By Teddy Savage
Planet Fitness Training Coordinator
Obstacles… We all have them right? It seems they lie around every twist and every turn that we make in our lives. The moment we try to make one giant stride or leap of faith, up pops a hurdle, or two, or three, or maybe even five. The most intriguing thing about these speed humps, is that most of the time, we create them ourselves. We allow our own fears to hinder us from realizing our full potential and achieving the goals we set forth for becoming the best we can be.
It seems this paradox rears its ugly head annually, right around this time of year. When we make that declaration that we “resolve” to attain a tangible goal, a fitness resolution. We muster up all the courage needed to spark the desire for change, only to allow those pesky fears to extinguish the flame. Many times these fears fall under five major categories:
1. The fear of anxiety
2. The fear of feeling stupid
3. The fear of being a klutz
4. The fear of not belonging
5. The fear of the hard sell
Let’s identify each one of these fears and then flip them in a way that will help us to overcome them and use them as fuel to see our fitness futures out to their ultimate potential. The fear of anxiety is being uncertain that we look the way we want to, or feel the way we ought to. This fear affects our confidence and leads to a sense of discouragement. However, if we saw this fear as an opportunity to go somewhere that was free of judgment. A place where we could identify with individuals that shared in the same fight that we did, and had an atmosphere that was friendly and conducive to making healthy lifestyle changes. That could catapult us in the right direction and make all the difference.
Similarly, most of us are not frequent gym users and don’t possess a certain level of knowledge of the equipment or understanding of how to use it properly in the confines of a workout. This leads to the fear of feeling stupid. This fear has a deep impact on our pride. However, our lack of understanding can be seen as a blank canvas; One that requires no erasing of mistakes or blemishes, only the addition of proper instruction and encouraging guidance. Going to a gym that has a certified trainer that doesn’t work off of commission, but instead, has a vested interest in the members he/she works with and instructs, would be the guiding light that many of us need to navigate through the unknown. This would allow us to gain the knowledge needed to stay on track with our goals and have the help to keep going when we fall on hard times.
In similar fashion, the fear of being a klutz, or not being in sync with everyone else in the gym, leads us to stay away from the fitness environment. It can be hard to be in a foreign place and have a feeling of bewilderment because everyone else seems to be simply moving at a different speed. However, there are simple ways that we can overcome this hurdle. The best way to do so, would be to find a gym that has certain areas that include a designed circuit. One that takes members through a total body workout and includes a timer that helps everyone stay on the same pace. This would eliminate that feeling of bewilderment and help us to defeat that fear of being a klutz.
Likewise, the feeling of being alone, or not belonging, can be a deterrent for many of us when thinking about going to the gym. It’s not the feeling of isolation, but rather, the feeling of being the only one at a particular stage of fitness or age bracket. There are many fitness institutions out there, but very few that have an all-inclusive feel to them. Going to a gym that caters to a wide variety of individuals, of various fitness levels, age ranges, and body types, is the best possible way to address this fear. If our objective is to make lasting lifestyle changes, it is imperative that we seek out a gym that focuses more on general health and wellness as opposed to outward appearance.
Finally, when we are trying to decide on which gym fits our needs and desires, the last thing we want to worry about, is having to deal with someone trying to hard sell us with a sales pitch littered with things we don’t need and empty promises that are never kept. Often times, we pay for unused amenities and struggle to find those resources that will genuinely help us to reach our fitness goals. The fear of the hard-sell, is immediately vanquished, however, when we settle into a place that has a friendly and accommodating staff, that promotes lasting life-style changes, that offers free instruction, and doesn’t attempt to up sell memberships for commission.
The hard truth is that most of the time resolutions have a shelf life. They start out strong, but never quite become the lasting life-style changes that we desire. Many times the reasons behind this pitfall are centered around us living in our own fears. However, there is a place out there for each of us, that will help to overcome these fears and use them as motivating factors. Taking the time to choose the right place, will make all the difference and help us to reach the top of the mountain.