Monday, 7 March 2016

A Red, Sweaty and Healthy Face

The gym really needn’t be scary. And yet a lot of people – men and women – do fear the gym. For years, as much as I liked the idea of going to the gym, I never thought I would join because I always wondered if the whole experience would be intimidating. I’ve been at a gym for over a year now and I adore it. I really love my time at the gym and find myself often considering it as a highlight of my day. Today it has been the highlight of my day.

So why do we have this initial (maybe not even just initial) intimidation of the gym?

There’s an unfair misconception on the behalf of predominantly females but also males that the males at a gym are going to be intimidating, maybe arrogant and potentially flirty with girls. This is definitely a very general, stereotypical judgement and it should be abolished straight away. Although this is not to say there aren’t a few guys I’ve felt a little uncomfortable about at the gym. Another misconception is that maybe us females fear this equally terrible sexist statement that women shouldn’t go to the gym- but more importantly shouldn’t be going to the gym if they want to build muscle etc. I have never come across this thought inside of the gym. Everyone is there to improve themselves and there's this shared sense of wanting to reach personal goals which would rarely allow this kind of attitude. This list is not exclusive but for today, finally, there is also the idea that only "certain" type of males should go to the gym. And how ridiculous is that? When it comes to health, there is not "certain" type of person that should take part in it. It's all of us. Men can choose to focus on cardio or they can focus on resistance and muscle building. Or they can do it all. Women can chose to focus on cardio or they can focus on resistance and muscle building. Or they can do it all. It doesn't matter whether a guy or gal wants to be muscly, slim or toned or anything in between- the gym is for everyone. All shapes and sizes.  
We sometimes fear the gym because we're worried about our own capability. But our own capability can be improved at the gym! I learn more and more what I am capable of and will be capable of every time I go to the gym. It doesn't matter that I have pretty strong legs but pretty weak legs. I have okay strength in my core but good strength in my back. It doesn't matter! I'm there to improve it all! I am capable because the gym is about me and no one else. I used to worry it would be embarrassing, when using the resistant machines, that I'd struggle with certain weights. And yes, I go so red that I could probably stand in for the red light on a traffic light, but the challenge is mine and mine only!

My friend told me he loves swimming and he uses the gym predominantly for this. However he has been avoiding it because it makes him uncomfortable. He feels slightly embarrassed that he considers himself as "skinny." I told him, no no no! You're awesome and you love swimming and your body lets you do this! So do it!

The gym is about being safe and not taking it too far. That is one important thing. Certain activities can be more dangerous than others and going to the gym too much is also dangerous. As long as we are careful and sensible but also ambitious and happy, the gym is an awesome way to exercise and feeling good about ourselves!

A Red & Sweaty Face,

The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. I am blogging twice every day this March; you can read my last blog post HERE!


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