Why We’re Afraid to Exercise, Part II: An Open Letter to “Those People at the Gym”. You can read Part I HERE.
Close your eyes and try to take yourself to this exact situation: You walk into the gym with goals, with excitement and energy, ready for a great workout that you’ve never done before. You’ve only ever done cardio in your life and you’re ready to get into the weight room. Except when you walk over to the free-weight section of the gym, it’s full of testosterone filled, intimidating, and sometimes creepy men and women who can’t help but notice the small dude or gal who just walked over into “their house”. It’s sweaty, smelly, and just feels scary. After pretending like you were there to just “check it out”, you turn right around and head for your nearest treadmill.
It’s very upsetting to hear about and see so many people who become so immediately discouraged by the environment of the gym that they never are able to discover the whole other side of fitness that is lifting weights.
To Whom it may Concern,
A lot of this has to do with you and the way you behave and carry yourself in the gym. You give off a vibe to the smaller guys that they are somehow inferior or lesser men than you are because they’re not as big and strong as you. And when a poor woman wanders into the room they are met with nothing but stares and glances through the mirrors. Trust me, you’re not being sneaky. We all can tell you’re checking that girl out on the squat rack. Even her.
It’s time that you stop this. It’s not cool, it’s not nice, and you’re just preventing others from living the healthiest life they possibly can.
When people go to the gym to work out, they’re there to do just that. No one goes to the gym to be on display. We’re all sweaty, smelly, and red in the face. Why give people one more reason to feel uncomfortable and self conscious? You must recognize that when we’re at the gym, we’re not there to be checked out, looked at, or made fun of for our strength or lack there of. We’re there to better ourselves physically. If everyone was in peak physical shape, felt confident with how they feel and look, no one would need to go to the gym. And that’s the exact reason why we’re there – to achieve these goals. Health and fitness is a constant work in progress, so why should anyone feel uncomfortable or discouraged from becoming the best, strongest version of themselves in the exact place where that progress is supposed to happen?
It’s time we acknowledge the fact that no one in the gym is there to look good or show off. Results happen when we’re sweaty, tired, and looking our worst. So leave the skinny guys alone – they’re lifting weights so they can get bigger and stronger. Leave the girls alone – they’re lifting weights so they can get stronger and feel more confident. In fact, leave everyone alone – we’re all here to feel good about ourselves outside of the gym, so don’t make us feel bad or discourage us for trying to work towards accomplishing just that.
[P.S. Easy way to make this happen – just worry about you and keep your eyes to yourself. No amount of mirror bouncing will hide your judgmental and/or creepy stare.]