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Working Out: I Promise It’s Not as Terrible as It Seems

I was never the kid to be on four different sports teams throughout the school year, nor have I ever been the type of person to ever really enjoy going to the gym recreationally. 

I’ve tried so many different sports and athletic activities over the years — from dance to weightlifting to boxing — and none of them really seemed to stick, although I did enjoy all of them in their own way. Even going to the gym and working out on my own made me nervous.

My social anxiety has never really helped either. I’ve convinced myself that when I go to the gym, people are going to judge me for not knowing how to use certain machines, not doing a certain amount of reps, not lifting a certain amount of weight, and so on. Even though I know it’s not true and everyone is too worried about themselves to look at me, it’s something that has convinced me to turn away from going to the gym on a regular basis. 

When I got to campus this past fall, I tried to incorporate the recreation center as a semi-regular part of my week through the group fitness classes that were offered at various times throughout the day. I wouldn’t have to worry about machines, but I’d still be able to work out to a certain extent. 

But then my schedule got so busy that none of the group fitness classes worked for me, and so I just… stopped going

As I can also imagine for many others, the semester began to get increasingly stressful over time. I was reminded of a workout class I did through a workout group on campus, CHAARG, that I actually enjoyed, and that made me excited to work out. It encouraged me to try going to the gym again, for the sole purpose of having an outlet for my stress from classes and outside work.

The first few times I went to the rec center, I stuck to the machines I knew and the techniques I understood, but going to the gym multiple days a week has slowly become a habit.

Working out can become a habit for everyone, as long as you’re looking at it in a healthy way. For me, it was handling stress, but for someone else, it might be to feel good about themselves or to strengthen a muscle after recovering from an injury. 

I don’t expect everyone to become workout gurus after reading this article (I, for one, am nowhere near that), but I definitely encourage people who are looking for an outlet to give working out a chance. Working out — no matter how intense or how often — is possible as long as there is a positive mindset. I can’t wait to see how my own workout journey continues. 

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Lucie Daignault

U Mass Amherst '24

Lucie is a second-semester member at HerCampus and a sophomore psychology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Outside of HerCampus, Lucie is the treasurer of the criminology club and an intern with MASSPIRG. She loves writing and is excited to share her ideas and learn from her peers!
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