WHERE I STARTED
I just moved to an area in south Denver, Colorado recently and through all the stresses of trying to move on my own, I ended up finding something I wasn't expecting... A friend, who happened to be a personal trainer, reached out to be over Facebook, inviting me to come to his gym and simply do a Boot-Camp workout with him and a group of people.. for free, soooo naturally, with my goal to get into better shape, I agreed to go. The gym happened to be right down the street from my new house so I figured that it would be a great way to meet some new people in the community.
Don't get me wrong, I was a little hesitant.... scratch that... I was EXTREMELY hesitant. The very next morning I stuck the address in my phone and ended up getting to the gym about 20 minutes early. The parking lot was packed and I sat in my car and feverishly watched other people getting out of their cars and walking through the doors, no doubt to attend the same Bootcamp. But I noticed that everyone was walking through the gym doors in pairs or groups... I didn't bring a friend - it was just me...
I don't want to do this alone.... What if there's partner activities and I don't have a partner? What if I don't make any friends? What if I'm not in shape enough to get through the workout? What will everyone think of me if I can't do something?
Clearly I'm an over-thinker. But the unfortunate part of my over-thinking the situation was that I let it affect my decision. Ultimately... just like everything else I've started, I quit.
I psyched myself out and I ended up driving home.
I was so disappointed with myself. Here I am trying to get myself out there and meet people and achieve a fitness goal that I've wanted for years and I quit.. again. Even after saying I wasn't going to.
The friend who had invited me texted me shortly after the boot-camp ended asking where I had been and why I didn't show up... and I made up an excuse as to why I couldn't be there.... I had to go return my old apartment key. That's the excuse that I used...which of course made me feel even worse.I agreed to meet with him the following Monday afternoon to talk about my goals.
MY FITNESS GOALS
When I met my friend on Monday, he said to me, "Okay, what really happened on Saturday, why didn't you come?" I immediately fessed on and told him what had happened and why I drove all the way there, to only sit in the parking lot and eventually just go home... And he asked me what my fitness goals were... I told him that I wanted to better myself while inspiring other people to become the best versions of themselves. He asked, "well how are you going to inspire people when you can't even show up yourself?" I shrugged. The next thing he told me will stick with me forever... "Don't think, just do. The rest will come."
That week next week I spent reading inspirational quotes and watching motivational videos to get me ready for the weekend, where I would actually attend a Bootcamp, and not just watch from the parking lot. I even printed up a collage of my favorite quotes and messages that I found on one page and read it every morning that entire week. Come Saturday, I once again arrived in the parking lot, seeing different people walk into the gym with their friends and family. I had that piece of paper in my hand and read every quote to myself as I had done every day previously that week and I opened the car door, got out, and walked into the facility.
There were probably 50 people standing in the front room waiting for the Bootcamp to start, all talking to one another. I stood there pretending to text on my phone, so as not to look like I had no one to talk to. The trainers began breaking everyone into small groups to begin the circuit workout. There were different stations where half of the group would perform a strength exercise and the other half would perform a cardio exercise and then switch and rotate stations every 90 seconds. I was surprised at how many different people were there at different fitness levels. I saw my friend, Will, the one who invited me walk by and found out that he was working a station, and couldn’t even workout with me or be in my group. Immediately I started over thinking again, getting nervous that I wouldn’t know anyone or make any friends.
My small group consisted of 8 people or so. There was a 50 year old retired father, two 30-something year old leasing agents, a single mom of 1…. Everyone was different. I was expecting everything to all be 20-something athletes.
During the entire workout, there was nothing but encouraging words being shared by everything in the circuits – and not just the trainers running each station, but the people to their group-members, cheering them on and high fiving them. I couldn’t believe what I had walked in to. I was so used to working out alone at 24 hour fitness, plugged into my IPhone, watching the meatheads lift weights and flex their muscles. This was a completely different environment that I wasn’t used to….people I didn’t even know were cheering me on.
I ended up making friends with two women who were in my small group, Diana and Jenn.
A BETTER ME
At the end of the workout, I said goodbye to the two women I’d met after agreeing to meet them again during the week for another Bootcamp workout. I walked out of the gym doors and got back into my car. I had never been so relieved in my entire life. For someone who absolutely hated doing group workout and would much rather plug in her headphones and do the elliptical on level 1 for 45 minutes at 24 hour fitness, I liked that group atmosphere way too much. For the first time in a long time I actually felt like I was a part of something big. I then proceeded to drive home, with a permanent smile spread across my face the entire way and I haven’t looked back since.
MY NEW OUTLOOK
We must understand that there are things we want in life – and it just so happens that a lot of those things that we want lie outside of our comfort zone. If we want to actually better ourselves, instead of just talking about bettering ourselves like I always did, we have to extend beyond where we are content. Often times we psych ourselves out when it comes to things we aren’t sure about. We talk it up as if it’s going to be much more than it actually is, and a lot of times, we let that define our ultimate decision and usually quit.
I tell this story all the time now at my gym to people who are new or hesitant about coming to workouts. It’s scary to not know anyone and just venture into a new place with no clear direction – and usually it’s sink or swim, but you can’t let yourself sink. You have to have the mentality that failure is not an option.
I will never be that old version of me who only talks about making serious changes in her life and not accomplishing them.
Sometimes if you want something, you have to dive in, head first, and become strong enough to swim.
You are not alone. You can do this. You can push through it.
THIS IS 100% MINDSET