Drop it Like its Hot: Gym + intimidation = Gymtimidation

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I’ve had a gym membership since I was in high school but there are still times when I feel like I don’t belong there. Gymtimidation is real, but if we want results we have to move past it. Over the years, there have been many times when I’ve had to tell myself “CeCe, get over it!”: Get over your anxiety about asking for help… Get over your fear of the meat heads in the weight room… get over not wanting to change in the main locker room area (I mean, who really wants to change in a cramped bathroom stall?)

Every time I think I’m completely comfortable at my local gym, there’s something new I have to get over.

Last night, my challenge presented its self in the pool. I was able to get over any anxiety about being in a bathing suit surrounded by NYC hard bodied men a long time ago when I realized that 85% of them were gay and looking at each other, not me. I’m a good swimmer, so I had no anxiety about that either. But last night I got to the pool a little earlier than usual, so the lanes were more crowded than what I’m used to.

There are four lanes for swimming laps; Loafer, Slow, Medium and Fast. I’m usually one of the fast swimmers in the Medium lane, but the Medium lane was full, so I jumped into the Fast lane which happened to be empty. I had done laps for about 10 minutes when two men asked if they could share the lane with me. I thought I was cute with my little halter bathing suit and goggles, but these men had Speedo swim shorts, swim caps, goggles, nose plugs and water proof watches that they were setting to record their time. These were Swimmers.

*Gulp* Gymtimidation was rearing its ugly head again. Instead of filing into the clockwork rotation with them, as I normally would in the Medium lane, I froze. These guys were swimming a lot faster than me and I started convincing myself that I would hold them up and they would get frustrated with me. I kept glancing over to the Medium lane to see if someone would leave and I could take their place but their rotation didn’t seem to be lightening up anytime soon.

I stood there for a good five minutes and I could feel my heart rate going down. Eventually I decided that I couldn’t let gymtimidation ruin my calories burned. I slipped into the rotation and did my laps with both of Michael Phelps long lost cousins and an interesting thing happened. Because I was self conscious about swimming too slow, I swam a little faster, kicked a little harder than I normally do and ended up having a wonderfully intense workout! The guys were totally gracious, swimming around me if they needed to but they didn’t make me feel bad or anything….

Maybe gymtimidation is all in my head.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09826177885767438626 NikStar

    Go girl! Gymtimidation is something that is real, but I think us as bigger women over exaggerate it just a tad bit because we are already self conscious. In the gym, I'm a beast. I walk around like Im all swoll lol

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17857524350958781429 Missouri Girl

    It is very real, but I try to just get in my zone!! I plug in my ipod and just convince myself that I am the only person in the place. I figure if someone wants to watch my giggly ass while I am on the elliptical, more power to them!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07064399321609533501 Melissa W

    GYMTIMIDATION!!! YES that's what it is!

    I've been working out since high school and there's always something to make me feel a bit off kilter when I go to the gym. In those times I just turn my ipod on my fave song and keep on moving.

    The worst is the weight room and standing next to the skinny girls on the eliptical machines.

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  • TINT :)

    I’ve always been blessed with an ego the size of a raccoon and enough confidence to kill a cat so I’ve never actually felt intimidated in the gym.

    However, I’ve always wanted my other girl friends to come and join in working out but they’re far too intimidated.

    It’s really hard for me to understand because to me it feels like everyone in the gym is there to help each other. It makes me so sad when other girls are too intimidated to come work out with weights :)

    http://www.toningisnottoning.com/