Walking into a new gym or fitness class can be intimidating. You worry whether you’ll fit in. You worry if you’re wearing the right clothes. And, especially if you’re out of shape, you’ll worry that everyone is watching and judging you for being there. Here’s the truth of the matter: Everyone is so concerned with themselves that they barely have any time to give you a second glance. They’re wondering if they’re good enough. They are concerned with whether you are watching them. It could be that they’re even wondering if you’re passing judgement about how they look in their leggings.
But are you? No. You’re too worried they’re judging you. And really, it’s a bit self-centered to think everyone is thinking about you, isn’t it?
Nobody wants to feel judged. And on your first day in your new gym or in that new fitness class, it can be easy to think everybody perceives you as weak because you’re using the smallest weights. Or maybe that you’re way out of shape because you had to take an unscheduled break to catch your breath and grab water.
As a trainer, I have seen plenty of people come to my classes who have to take breaks during the workout. Do I judge them? Not at all. In fact, I often encourage all my students (from first-timers to elite athletes) to take breaks as needed. I would rather someone come up for air than faint or fall sick from working too hard.
Many of my clients do not come to me in their peak fitness, but they still come. Everyone starts somewhere, and you’re starting point is probably very different from everyone else. That’s not a bad thing. I say this often, but it’s true: Everyone is on a journey. Even the fittest person in your class was not always that fit. It takes time and dedication.
Rock your fitness class
Eventually, you’ll become more and more confident with yourself, the gym and your fitness class. You’ll get to the point where you create connections with the instructor and other people in the class. Maybe you’ll even start an accountability group to keep each other motivated and on track.
When that happens, I hope you’ll welcome the new person into class. You’ve been there. You know how difficult it can be to walk through the door the first time. Just like you don’t want someone judging you on your first day, you shouldn’t pass that judgement along to others.
Starting something new can be intimidating. But trust me when I say that people are too self-centered to be concerned about how flabby your arms are when you’re doing bicep curls. If you can temper your internal critic, you’ll do just fine.
And if you really don’t want to step foot into a fitness class, you don’t have to! Body and Mind by Muna is a virtual gym offering a variety of fitness classes you can do in the comfort of your own home.