Last year I wrote a blog post that detailed my experience working out with two of my friends. To recap: it did not go well. I love running and most other forms of cardio, but using weights has never appealed to me. Sure, I always wanted to be muscular, but I was not too keen on the idea of spending time in a weight room to make that dream a reality. So in true goal-setting fashion, I decided to force myself to use a weight room by saying that I would have to use a weight room twelve separate times within four weeks.
I struggled to fit working out into my schedule at the beginning of this goal. It was hard for me to make time to work out after I was done with work for the day, since I live forty minutes away from my job. There was one time that I worked out after I had finished work, and it caused me to get home at 7 o’clock. Continuing post-work workouts was not an option for me, because I like having time at home in the evening. This problem frustrated me, and I could not seem to come up with a solution to make it work. I grew worried as the days counted down towards the end of my 21st year, and I wondered if this goal would be a failure. Then it hit me: I could make working out a part of my morning routine. I know, I know, earth-shattering realizations over here. I had never been willing to add a morning workout because I valued my sleep too much, so having the idea to make it fit into my schedule came as a surprise.
After some thought, I decided that I could wake up thirty minutes earlier than I had been in the past, get into my gym clothes, drive straight to work, workout at the weight room on campus, shower in the locker room, and then head to work in time for my shift to start at 8 o’clock. I was excited to start the new routine, but I worried that I would not stick with the early morning regimen.
Just as I had figured, the first two weeks were hard for me. I was not used to being in the weight room and hated struggling to lift the heavy weights while nervously watching guys who look like they consumed steroids as infants lift a colossal amount of weights. Before long, I looked forward to increasing the amount of weight that I was lifting, and I loved how my confidence was growing as I started seeing outward changes in my appearance.
I could easily quit going to the weight room now that I have successfully completed my goal, but I am not even considering that option. My mornings in the gym have become something that I look forward to, because it is a great start to my day. I am still far from having the body of a star from the Twilight franchise, but I am confident that my newly formed gym habit will continue strengthening me both physically and mentally.
This is my tip for those who are scared of going to the gym: just go. If you are like I used to be and think that everyone there will be staring at you, know that this is not the case. I soon learned that the people there have much more on their minds than standing around watching you struggle to lift weights. It will be hard to get started, but once you get going, you will soon learn how great it feels to add a healthy habit to your life. And like me, you may end up loving the new routine.