Stage fright

For some, going to the gym is just as scary as public speaking. And it makes sense. In a gym you talk with your body. When you’re lifting a piece of weight, it’s a speech you’re making about the capabilities of your muscles. When you’re running on the treadmill, you’re communicating your endurance. Your body speaks for you and a lot of people who are new to working out do not really know whether they’re going to start stuttering, drop the weights on their head, faint, and make a fool of themselves in front of the entire gym.
When first starting to workout at a gym, the thought of it would give me a stomach ache. I would have insane fantasies of something horrible happening, like the ground splitting asunder and swallowing the whole gym whole, just so that I can get out of it.
And to be honest, that feeling is still there for me. The intensity has dimmed over time, but the fear is still there and I think it will always be there. But I’ve learned over time some tricks to get over it.
I’ve noticed that the things I dread doing, once it’s over and done with, there is this high and I feel like I’m the frigging king of the world, unstoppable, and I swagger around like I’m da shit. The more intense the dread, the more intense the high after I’ve done it. And likewise, the more intense the shame and suffering I go through if I wimp out. So I focus on that. I focus on the moment right after when I’m sweaty and I’m walking out of the gym and the rest of the day is going to be just that much more awesome because I pushed through that hour or two of discomfort.
Over time this practice becomes a habit and the fear begins to subside and it’s much easier to get up on stage, pick up that weight, and speak your body in front of a crowd.


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