Why You Should Take The Exercise Class You’ve Been Avoiding
Posted: March 30, 2017 at 4:14 pm
The entire year you have checked the weekly schedule of exercise classes. You go to the gym wanting to try out something different since you’re bored by the same routine of your usual elliptical workout. On your way out, you look through the glass window at the Kickboxing class your roommate has been raving about that you have been too intimidated to try. You are intimidated that the class will be too intense, you will be heavily winded in 10 minutes, and everyone will see how out of shape you are.
Sound familiar? Good news is, your feelings of doubt are completely normal and typical for someone trying something new. Regardless of how normal the feelings are, you should not let your fear prevent you from trying something you may actually come to enjoy.
I completely understand and connect with these feelings of fear. After a lot of personal motivational speeches and indecisiveness, I decided to take the Cardio Kickboxing class offered at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. I arrived and was immediately intimidated by my instructor’s nearly perfect physique. The class was quite small, which I expected, but this did not make it any less terrifying. The class begun and, like I anticipated, I was quickly winded and sweating. While my journey with “gym fear” had come a long way since realizing that the payoff received from exercise and pushing your physical limits is worth more than anyone seeing you look awkward or struggling to finish a set of squats, I was a little self-conscious about my heavy breathing and my not-so-attractive expressions being made while trying to keep up with the rest of the class. However, nearly halfway through the class, I realized what I had overcome just by showing up and felt proud that I made the decision to try something new.
“Gym fear” is more common than you think. Even the most advanced gym goers are not experts at everything and would feel insecure under certain circumstances. There are some things about group classes that dedicated gym goers have to come to terms with. First being, you will mess up. Everyone in the class is going to be awkward at some
point, so embrace it. Also, those people you think are watching you, are actually looking at themselves. They aretrying to keep up just like you, and are not concerned with how often you come to the gym. Additionally, there is a chance that this class may not be all that you expected. Not saying that it should be easy, rather, you just might notlike exercising in a group. However, not going to the class at all will hinder you from discovering what your preferences are. Not only that, but once you have attended your first class, it will be easier for you to step out of your comfort zone and try new things in the gym that you can then add into your fitness schedule. Lastly, I know the instructor is usually a super fit person who seems to do everything with ease; however, don’t let this make you feel insecure. The instructor is there to help you and is not going to judge if you cannot do everything, need a break, or want to ask questions.
Ultimately, your fitness journey is your own and that is important to remember while attending fitness classes. You should make the most out of the classes because it is something that you are doing for your benefit. Though it may be a personal challenge for you to be working out in a group setting, know that everyone is struggling. Feel the fear and do it anyway! Pick a class (classes are posted every week at recreation.gmu.edu) that you find to be the most appealing, and go! There is nothing to lose and an experience to gain.