We’ve all been there – you pump yourself up before your workout, saying that you’ll give it 110% today. Then, you realize that the only open treadmill is wedged between two runners going freakishly fast — like cheetahs at full sprint — and nearly every strength machine is being used by sweaty people who you’d rather avoid.
So, you cancel your workout for the day, especially when you’re just starting out.
I was one of these people too — well, I’m trying not to be one of these people, at least. As cheesy as it may sound, here are five things I remind myself before walking into the campus Rec Center.
1.) don’t compare – No one is watching what you’re doing
Exercise is thought of as physical activity, but it can be just as much of an emotional and mental workout. Think about what your favorite parts of the actual movement experience are and focus on those. If it’s a habit that you actually enjoy, you’re much more likely to take the time to do it. If you haven’t found something you like yet, try new things, and then try new things again! There are countless different ways to move your body, so if you keep looking, you’ll find one that actually feels good — I promise.
2.) Have confidence
Believe in yourself! You are your only competition. Comparing yourself to others isn’t going to get you anywhere. Even if people are watching you, convince yourself that it’s because they admire your motivation and dedication toward reaching your goals. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone started out in your shoes at one point or another, so don’t succumb to those feelings of insecurity! And when you do feel it coming, just be like:
3.) Consistency over intensity
Don’t make promises to yourself that you can’t keep. It’s important to set realistic goals. Make sure the bar is reachable, even if it means aiming for 15 minutes on a bike so that you’re not overwhelmed. Don’t forget to celebrate the smaller milestones along the way!
4.) You’re doing it for yourself, not for others
The journey you are about to embark on tends to be the road less traveled. Those mental battles are hardest to deal with in the beginning stages of your fitness experience, so stay committed and know that the benefits far outweigh any difficulties. Wake up every day and remind yourself that self-care in all forms is the best decision you can make.
5.) Results won’t happen right away, and that’s OK!
It’s easy to get caught up in the Instagram world of workout reels and posts showcasing growth. But remember: everyone is unique. So whether it be a week, a month, or a semester, don’t give up on your goals. Be patient with yourself, strive for growth, and results will follow.
The Rec Center is made for you. It is made for me. It is made for everyone on campus. Don’t restrict yourself because you feel you don’t fit in. And possibly the smallest yet most important remember, don’t forget to tell your mind and your body that: