Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

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Change is exciting but often scary. Even when we know that change is good for us. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of what others think and even fear of success often keep us from pursuing our dreams. Yes, I said fear of success. Why is that, isn't success something we all aim for? 


Last November I did the 2nd scariest thing in my life. I shipped out to Basic Combat Training for the United States Army. This is only 2nd to March 27, 2013 when I raised my right hand and was sworn in. I was terrified. I was 27 years old, which in terms of enlisting is ancient. We were still at war, what if I get deployed? Can I make it through BCT? Will I fail? What happens if I don't fail.....? All of these questions were going through my mind. This quote above is literally something I read every day the weeks prior to shipping out. I have always wanted to serve my Country. Always. Fear always got in the way. November 13th I shipped out, and no YouTube video could prepare me for what I experienced. It was the most amazing, challenging, difficult, rewarding experience I can imagine. I learned how incredibly strong I am and I left February 19th with a sense of pride I cannot even explain. I just accomplished something that less than 1% of the American population ever will. 


I know, you are thinking ok Thea, what does this have to do with health and fitness? Why am I reading about your experience at BCT? Believe it or not - this fear - that overwhelming fear of the unknown is something that keeps people from stepping foot into a fitness center. Here are some of the most common fears that I have come across and some tips on how to overcome them.


·         Not knowing what you’re doing.

·         Getting hurt.

·         Navigating an unfamiliar environment.

·         Having people judge you

·         I look fat. 

·         I have no one to go with.

·         I will look silly.

·         What if I work hard but don't hit my goals?

·         I don't deserve to be happy and healthy.


Tip 1. Consider why you want to go to the gym in the first place.

Those are the most common. First and foremost I ask "Why are you here?" If you answer things like, it’s what I should be doing, and I want to look good for other people. You need to revisit your motivation? Do you want to be healthier? Lose {x} number of pounds? Be able to get up and down the stairs better? Be a better soldier? Be a better {insert sport} competitor? 


Tip 2. Ask the Fitness Director for assistance or hire a personal trainer.

Often centers will have fitness directors to get you started. They can show you the basics of the machines and some even the guidance as to what to do when you are here. Otherwise hire a trainer. We are educated and certified so that we can get you to your goals in the SAFEST, QUICKEST, way. 


Tip 3. Get a workout partner. 

Find a friend or a family member. Post it on Facebook -"Looking for a workout buddy!" You would be surprised how many other people are looking for the same! 


Tip 4. Try a group fitness class.

This one is tricky, often people will worry they look silly or like they don't have a clue what is going on. Guess what? No one does! Let the instructor know you are new. Trust me no one is watching you. 


Tip 5. Set small goals.

Your first goal should not be to lose 40 lbs. Your first goal should be - step into the gym. 


Tip 6. Expect setbacks.

What's that saying? Rome wasn't built in a day. It took me over a year to lose my 120 lbs. And I had set backs. But I keep pushing. You have to keep pushing. 1 bad day will not ruin the rest of the week unless you allow it to. Preparing for possible setbacks helps you deal with them as they arise. 


Tip 7. Realize people are there for them.

Most people are so focused on themselves at the gym that even if you do something silly, they won't notice. 


Tip 8. Know that you are worth the time.

Some people fear the end result. Often time people allow their weight to dictate whether they are happy in life. Know that you are worth the time it will take, that you are worth the effort. More importantly know that you are worth being happy and healthy.


Tip 9. Don't expect it to be easy.