A little bit about me, I served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years prior to my current student life. I am married to an Airmen currently and I am blessed to have a wonderful free gym to go to in order to better my body. It can be intimidating as a woman though to go pump iron with the boys in a predominantly male environment. I liken it to learning a new language. You want to look like you know what you are doing- and you don't want to be seen doing something incorrectly. Especially, when there are so many men around not just focused on working out- but focused on the newness of a female presence. Men can say they are immune but, if I were in a predominately female environment I couldn't help but notice if a man strolled in. That is not to say that all men are oglers. Just to say that there is a noticeable difference in the presence of a woman. I am sure most men go out of their way to make me feel comfortable and to focus on their own workouts like I do, but I can't help but be self conscious if I am looking for a machine to use for a particular exercise. No one wants to seem out of place!
Yes, gyms can be intimidating at first, and so can their membership. I got over the intimidation for the most part by going to the gym anyways and really exploring all the equipment that I would need. I also, go through the exercises I am about to perform in my head before I ever get to the gym, so I don't feel confused while looking at a paper trying to figure out the proper technique. Even though I plan ahead to ward off anxiety yesterdays work out caught me off guard. ALL the gym monsters last night were serious bodybuilders. While I greatly admire their efforts, for me just getting back into the game I felt uneasy about the lack of weight I was lifting and how much I was struggling. In short, I felt weak. With everyone around me getting their burn on and being in significantly amplified gains, I could do nothing but remind myself that they once struggled just as I was and that one day I would be in the glory of my awesomeness struggling to maintain amazing. But, if I got too discouraged to continue I would never achieve my goals.
The pep-up talk didn't lead to an amazing work out, but it did lead me to finishing my work out. Ultimately, that small victory is going to make a huge difference in the end. Hope all of you are keeping up your own spirits! See you in the gym.