“Most people live in a state of fear that they’ll be humiliated in some way.”
Let that sink in and internalize for a minute. I'll wait.
Fear is a tricky thing in the world of fitness. I came across this quote in an article I was reading on Deadspin.com, and while it was part of the context of a larger statement, it resonated with me. Day after day I hear similar sentiments to the one above echoed from people about their own fitness journeys. It comes in many forms: I don't know what to do, it sounds hard, that sounds stupid, I can't do that, what if I can't do that, what if I can't keep up, what if, what if, what if.
This fear of the unknown in the fitness world keeps people paralyzed in a number of different ways. For the average person, that might mean not being comfortable in a gym environment. They see the people who are in the gym day in and day out, and think, "Oh, that person has something special that I don't have," or "I could never be like them." That thought might be followed by an excuse or qualification.
For the person that is in there day in and day out, there's often a fear of not being able to reach their goals. "I need to be bigger, stronger, faster or I won't be good enough," or "I wish I was like my idol."
For the elite athletes, it could be the fear of not being the best. "What if I fail come competition day?"
Fear is an important driver of what we choose to do or not do with our lives so that we can be safe. But overcoming fear is what drives us forward in life. Putting yourself out there so you can improve yourself in a positive manner will help open you up to a world that you never even realized existed.
I'm not talking about taking stupid risks like being afraid of hurting your back but still attempting a personal best deadlift. I'm talking about, if you don't know where to start, work with someone who's been there already to help overcome that fear of the gym, to help you be happy with what your body can do, to become the best person that you can be.
It's OK to be afraid. And it's ok to need help. Overcome your fear, step into the gym, and find out how much you are capable of.