Hello There Fear

By October 27, 2019 blog

It’s ok to be afraid of the gym. We get it. But hey, sometimes things work out and you end up with a giant head in your honor. 🙂 Here are a few short stories from ladies that acknowledged their fear…and did it anyway.

Many of you know I started as a member at Dragonfly.  What you might not know is that I was pretty nervous to start (and by pretty nervous, I mean I think it took me 4 attempts to send in the inquiry alone before I finally did it and then I was still a sweaty wreck).  I was so nervous before my first class. I sat in the car and talked myself into going in. I had been active and an avid swimmer, but I’d never lifted weights before and frankly, gyms were scary.  I didn’t know what to do, how to do it, didn’t want to hurt myself, or look like an idiot.  And I didn’t know anyone – eeeeeek on top of eeeeeeek!

Having worked at Dragonfly now for 4+ years, I have heard those SAME thoughts, fears and concerns from many of our members as they get started. FEAR.  It’s impressive how it can hold us back. Maybe the gym is scary because you only know what you see on social media or maybe you feel you are too old or out of shape to start a fitness program. Sometimes we just have to push through the fear and see what happens! -Coach Missy

The first time I walked into Dragonfly a year ago I was absolutely terrified. Terrified that I wouldn’t be able to do anything. Terrified that I would be too negative and be kicked out. Terrified that I would have to wear tight stretchy pants. Terrified that I would hate it and quit. Terrified that I would love it and still find a reason to quit. Terrified that I would injure myself and HAVE to quit. I was in the worst shape of my life, with arthritis and a herniated disc. Bending over to pick up a piece of paper or put the leash on the dog could put me down for a week or more. How in the world was I going to do THIS?! By acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway.

The first few months were difficult. I had decided to make a commitment to show up to class, but that was it. I 99.2% don’t care what other people think of me and rarely compare myself to others but I’m really good at beating myself up and struggled to not compare my current self to my former active, healthy self. It took some trial and error to figure out what was going to aggravate my injuries and there were a few times where I had to step back and recover, which wasn’t easy (see reason to quit above.) As time passed, I became stronger and gained more confidence. Showing up to class turned into wanting to work hard, which turned into wanting to try things I didn’t think I could do. I began to trust the coaches and accept their gentle nudges. I began to trust myself. I learned that keeping good form was essential, and if something didn’t feel right I needed to communicate this to the coaches and make modifications. There are some movements I can’t do, and that’s ok. Strengthening my core and practicing my hip hinge has greatly improved my back pain, which has improved my mindset… allowing me to push past my fears and keep moving forward. I still have days (weeks/months) where I struggle to do things outside of my comfort zone, but I’m working on it. So, if you see me pause before [insert terrifying movement here] during class, I’m acknowledging the fear, taking a deep breath, and doing it anyway.  -Holly W.

And here are two tips from Sarah T. that helped her overcome some fears…
#1 – Say it out loud . Say it out loud to one of the coaches. Just admitting I was scared to do something was a big deal. Bonus, you guys helped me break it all down into smaller steps that didn’t feel as intimidating.
#2 Small wins. The other thing that has helped is making sure I notice and congratulate myself on small gains. So maybe I’m still not doing hanging exercises, but I can see progress in my scap pulls and that’s something. Plus I’m not bursting into tears when I see hanging knee raises any more. But I’m still not excited. You can’t make me excited. 😉