When I first came to the gym I was so intimated. I had on my sweats and tight t-shirt and was ready to lurk in the back of class. I didn’t want anyone to see me gasping for air during my workout or see my belly dance from the weird jiggling that came from the workout. I truly wanted to workout and go. I would feel accomplished when I left but it was always overwhelming in the beginning. I started coming to the same class and I am a creature of habit so always stayed in the same spot. I would set up my mat or step and be ready. The weird that happened though instead of people staring in disgust with me struggling through my workout and being dull of sweat, they would be encouraging. The same lady next to me each class started to talk to me and share her story as I shared mine. I started meeting more people and becoming friends with them. I was pretty committed but if I missed they would ask if everything was OK. I felt that I not only wanted to be there but I had people who looked forward to me being there and it helped keep me accountable.
I can not say every gym or class will have this outcome but I want to encourage you to build a fitness family. Say hello to the others around you in class or bring your friends. If we feel alone there is no one there to know when we give up to give us a hand to keep going. We build support systems because we need them.
We naturally look for those with the same interest and struggles to relate to and look for support and encouragement. Trying to get healthy can be one of the most intimidating and personal experiences so we need support to help us stay encouraged.
Remember that person next to you in class also has a story and reason for being there.
Finding friends that are working on health can not only encourage you to keep going but can also help you try new classes together and find new experiences to share.
You will have others to talk to if your having a hard day. The last thing you want to do is give up or feel alone in a situation. Find others to talk to to help lift you up or share their experience with your struggle.
Enjoy your new friendships! Please comment and share your stories of your fitness support system and how they have helped you along your journey.