I'm sure everyone has noticed the increased number of people at the gym. I can barely find my friends and other familiar faces because of the sea of unknowns.
I go to the pool and even at the most obscure times, there are two people to each lane.
The treadmills are full.
All the benches are taken in the weight room.
Personal trainers are pushing people around and taking measurements.
It happens every single January, and I wish it wouldn't. Not for the reasons you might think.
I don't want people to have to go through this. I want people to live healthy lives all year long. I don't mind sharing lanes or weight equipment. I just get to meet more people that way.
I can see they are excited to be there. I watched a woman today who was working with a personal trainer. At the end of her session, she was sweaty and could bearly make it down the stairs. But she turned to the trainer and said, "Thanks. That was the hardest thing I've ever done. See you Friday."
Yea, it really IS hard. The blood sweat and tears that goes into leading a healthy lifestyle is offset by the sense of accomplishment. It's the growing confidence as we push ourselves and realize that we're stronger than WE know.
The only way to do it is by taking the risk. Taking the risk of walking into the gym, possibly overweight, out of shape, and not knowing how to use the equipment. It's overcoming the fear that everyone will be looking at us. It's the overcoming the feeling of not belonging.
In the gym, EVERYONE belongs.
Because it's not about your current, future, or past fitness. It's about joining a family of people who do have something in common.
The goal of being healthy.
The next time you walk into a gym and feel intimidated, whether it's because you haven't been in awhile or it's your first time, remember you're among friends with the same goals.