Looking Foolish at the Gym
I used to be afraid of going to the gym because I am afraid of looking silly. I worried about not doing the exercises correctly. I used to worry about my form. I worried if people think I should not be there because I am out of my element. I was afraid that there is no place for me at the gym and afraid of looking like a newbie. Going to the gym can sometimes caused me to feel anxious.
One of the best episodes of Schitt's Creek is where Alexis takes David for his driving test. David is anxious and nervous about the test while Alexis is calm. She appears too calm and very nonchalant about it all. When I watched the episode the first time, I thought Alexis was callous and not caring because how she reacted to David. It appeared she did not validate David's feelings. But she didn't need to because David's feelings were not need. His nervousness and anxiety were there for all the wrong reasons. He believes that people are thinking about him but the truth is people are thinking about their lives. Alexis tells him "David, nobody cares."
It's easy to take that quote out of context but what she means is that people aren't thinking about you the way you are thinking about yourself. In fact, I think she even says something like this. People care but not in the way you think. This is a good way think and a good way to live life.
I told my trainer about my thoughts about going to the gym. She told me that everyone is busy doing their thing. She said they may look at you but they're not thinking about you. I thought about that. When I go to the gym, I look at people and may think something about them but then I just go about my business.
After this conversation I changed my thoughts about the gym. I went to the gym and did my "Hinge and Pull" workout. For this workout, I need to use the squat rack. There are only two squat racks at the gym and I don't like to use them because I think that everyone wants to use it. I feel like using the rack puts more eyes on me. I decided to just use it and did the Romanian deadlifts. I started with just the bar because I am working on my form. I added "light" plates (less than twenty-five pounds.) I took that space and did what I needed. And guess what? No one cared that I did.
This mindset change has made my gym experience pleasurable. I am going to the gym at least three times a week. I make the time to go to the gym and I no longer feel anxious about going. Sometimes I feel dread but it's better than anxiety. It's becoming a habit and it wouldn't have been if I kept thinking all those things...like not having a place in the gym, looking like a newbie. I go workout and then I get out. Alexis was right, nobody cares.