Don’t be a (gym) dick

Today, my good friend Amanda posted a tweet that I loved.  She is working hard right now on her own fitness.  And she had this to say:

Hey, when you get to the gym and see new people getting started, don’t be a dick.  Be kind, helpful and welcoming.  We all started once.

Hell yes.

A few years ago it was me, with the bright white trainers and the new (double XL) gym gear.  Feeling out of place.  Wondering how to work all of the scary machines. Wondering if everyone could tell that I didn’t know what I was doing.  Wondering if I could do this thing.  Wondering if it was a place I should even be at all.

Having recently relocated to a new city, these feelings came flooding back when I joined a local gym.  Figuring out your place again.  Trying a class that sounded like one at your old place but finding it totally different.  Feeling out of step.  Like the new kid.  A little bit of a klutz.

When you turn up at a gym and you are on the big side it is even harder in my experience.  Standing next to the fit people and the thin people.  The gap between you and them so wide you wonder if it can ever be bridged.

I’ve been guilty of getting frustrated in January when I can’t get into a class or on the machines I want to use.

But I know this.  By walking into a gym and getting started, by taking some steps to make a change for the better, by overcoming the nerves and the doubts, these folks are doing more than most people ever will.  Many more people talk about it but say right there on the sofa.

So props to the people that do, and keep on going.  And just like Amanda says, if you are already established, know what you are doing, have already walked your path to fitness, help along someone just getting started if you can.

PS. Check out Amanda’s blog on her own journey here. She rocks.

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