The other night I went on a first date and I experienced something that I hadn’t in a very long time. Before I let your imagination run too wild, I will just tell you. It was the first time in quite a while that I experienced being the “new guy” in the gym. I am pretty sure I have you totally confused now at this point. I can almost hear you thinking… first date, you went to a GYM? How romantic! That’s the kind of weird things that could happen when you ask a personal trainer out.
“We should meet for coffee some time.” He said.
“Okay… maybe… but why don’t we go rock climbing instead?”
“Are you… serious?!?” He asked.
“Yes! Let’s do it!” I replied.
I was so nervous walking up the steps to the gym, partly because I knew it was a date, but partly because even after about 20 years of working in the fitness industry (yes, I started when I was 8) I still find gyms an intimidating place to be. Aside from the normal anxieties of walking into a place that you’re not familiar with, (Where do I sign in, is the desk person going to roll her eyes and sigh because I asked a stupid question, does my hair look good, etc.) a gym can can bring up all sorts of issues we have with our bodies and how we look physically that can be borderline overwhelming. Am I thin enough, am I muscular enough, do I jiggle too much when I run, did anyone notice me fall off the spin bike?!? We are absolutely certain that everyone is watching and judging.
Here’s the truth about about all those people at the gym judging you… they’re NOT! I know we all like to think we are Beyonce and that when we walk in somewhere it’s all eyes on us. But unless you are walking into the gym with a full weave, a wind machine and a camera crew, chances are you’re getting a couple of glances at most. Heartbreaking isn’t it?!? But the good news is, you are free to go about your business. So what if you jiggle a little bit more than you want? I bet you anything, the person on the elliptical next to you is thinking THEY jiggle a little bit too much. In all honesty, the folks in the gym are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. I have NEVER had a conversation with someone at the gym about how someone is too out of shape to be there… it’s usually more like, “That’s awesome! They are kicking ass and getting healthy!” And moreover, the people who probably feel the most insecure are the people who are actually inspiring more people than they even realize! And to let you in on another little secret, the few people at the gym who might be throwing a little shade your way… that says a lot more about their insecurities and hang-ups than it does ANYthing about you!
Now… as far as how my date judged me, that was a different story. There was no second date!