19 Aug Ladies: Working Out in the Gym with Confidence
Fun fact about me: I haven’t watched TV in over two years. In fact, my roommates and I don’t even have cable. So of course now you’re thinking…Erica is a hermit and has no clue what’s going on in the world. But hey, with my abhorrence for reality TV and simply not giving a shit that Kim Kardashian named her baby after directions on a compass, or that Bruce Jenner morphed into a woman, I will happily pass on the monthly cable bills to spare myself of such useless info that has NO effect on my life.
However, does this mean I block myself off from all media? Actually, no. If any of you know about my passion for soaking in new info and shutting up and listening to smarter people than me, I am constantly buried in the strength and conditioning research blogs, reading novels on personal development, tuning into meditation music YouTube channels, and when I really want to go crazy, I’ll watch some awesome VICE News documentaries on my computer. I FREAKING LOVE VICE!
What is it? If you haven’t heard of VICE, it’s a series of documentaries about quirky subcultures, cults, gangs, and movements happening in other countries. Typically, these countries are places we can’t even point out on a blank map – Siberia, Liberia, and various locations in Central Russia.
A jaw-dropping episode at best, named Jesus of Siberia, it documents a 2,000 person village in the middle of Siberia that worships a dude called the Vissarion, who they believe to be a living form of Jesus.
Man, I don’t know…I do kinda sorta see the similarities.
To make things a bit weirder, the town has no electricity, they believe suicide is okay, girls go to school to learn how to do laundry and chores (that’s IT), and boys learn to build wooden houses. There’s no connection to the world outside of their village that looks like an elf-like town from The Lord of the Rings:
All cult jokes and judgements aside, what can we learn from the small religious bubble that the people of Siberia live in?
Everyone is in their own freaking world doing their own thing. Who I am judge? Who is anyone to judge? And I bet your ass the dwellers of Siberia don’t give two fucks or even realize they’re being filmed.
And when it comes to the small, itty bitty world of your local gym, it’s the same (minus the Church component and living Jesus): No one is REALLY caring what you do. You’re not on candid camera and you’re not on some quirky documentary.
It’s a bit narcissistic to believe that people are tuning into your every move of you working out, don’t ya think? So here’s a public service announcement: people at the gym are not keeping tabs on you lifting 8 pound dumbbells, or how long you were on the elliptical to the nearest tenth second, or how you don’t know how to rack your own barbell. If anything, these people are more worried about themselves, and if they are assiduously tracking your every exercise, ever stop to think “HA. Sucks for them for wasting their time.”
*BUT* also: have you ever pondered they might be worried about what you think too?
The burly man struggling through his last reps of bicep curls is likely to worry about YOU watching him, so he has to prove he can finish the set without being a total wuss in front of you.
The old man doing seated shoulder presses is probably self conscious about YOU staring at his horrendous sweat stains under his gray t-shirt.
Other women, like yourself, are simply too busy navigating the weight room to care what else is going on. Novices and advanced trainees alike, people are focusing on their own problems. At the end of the day, people are tunnel visioned into looking out for themselves. Of course I totallyyyyy understand why women tend to be insecure and a bit icky when lifting weights in front of other men. But it’s all a matter of your mindset and stepping out to see the bigger picture.
Mindset = thought processes that you can control that lead to certain outcomes.
Upon entering the gym, you have total emotional power over what goes down, whether you’re going to surrender to a victim mindset, or exude the empowered mindset of showing up as is and staying attuned to your world. And in Siberia, they’re also plugged into their tiny little town not giving a shit that a 25-year-old girl like myself is watching their behavior. They’re doing them. And it’s all good in my book if they want to worship a fake Jesus. Cool. Alas, life goes on…
Worrying about yourself is the only business you belong in. Personally, I thrive when I make myself a priority, instead of playing to others’ judgements. If I did that, I would be trapped in inaction and stagnation.
Phew! I hope you’re still following along. Naturally, I could go on and on about female body image issues and confidence hacks, but if you want further reading, I highly recommend Warrior Goddess Training by Heatherash Amara. This book has allowed me to realign my mindset with my values in order to create positive experiences for myself. And it’s all about creation. Creating your world, tuning into to it, and just trusting yourself.