I’ve had a gym membership since I was in high school but there are still times when I feel like I don’t belong there. Gymtimidation is real, but if we want results we have to move past it. Over the years, there have been many times when I’ve had to tell myself “CeCe, get over it!”: Get over your anxiety about asking for help… Get over your fear of the meat heads in the weight room… get over not wanting to change in the main locker room area (I mean, who really wants to change in a cramped bathroom stall?)
Every time I think I’m completely comfortable at my local gym, there’s something new I have to get over.
Last night, my challenge presented its self in the pool. I was able to get over any anxiety about being in a bathing suit surrounded by NYC hard bodied men a long time ago when I realized that 85% of them were gay and looking at each other, not me. I’m a good swimmer, so I had no anxiety about that either. But last night I got to the pool a little earlier than usual, so the lanes were more crowded than what I’m used to.
There are four lanes for swimming laps; Loafer, Slow, Medium and Fast. I’m usually one of the fast swimmers in the Medium lane, but the Medium lane was full, so I jumped into the Fast lane which happened to be empty. I had done laps for about 10 minutes when two men asked if they could share the lane with me. I thought I was cute with my little halter bathing suit and goggles, but these men had Speedo swim shorts, swim caps, goggles, nose plugs and water proof watches that they were setting to record their time. These were Swimmers.
*Gulp* Gymtimidation was rearing its ugly head again. Instead of filing into the clockwork rotation with them, as I normally would in the Medium lane, I froze. These guys were swimming a lot faster than me and I started convincing myself that I would hold them up and they would get frustrated with me. I kept glancing over to the Medium lane to see if someone would leave and I could take their place but their rotation didn’t seem to be lightening up anytime soon.
I stood there for a good five minutes and I could feel my heart rate going down. Eventually I decided that I couldn’t let gymtimidation ruin my calories burned. I slipped into the rotation and did my laps with both of Michael Phelps long lost cousins and an interesting thing happened. Because I was self conscious about swimming too slow, I swam a little faster, kicked a little harder than I normally do and ended up having a wonderfully intense workout! The guys were totally gracious, swimming around me if they needed to but they didn’t make me feel bad or anything….
Maybe gymtimidation is all in my head.