Do you even lift?

“Hey, you wanna go to the gym?” 

This question can either spark up some mad anxiety or excitement, or make you feel nothing noteworthy at all. For a lot of us, the gym can be a pretty uncomfortable place. Ironic, right? It’s supposed to be a place to let go and do your own thing, but for some people, it’s actually pretty hard to do that. Whether it’s feeling awkward about your own body, not knowing anything about working out, or getting nervous over the other people in the gym, there’s quite a bit to freak out over!

For starters, we all know it’s super nerve-wrecking to walk in somewhere and feel completely out of place; I know that’s DEFINITELY the case for me. I hate not knowing things – from the next turn while I’m driving or what I’m going to be wearing the next morning, it drives me crazy. You can imagine that walking into a weight room at the gym with absolutely ZERO knowledge of anything related to working out can put almost anyone out of their comfort zone. On the cardio floor, at least it’s relatively straight-forward to turn on a treadmill and select a pre-designed workout. Either way, you might find yourself surrounded by a bunch of equipment you know nothing about, and on top of that, you’re in a room where there’s a bunch of people who are pros at it already! The anxiety and steep dip in self-confidence can start to take over - talk about terrifying...

On top of being completely clueless about everything, the gym doesn’t always feel like a welcoming environment. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Quite often, the gym is FILLED with a whole bunch of jocks who change the entire vibe! Whether it’s creepy, older men who watch your every move or super fit, young bodybuilders checking themselves out in the mirror the entire time, it’s uncomfortable AF for the rest of us. If you’re lucky, no one comes up to you and starts awkwardly chatting you up, but for some of us… not so lucky. I guess if some girls enjoy that sort of attention then it’s no biggie to them, but if you’re like me, then it ruins the whole workout. It’s MAD creepy when a random dude stares across the whole room or approaches me at the gym with some awkward pick-up line or uncomfortable comment. That alone makes me want to stay home and never go back. Your purpose at the gym is to work on yourself. To interrupt someone who’s in their own world at that specific moment is completely uncalled for and unwelcome. 

Let’s get real personal now: body image is something we all struggle with - male or female. For some people, it takes a lot of courage and will-power to get up and go to a public gym. Getting all sweaty, smelly and gross in front of a whole bunch of strangers is not an easy task. If someone is uncomfortable with themselves behind closed doors, it’s unimaginable the type of strength they would need to be able to become that vulnerable in front of a large group of strangers. Bottom-line is, the gym can be a unique experience for everyone. It’s ridiculously important to be respectful of everyone at the gym - you never know what battles people are fighting inside. 

So yeah, the gym can be a pretty scary place for some of us, but lucky for you, I know some ways to get more comfortable with hitting your favourite workout in the most convenient space! Personally, I love wearing hats when I work out – pair that with some hype music and you’re set! This helps me focus and zone-in completely on myself – because I literally can’t see or hear anyone else! The motto I follow is, "It is what it is." You don’t get the luxury of choosing the skin you’re in, so you might as well love it!