I want to join a gym but I am terrified!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
I want to join a gym but I am terrified!
4
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 7:05am
I want a place where I can go and workout but I can't bring myself to join a gym. There's a small workout area in my apartment complex, but it doesn't have much and it's kind of a scary place to be because of some shady characters hang out there. I don't know what I'm so desperately afraid of. Not to come across as conceited, but I'm a tall, thin person and I want to tone my muscles so it's not like I'm afraid that people are going to make fun of me or the way I look. I just am afraid I'm not going to wear the right thing or not use the equipment properly or go there when there are a lot of people there which would make me uncomfortable. Then I'm sure I'd have to meet with a trainer there who would have to size me up and ask what exactly I want to work on when all I want to do is go in and use equipment without being bothered. What can I do?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:16am
Welcome starry eyed!!! I know that right now you feel like you've got a problem, but it's natural to feel uncomfortable when starting something new. So here is a suggestion.

Stop by the gym or gyms of interest to you, talk with the people at the desk. Ask to take a tour and have someone talk with you about the facility, it's rules, equipment, etc. You are fully clothed, can check out the facility, equipment, what people are wearing, etc. If you only want to learn the equipment, then say so. If you want, let's say, 20 minutes with someone that can show you how to properly use a piece of equipment, that's OK too. Most places are more than willing to help you shop their business, so get busy and pick a place. I too understand about the apartment complex gym and you are smart for not going there!! And anyway, even if you are conceited you are there to get healthy and firm. Besides, you are probably not conceited and if you want social contacts, they will happen. You are most welcome here and I hope that you consider this a good place to talk. Blessings to you. Suz

Blessings, Suz   Posts in this Community   

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 8:25am
I am ussually terrified to do all things like this, but I recently joined a women's only gym and it has been great. It is not intimidating at all -- most of us all there, are all a little chubby, none of us our athletes! And they have tv with head phones so everyone is watching tv, not looking at eachother when they work out

I joined a GoodLife gym (I'm not sure if it's only in Canada or not), but it's worth checking out!

Amy

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:06am
Hello Starry. All of this sounds normal to me, even w/o anxiety issues. Do you suffer any kind of agoraphobia? Do you think your anxiety is coming into play here? Since I do not know, I will tell you what my therapist told me when I was trying to go to the mailbox, or get in my car and drive. In my case, she told me to just get dressed and go outside. Walk around or just come back in and do a little more each day. I'm trying to think of how you could put this idea into motion with your situation. She said get in the car, drive down the block and back if I had to...you get the idea. Baby steps.

I've never been to a gym, but if this is possible try this. Go the the gym, go inside, look around. You are not obligated to join or do anything. Tell them anything if they start giving you the bums rush. You're looking into it for your sister for a surprise gift, anything, so you don't know much about it. If it feels uncomforable, leave. You don't have much time, but you were in the area and thought you'd take a quick trip inside. That way, if you return, and most likely you won't be remembered anyway, but you won't feel funny coming back. Somehow, put this "baby steps" into affect . If it starts feeling more comfortabe to you, you can always say that you think you might be interested, but .... and ask if you can use it on your own.

I hope this helps a little. Just a thought. Good luck gal. Hugs, Terry


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 04-03-2003 - 9:06am
I also used to be afraid, but I decided I needed a good outlet for stress and anxiety, so I finally one day decided to just join. I did it in January. At first, I was really scared, but after I realized that no one was looking at me, I relaxed. People go there, at least to the one I belong to, to exercise, and so they don't pay attention to what other people are doing. At mine, the choice to use a trainer is optional. After I joined, two colleagues from work joined too, so now we often go together. It makes it a lot easier and more fun, especially trying to figure out the big machines (which used to scare me to death.) When trying a new machine for the first time, I wait until I am with a friend, and that way we do it together, and I don't feel dumb if I'm doing it wrong. I say go for it, it will do a lot to relieve stress and anxiety.