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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

If you’re like me, the idea of stepping into the ARC alone makes sweat bead along your neck and your hands tremble. The machines that seem to tower over you, the people who look way more experienced, and even the walk from the front to the locker room feels like you’re in a bright spotlight. Fortunately, I’ve since had some revelations and been able to manage and overcome this anxiety. Let’s discuss how I’ve learned to love the gym.

  1. No one is looking at you

I know it feels like everyone’s eyes are centered on you no matter where you go or what you do, but I promise, everyone is far too concerned with their own thoughts to pay attention to anyone else. You’re going to the gym for you, don’t let the thought of other people watching discourage that. 

  1. Consistency is key

A year ago, I would only come to the ARC once in a blue moon, no rhyme or reason or schedule to be found. But now I have scheduled days/workouts that I adhere to and making it a staple of my routine has made it much less intimidating and more of something to look forward to. With consistency and dedication, I’ve been able to see results and found a groove that makes me excited to go, instead of seeing it as a chore. Now, consistency does not equal forcing yourself to go no matter the circumstance. If you’re sick or your muscles are recovering, feel free to take a few rest days. Growth does not disappear overnight, and as long as you keep going back, you’ll be just fine.  

  1. It’s Okay to Be a Beginner

When I first started, I had absolutely no idea how to work a squat rack or how to adjust any of the machines, and that was terrifying. But I soon realized that most people there are happy to help you, you just need to ask. There were many times that I found someone I was comfortable talking to and asked for help and other times I watched people adjust the machines to get a sense of how to do it myself. Everyone starts somewhere, and it’s important to remember that being a beginner is what leads to becoming experienced.  

  1. It’s a Journey, Not a Race

Seeing results from workouts takes time.  After countless checking for abs after completing a 10-minute YouTube video, I know all too well the desire for immediate gratification. We all start at different places and have different goals; results take time. Don’t rush, simply progress at the pace that works for you.  

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Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus
  1. Comparison is the Thief of Joy 

This phrase has stuck with me from the moment I heard it. Your journey is not going to look identical to someone else’s. What works for them will not always work for you. Do workouts you enjoy, and find activities that will encourage you to go, not deter you. Be proud of yourself, love yourself, and do what you feel is right for you.  

I know how scary it can be to enter a new environment, inexperienced and uncertain. But I promise the risk is well worth the reward.  Believe in yourself, work hard, and love yourself. Let your growth fuel you, and find joy in the journey, not just the destination. 

Alexa is a second year English major at UCD. In her free time, she loves baking, making Spotify playlists for her latest reads, and laughing with friends. She’s super excited to be part of HC this year!