Going to the Gym for the First Time

For the first 20 years of my life, I have always been scared to go to the gym. It seemed so daunting to walk into a big room with a bunch of fitness equipment, strong people and huge mirrors. I always thought, “what if they judge me?” “what if they think I’m weak?” “what if they see my lower weights?” My fear of people was not the only thing stopping me, though. I wasn’t sure where to start. Those huge machines are so confusing, and I would probably have hurt myself if I tried to figure them out, I thought. 

My best friend got annoyed with me complaining about how I wanted to work out and how unmotivated I was at home. He ended up dragging me to one of our university gyms. Walking in, I was blood red and shaking. Seeing all the buff guys and toned girls intimidated me. He told me to only look at myself and that no one else cares. He showed me his personal routine and adjusted it for me so it fit my capabilities. 

I have now been going to the gym for a week, and now I understand why so many people are “addicted” to it. I think of it as time for myself — and only myself. At the gym, I am not worried about school, drama or anything but myself. It is my time to work on my goals and get to where I want to be. For anyone else who was in my shoes a week ago, here is my advice to you:

1.     Go with an experienced friend. This way, you have someone to show you around for a few days, and it will definitely feel less intimidating. 

2.     Create a workout routine before you go in. This way, you are not staring off into space and wasting time. You have a plan, and you know you can be in and out in a timely manner.

3.     Remember, you are there for yourself. No one is looking at you except you. Don’t be intimidated by people who are fitter than you, you’ll get there

4.     Have fun! Find things you enjoy doing and your experience will be much better.

Now, obviously, I am not a expert, but these are just a few things I wish someone had told me before I went for the first time. Trust me, the gym is not scary. It’s empowering.