There Is More Support Than You Think

Posted: September 28, 2014 in General Fitness
Tags: , , ,

One thing that is common for folks new to fitness in general or a particular activity is to think that people are going to judge you, be rude, and act like you don’t really belong. This is a very common fear a lot of women have with weight lifting in gyms that keeps a lot of women out of the weight rooms.

It’s something I’ve felt before, and still, and will surely more times again in the future.

And I feel bad thinking about this subject because a big inspiration of mine in creating this blog was a place to talk about things that annoy me that happen or are said in fitness spaces (in person or more often for me in online spaces). And so I tend to focus on these negatives a lot, which may give the impression that that is all there is out there or even that that is how most people are. Which has not been my experience.

There are assholes out there. Like the guy at the gym who suggested I should use a machine instead when doing bench presses because he was clearly annoyed having to share equipment with me (if machines are so great, you use them. Problem solved.) Or the times I’ve gotten comments mocking my workouts that I track (publicly) online.

But for all those assholes, I’ve probably met a lot more folks who are very supportive. For every person who posts something mocking a workout of mine, I’ve had several people comment in support and encouragement.

Part of what got me thinking about this was chatting with this girl via text message- and I hope if she ever sees this she doesn’t mind me sharing this bit of info. So I’ve mentioned lifting and running to her, and I was talking about running and she comments “I’m afraid if you’re looking for a workout buddy, I will be veryyy slow”. Now my first thought was actually that I don’t think it’s even possible for anyone to run slower than me. I am really slow already myself. But if someone was slower than me or needed to walk more often, if they wanted to go running with me I would gladly go at a pace comfortable for them. I’d love to have someone who wanted to join me in these things and would not be at all bothered if someone was less experienced than me.

It actually reminds me of a geek related complaint I have. There are some “geeks” out there who look down on folks for not being as into a particular geeky thing as them, and have this exclusive “you don’t know about this so you suck and aren’t welcome” attitude. Which I have never understood, as a geek. When a friend of mine told me he had never watched x-files I didn’t think “what the fuck is wrong with you? You suck, you are obviously not really a geek, we can’t be friends anymore, get out!” No, I thought, “how the fuck can you have never seen x-files? Well let’s fix this right now, you should come watch x-files with me because it is awesome and you will love it!” Because when I love something and think it is awesome, I want to share that with people and let other people in on the awesomeness of it.

I feel the same way about fitness. I love it. It’s fun. It makes me feel great. And I would love to share that with other people!

And I’ve found that a lot of folks feel the same way there. And when I met up with folks in person who are much faster runners than me, they were fine with slowing down and going at my pace.

So yes, there are assholes out there, that’s life. But I would hope people who are new, or thinking about giving lifting/running/whatever else a try would know that there is actually a lot of support out there and most people are not going to be assholes. And just ignore the few who are because the problem is them, no you.

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