I think one of the things that often stops women from working out is worrying what other people will think of them.
They don’t want to look dumb/clueless/slow/fat/etc.
They compare themselves to other women in the gym or the yoga studio or the pool or spin class or running on the road or wherever.
I was thinking about this today as I was working out in the weight room.
I used to be so focused on what other people were thinking about me that it often prevented me from taking care of myself.
I worried about what my stomach looked like under my t-shirt and how fast I was running while cars drove by me.
I worried about what I was wearing and I worried about what the person after me would think about the amount of weight I had on the leg press.
I was convinced that anyone within a 10 foot radius of me would be staring me down and critiquing every part of my body and my performance. For like my entire workout.
I hate to break it to you, but you are not the center of other peoples’ universe.
Most people don’t give a shit about you.
Sure, you might get a couple people who judge you and what you do or how you do it at the gym.
But those people judge everybody.
They probably judge the super-in-shape people with 12% body fat just as harshly as they judge the super-out-of-shape people with 52% body fat.
So fuck those people.
Boy do I wish I had gotten to the FTP stage much earlier.
I suppose that’s one of the benefits of approaching 50.
I’ve no shits left to give about what other people think about my level of knowledge, experience and body fat.
So here is a message from me to you.
DO YOUR THING.
I started a 12 week strength training program last week.
It’s designed to be done at the gym. In between reps you do one minute of some form of cardio.
I set up a step in the hallway outside the weight room.
I’d do ten reps, then go out into the hallway for a minute of step-ups.
Nobody else was doing this.
I had my red folder with my workout plan in it and after three sets of ten reps and then a minute of step-ups, I recorded what I did in my red folder so I would remember the next time around.
You know how many other people were doing that?
Ten years ago I would never have done this. I would have been too preoccupied with the fact that nobody else was doing what I was doing.
I would have been worried about what other people were thinking about me doing stuff that nobody else was doing and then writing it down in a homemade workout journal.
Now you know what?
I LOVE THAT I’M DOING SOMETHING NOBODY ELSE IS DOING.
You know what else?
Caeleb Dressel is one of the world’s fastest swimmers right now. He recently broke a 10-year-old record set by Michael Phelps.
So he doesn’t suck.
You know what Caeleb Dressel does in the middle of practice sometimes?
He gets out of the pool and writes shit down in a journal.
You know how many other people do that?
Stop focusing on what other people think and start focusing on what you want, what you need, what you like, and what works for you.
Wanna do something but don’t know how to do it?
What would you tell your kids to do?
Would you tell them not to even try it because somebody might tell them they look stupid?
I bet you’d tell them to go for it. And that it’s okay to not know how to do things. And that’s the reason why we ask for help.
So we can grow.
Don’t know how to use a machine at the gym?
There are people who work there who get paid to help you.
Ask them for help!
Everyone was a beginner once.
And it doesn’t matter what age you begin at.
Whether you are 7 or 70, there’s a shit ton of stuff to learn and do out there.
You can’t possibly master it all! So try a new thing!
There are 4-year-olds who can seriously kick my ass on the ski slopes. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t learn to ski if I want to!
If you want to take a new class at the gym and you have no idea what to do, you ain’t gonna figure it out by not doing anything.
Come on, People!
I mean, remember the Skillet Throw?
I tried that for the first time in front of close to 100 people I didn’t know 17 days before my 50th birthday.
Yes, I’m going to be fifty in two weeks.
I guess I could look at that as being pretty old.
But I don’t.
I’m all warmed up now!
I’ve got a bunch of stuff to check off my to-do list, still.
And maybe I’ll look stupid doing some of it.
On the other hand, maybe I won’t.
But the thing that’s gonna make me feel stupid is not doing anything at all.
And that’s just not an option anymore.