Whether you’re an gym veteran or a timid newbie, the iron jungle can be a terrifying place. It’s no secret that many folks resolve to get healthier in the New Year. January becomes a month of self work and improvement and many fitness companies take advantage of the new-found motivation within prospective members. If you watched the ball drop in Times Square last night, you couldn’t help but notice the huge marketing attempt by Planet Fitness littering television screens and New York streets with purple streamers, confetti, and celebratory hats.
With new members rolling in tidal waves, gym regulars find themselves in flux. There is a man curling in the squat rack. Why is this woman shadow boxing with dumbbells? Half-assed reps are everywhere. Finding an empty locker (or parking spot) becomes impossible and most faithful fitness followers finish their workout and begin a countdown to February where most newbies retire their commitment and return to their homely couches.
I remember starting my fitness journey pushing 200lbs in February of 2012. I fumbled to find my member card to scan and scurried into the change room hoping no one would witness me change. I was embarrassed of how I looked and wasn’t comfortable in a gym setting with all these perfect bodies surrounding me. But I perservered. From cardio bunny to Iron Lady I’m proud of my progress. It’s all because I embraced the process and day by day, it got better.
I was once the girl using the leg press as an overly complicated chair. I was the girl who smacked her head with a barbell trying skull crushers for the first time. I was even the girl who loaded on the weights and half-repped squats. I still hussled. I still went to the gym everyday. I made the same choice for change as I do today.
So when you see embarrassing things in the gym, remember. Remember where you started. These people are making the same choice you did once upon a time. Let’s support one another and be kind in 2016. It could mean the world to someone just starting out.