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I got a gym pass not too long ago now that I am fully vaccinated, and gyms are open. I have been working out at home throughout quarantine, but I pretty much maxed out the weights I had at home. Unfortunately, I am a “shy girl” and in the beginning, I felt intimidated to do certain workouts at the gym. I would especially avoid the free weight section where other people were lifting almost 100 pounds. In my first week at the gym, I would just use the treadmill for an hour and leave. 

woman working out
Photo by Clayton Scelzi from Unsplash

However, why was I spending money for a gym pass to run if I can go run for free at the park? I bought a gym pass to lift heavier and strengthen my body. I was actually losing my “gains” because excessive cardio burns muscle. I just felt intimidated to use these machines I never had before, or others judging the way I lifted. The second week I got into the gym I knew I needed to get over this worry I had. 

I soon came to realize no one cares about you at the gym. Not in a rude way, but everyone is there for their own personal benefit. Everyone is too focused on themselves to even worry about you. They don’t care about how much you lift or if you’re doing a machine wrong. Pretty much everyone minds their own business. To think that I was worried about being perceived by others the wrong way makes me laugh now. 

group of people in gym exercising
Geert Pieters/Unsplash

I guess I just needed to get comfortable with trying something new. I had never been to the gym before. I have some experience lifting in the past when I played softball at my high school but going to the gym by myself was all new to me. I get nervous trying out new things alone and I always want to ensure that I am safe. I see on social media many cases of men recording women without consent at places like the gym, and since I go alone it made me nervous at first.

Meghan Holmes / Unsplash

After getting over my “shy phase” at the gym I built a routine and started seeing my progress. This gave me a lot more confidence to keep going. I hope this encourages those who might be shy like me to step out of their comfort zone. I am glad that I didn’t shy away from the gym and my pass will definitely be used all summer.

Alyssa Monroy

UC Riverside '24

A cellular, molecular, and developmental biology major and public policy minor that loves science, beauty, and writing.
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