How many people fear failing at the gym? I’m going to say most of us, whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been crushing workouts for centuries. Well, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back from making those gains at the iron bar because we’ve all got our little insecurities, sometimes they creep out no matter how hard you try to lock them away.
For years, I fantasized about turning my spaghetti limps into curvier, stronger structures. Nervous at the thought of even entering a gym. I eventually invested (very little money) in the best fitness equipment my money would buy (below par, plastic dumbbells filled with sand from good old Argos) and began curling those mothers like Schwarzenegger himself (may or may not have looked more like a praying mantis struggling to lift it’s arms against a faint breeze)
Little did I know, three years later I would, after a few unsuccessful fleeting gym memberships, find a gym where I would conquer my demons. The “I’m too skinny to be here demons” that ate away at my self confidence. After months of research and little practice with anything other than a dumbbell, I picked up an Olympic barbell. Well, you are a deceivingly heavy fucker, ain’t ya.
Determined to move away from the Goblet squat, I went home, found a metal bar (A heavy steel pipe, from where it came, I have no idea) and wobbling majestically, took my first dive towards the floor, ass first of course. The next day, I took what I had learned to the squat rack, at the quietest time, for fear of making a complete fool of myself.
A tumble weed rolled on by, I decided to pile on a few more kilos, to see how much I could actually lift, 40kg to be exact. Things got sweaty and 5 reps later I pushed for one last rep. Oh….oh…oh… I’m not getting up from this one!
So I sat into my squat, contemplating all my options. Why? Because the safety pins were standing breathlessly in the corner. The seconds ticked by ever so slowly. With no idea how to dump the weight safely, I decided to drop it behind me, only my frightful hands didn’t want the bar to part ways and decided best to stay clenched around the bar while we all lay down on the ground, in the slowest fall known to man.
Or those times when you’ve enjoyed a good ole pot of hummus the night before and those machines are busy. Things are stirring up whether you want them to or not and just when you think you’ve gotten away with a releasing a gaseous bubble, you are entrapped in your own hummus nebula. And upon rising, reaches the nose of the unfortunate victim beside you.
Not to mention the time you think someone’s B.O. is really bad, abrasive to the nose only to see you’ve stood in dog shit on the way in. Or the day you realize your leggings are definitely see through in all the wrong places. Funtimes.
And those reusable water bottles that always leak, what’s your deal? Taking a swig of life’s vital liquid while sitting on a bench, only to get up to a pool of water right at your crotch. Of course someone would glance over at that exact moment! So, you pissed yourself yeah? Or that one person, that starts working out six inches away from you when the gym is empty. Can I help you lift your weight? The too shy to speak individuals out there who shuffle away in anger as you find a better spot, I’m with you.
Maybe one day you’ll love the gym life so much, that you’ll brave the hotel amenities on holidays when you’re away from home. Go at the quietest time, arrive at 6am to a gym busier than your mind when you’re trying to sleep… Yeah, rush hour at the iron bar, gotcha! Weaving your way in and out of unknown contraptions, should I just wear a sign that says “I’m a complete noob.” So you head for the most straightforward thing you know – the dumbbells and nearly knock someone out doing lateral raises! Good morning!
Whatever little events arise from your active lifestyle, just know, these moments of embarrassment and pockets of humiliation are what being human is about. We live and laugh by the pump. Step into the gym with your game face on and when the time comes to laugh at yourself or ask for a little help, do it. Respect to the humans who fail and try again.
I want to know what gym stories you have. Comment below with your cringe worthy experiences!