December 16, 2014

Bombshell Blurb: The Gym

As much as I love the feeling after a workout where you've accomplished a nice sweat sheen, I generally loathe the gym. Every time I walk into a gym, I always get very nervous and self-conscience and actually pretty narcissistic thinking "Oh my gosh they must be judging me....they have to be thinking something about me.....are they looking at me?" etc. 

Honestly people probably couldn't be bothered to look at me twice but there's something that has been negatively ingrained in my brain surrounding the gym. I much prefer to utilize YouTube and do workouts in my living room but obviously this has its limitations and also doesn't help me with getting over my social anxiety. 

However, I forced myself to the gym last Thursday simply because I'd been snacking on the leftover fudge pieces all day and hadn't been swimming since the weekend because A) no school Monday or Tuesday due to Typhoon Ruby and B) no more swimming after school anyway due to exams next week.

Now it wasn't like I actually had to leave my building to go to the gym, I just and went downstairs to the gym here. Every time I go, also every time I get in the elevator, I always send a little prayer going "Please no one be in here, please no one be in here" however my wish was not granted--there were already two people working out with their trainer, a boxing workout that looks so cool. 

I did my best to respectfully ignore them and started my workout on the treadmill with my iPod. I was expecting a slog at my normal 8.2 pace until I eventually caved and left disappointed and embarrassed. I actually surprised myself by running two high-intensity 7-minute intervals with a two minute water break in between (a feat I never could have accomplished without slowing down/stopping a couple of months ago). I felt really good after this so I decided to stay in the gym and tacked on a little weight lifting, squats, and weighted crunches. I had a little mantra running through my mind: 
I'm so PROUD of you!
This little encouragement doesn't seem like a lot, but it's actually a powerful motivator and I challenge you to try it next time you're doing something difficult. My lungs were burning, my mind told me asthma was seconds away from clogging my throat, and my sides were pinching in cramps but "I'm so proud of you!" kept me going. Well that and keeping a running countdown of the time in my head (little tip: don't go by seconds until it's the last minute, it'll drive you crazy! Always say "two minutes left" even if it's really 1 minute 20 seconds)

Everyone needs a little encouragement when we're doing something tough, but sometimes the only person that can give us that motivation is us. This little motivating factor also gave me a more positive outlook on the gym in total. Everyone there is there for the same purpose: to work up a sweat & to tone, train, stretch their muscles. There should be no judgement anywhere but especially in a place such as this where people are experiencing some of their most vulnerable moments and everyone carries a different motive with them when they're there. 

Next time you're working out, either in a gym, running through a park, or on the football field, try to keep a little mantra running through your brain when you start to feel hopeless and the need to stop--push yourself to your limit. (Oh, that's another thing: I try not to say "okay I'm going to run for 10 minutes" because if you don't reach it you feel really guilty and upset--the gym should be a place to feel uplifted)

It's important to realize when it's really really necessary to stop whatever you're doing: if you feel real pain or if you honestly feel you cannot go on. Recognize your own limits and once you reach them, stop. Never continue doing something if it's causing you physical harm. 

What are a few of your little tips and tricks to getting through something tough? 


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