Admittedly, walking into a fitness studio for the first time can be extremely intimidating. I know firsthand the fear of the unknown hour that lies ahead can easily prevent oneself from trying a new class. If you relate to this feeling or have a friend that is hesitant to join you in your fitness endeavours, this blog is dedicated to overcoming a fear of a fitness first — with a twist.
Three years ago, I stepped into my first cycling class and was terrified within the first two minutes. When I opened the doors to the studio, I was shocked by the lack of natural light, the intensity of the music and the abundance of people spinning a mile a minute. To make matters worse, my bike was front row center, located next to what seemed like professional cyclists. I sat down, hesitant about what I just got myself into. However, after 45 minutes of struggling and sweating, the lights turned on, the music turned down, and I felt a newfound sense of pleasure from pushing myself to try something new. While cycling can take a few classes to get used to and I do not recommend sitting front row for your first class, this fitness first taught me a lot about myself. I was so used to doing the same workout that I felt a great sense of accomplishment after conquering my fear of cycling. I can proudly say that I now enjoy cycling, but could not have gotten to this point if I did not challenge myself. The ultimate takeaway from this experience is to not be afraid to break out of your fitness comfort zone.
Fitness is not just physical; it is also mental. This brings me to my next first: a mindful meditation class. My first mindful meditation class was a completely different experience from my cycling class. Instead of loud music, there was a soft sound of the ocean playing in the background, and the darkness was not intended to intensify the atmosphere, but rather play a soothing role.
Overall, I walked into this fitness experience with a much calmer mindset. However, once the class started, my fear of this fitness first started to kick in. The instructor told the class to use one’s imagination as she guided us through a meditative course. I could not turn my mind off,and as I started to think about all of the things I needed to do after class, I worried about how distracted I was and could not complete the instructor’s requests. I left the class feeling frustrated by my inability to have a successful experience, but, taking my own advice from my cycling class, I pushed myself and tried again. The second mindful meditation class I took, I was able to remind myself that not all things come easily on the first try. This put my mind at ease and I was able to focus on the techniques my instructor was teaching. I can now vouch that success should be measured on a personal scale, and if you focus on yourself rather than the experiences of those around you, you will be much happier with the results of your fitness first.
It is crucial to remember that a fitness first is not intended to be easy, but rather it is a way to test your abilities. Overcoming a fear of trying something new tests your inner strength, while completing a new type of exercise challenges your physical strength. So, next time you want to try a new class but are afraid of the unknown, remember the reward is greater than the risk.
Carly Price is a freshman majoring in journalism. Her column, With a Twist, runs every week on Wednesday.