with two pink weights and other exercise equipment
Photo by Elena Kloppenburg from Unsplash

Are you someone who wants to start working out at the gym, but you don’t know where to start?  In this article, I will be sharing with you the steps that I took to make those gym goals a reality 

As the story often goes, many January firsts had passed me by with an unaccomplished goal of starting a workout routine.  I would decide to do an at-home workout and commit for a few days, but then slowly drift away from that routine.  I knew that physically going to a gym would allow me to hold myself more accountable.  And being in college, using the recreational facility that our campus provides for us was a no-brainer because I wouldn’t have to pay for a gym membership.  This being said, I realized for my first year and a half in college, that actually committing to a time to get up and take myself to the gym would be a task in itself.  

New year’s day 2021 comes and goes, and I think to myself that this will be another year of failed attempts at a workout plan.  As I’m thinking this, I start to see the “12-3-30” trend going around TikTok.  This technique, created by Lauren Giraldo, includes walking for 30 minutes on a treadmill set at an incline of 12% and a speed of 3 mph.  After some consideration, I decided to reserve a time slot at our campus recreation center to try it out.  While the time slot reservation was a policy introduced during COVID for the purposes of capacity regulation and cleaning between groups, reserving a time out of my day really helped me with following through with my decision to work out.  

Once my allotted time had arrived, I eagerly headed towards the treadmills… only to find out that they were all taken.  Of course, this prompted my previous anxieties about the gym to return, so I had to improvise.  I was already here, so I might as well try something out.  I decided to try out the Curve manual treadmill, which has a shallow, u-curved belt and is powered by your steps propelling rollers under the belt.  Even if I wasn’t able to control the speed, the u-curve created a slight incline, so I stepped on and speed-walked for 30 minutes.  After the 30 minutes passed, I felt accomplished and satisfied with the workout, and this is where my story turns into the advice you may be looking for.  

I’m not here to convince anyone to try out the newest TikTok fad workout, or tell anyone to ditch electric treadmills for manual ones.  The biggest change that I had to make to overcome the obstacle of intimidation was not being so tied to my goal.  Sure, getting in shape and staying healthy is amazing, but I noticed that all of my other failed attempts centered around me giving up because I may have missed a day or two and couldn’t get back into the swing of things.  Once I had to reserve a gym time, this meant I could only do it on days I had that time free, taking the “guilt” out of off days, since I can’t control my schedule.  Taking a half-hour out of my day to put on some music or an audio book and just walk made me feel not only accomplished in my exercise, but more confident in myself.  Though, this confidence didn’t come from feeling skinnier or stronger, it came from the time I took for myself.  I made the gym into a place where I can press pause on the world and press play on self-development.  

So, if you are someone who would love to get into a workout routine, consider reframing your view of this routine.  Workout for yourself rather than to reach a number on a scale.  Instead of considering it “work” or “a chore,” see it as a time for you to be free of responsibilities, refueling yourself with positive energy and self-love. 


woman in white shirt and blue leggings
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Madison Crull

Illinois State '23

Hi! My name is Madison Crull, I am a Junior at Illinois State, and I'm majoring in Interpersonal Communications with a minor in Music! As a writer, I aim to use my voice and platform through Her Campus to share fun, engaging, and relatable content.
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