Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are you looking at me?!?!

We are rather self-conscious creatures by nature. Some more than others; we hear giggling behind us and turn to check if there is something on our back. There are whispers coming from the cubicle next to yours and at once your ears strain to hear the muffled voices, certain they are talking about you. It's a common reaction, but the truth is that most of the time those giggles weren't because you had sat in something and those whispers had nothing to do with you.

The same thing happens at the gym; we tend to read signs that just aren't there. I was talking to a friend and asking him how his workouts were going and he averted his eyes, "Well, I did go to the gym the other day but then some lady walked in and..."

"You let some little old lady intimidate you and you left gym?!?" I teased him. [As a side note the gym in question is a small one located in an apartment complex that isn't used too much, so those who regularly workout get the luxury of pretty much having it to themselves.]

So it turns out that my friend was doing some warm-up reps on the pull-down bar, enter little old lady, she sits on the recumbent bike, she casts an eye in the direction of my friend working out and he gets embarrassed. "I wasn't doing that much weight and I was going to put more on, but then if I did that I know she would have thought I was just adding weight because I wanted her to think I could do I just left...but I did get my run in," was his explanation.

"You thought, that she thought, that you thought..." I joked back. But this can be a fairly common situation; you see someone looking at you a certain way and you get embarrassed and start to second guess yourself. Do they think I'm a wimp? Should I be running faster on this treadmill? I was going to put more weight on the bar anyways, but if I do it now will that hot chick sitting on the next bench think I'm only doing it to impress her?

Wow, we sure have a way of thinking that EVERYONE is as interested in our workouts as we are! Just kidding, but don't feel too bad because we are all guilty at it at one point or another. But if you let those insecurities get in your way, not only at the gym but in life, you'll only be limiting yourself. Most people are not concerned with what a stranger at the gym is up to. They aren't necessarily judging you if they happen to glance your way, and they could be just casually looking around and in their own little world. Worst case scenario is that they are looking right at you, and maybe thinking something about you...but WHO CARES?! If hey think you're a weakling...well at least you're working out and getting stronger. Maybe they are going faster on the treadmill than you, but you're all in different kinds of shape and have different goals. And in fact it could be a positive thought they have about you, maybe they are wondering how you get such awesome legs.

Don't let what you think others are thinking about you intimidate you. It will be a roadblock that keeps you from improving, from achieving your goals, and in the end cause you undue duress. Go about your your thang, and if someone has anything to think about it, let them. As I told my friend, "Next time you show that old lady you OWN that gym!"

(As a disclaimer, I told him that in jest, and by no means do I condone beating up, intimidating, or scaring little old ladies in the gym.)

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  1. I definitely agree with this post. Thinking about what others think of you is also a bit of a time waster. And, having had my share of gym observations, I'm usually more impressed by the confident person who comes in knowing what he/she is going to do ... much more than the person who constantly stares at others, wondering what will happen if [....] All that thinking is a workout in itself!

    Thanks for the post =)

  2. Worrying about others is just a waste of time and it's much better to leave all that insecurity and drama back in High School...hehe. But in seriousness, I think you are right on in that the person who feels confident in themself will show it and that is always more attractive and people notice that...all about rocking what you've got, right?

    So walk into that gym and own it! :)