I was at the gym last week for a sweaty workout sesh, and I downright struggled during the entire workout. I’m talking about multiple rest breaks, several modifications, and several thoughts of “WTF is wrong with me today?” And that’s a-okay. It happens, right? There are days that our bodies take complete control over our minds to let us know that we need to slow it down. Our bodies seriously need recovery time for sustainability. As much as I love to sport my Wonder Woman tank – I need to admit that I'm not her. I’m sorry if you didn’t already know. #spoileralert
But even as all of this was going down, I still kept thinking that I needed to get back in there and “go hard or go home” because people are judging me. Or were they? I’m a trainer at this location – so maybe they’re watching to see if I modify any moves, or maybe they’re watching to see if I take a break, or maybe they're just plain watching because I’m front and center of the entire pack. Then I went on to justify my slowing efforts because I'm using heavier weights.
OH, STOP ALREADY.
On the drive home that morning I started to analyze my mental state. Why the pressure during that specific workout? I'm very competitive and love a good challenge. I love to be next to someone that can push me cause I sure love to push back. These friendly competitions are so empowering and add a lot to our fitness game, but I wasn't thinking like that. I was simply worried about what others were thinking of me in that moment. Just dumb!
Do we train for the purpose of others, or do we train for ourselves? Hey, I love my fitness tribe. They empower me. They're some of the most rad women that I've ever met, but they are not my sole purpose for sweating. My purpose is to to get stronger each day, and only I get to be the one to decide what that progression looks like.
That very insecurity that I experienced is the same insecurity that keeps people away from gyms. They worry about how others see them. Whyyyyy? I don't know about you, but I've never judged anyone while working out. Big, small, fast, or slow... Everybody deserves credit for moving. Everybody deserves credit for trying. Everybody gets to experience their own journey.
I also don't care about how you move. Whether you're a crossfitter, distance runner, weightlifter, yogi, or a mall-walker... Aren't we sort of in this together? I have my own opinion about what I believe to be most effective, but I don't get to judge others and decide what they should be doing. That's an individual thing.
Should I feel added pressure because I'm in the fitness industry? I mean - if people are inspired by me, then I need to always be ON. Right?
Vulnerability and authenticity are much more relatable. There are days that I am on fire. (Feel free to insert Alicia Keys sing-along right here). But there are also days when my fire has been put out. That's life, friends. And that's authentic.
If you can relate to any of the above, check out the 3 important things to remember when starting OR continuing in your fitness journey. They are 3 constants that I have to revisit from time to time:
- EVERYBODY STRUGGLES - Super fit or new to the gym, we all have our insecurities and we all have our off days. I can kill chin-ups, but my toes-to-bar are pretty jacked up sometimes. Keep doin' your thang. It gets better.
- IT'S ALL ABOUT PROGRESS - Different bodies equate to different ability levels. Focus on your progress, and for the love of your sanity, never compare yourself to others.
- THIS IS FOR YOU - This is your journey, so stay true to that. You will naturally inspire others along the way, but don't let that notion trap you into thinking you have to be perfect for others.
I promise you that I will never judge your workouts. I'm so inspired by those that want to get moving, those that seek to find their strengths, and those that are brave enough to just get started. I'm simply here to engage, empower, and elevate #EEE - for you and for me.
Go lift something this week- or not. You decide!