Starting something new can be intimidating. We have to battle the voices in our head that undermine our self confidence. We fear looking silly and wonder what others will think of us. What if everyone else is better than we are? What if we fail? These fears are all real, but it’s worth thinking them all the way through to get a better perspective.
Starting a new gym routine carries all of this baggage and more. No matter how badly we want to begin a new venture, most of us deal with nervousness and anxiousness around getting started…and that’s okay! But sometimes, those nerves can keep us from ever getting past the contemplation stage. I’ve talked with many, many athletes who waited weeks, months, or even years before ever walking through the doors of Catacombs. The tragedy of letting those voices of fear hold us back is that it only delays the beginning of the journey.
I’d like to be the voice in your head with a different perspective for a few minutes. That perspective is that we all started somewhere. Even the most seasoned athletes started at the beginning and had to fight through the early stages of self doubt. Some still battle those voices even after months and years. Most of us continue to struggle with certain movements or types of workouts. But the reality is that those fears of judgement or failure are unfounded. We succeed when we keep showing up and putting in the work…not because we master some complicated movement or become the strongest or fastest. Those seasoned athletes that you admire have just gotten more comfortable with being uncomfortable. They have a better relationship with their fear and know that their competition is only with themselves…no one else is even paying attention.
For those of you that are already “in the tribe” who know what a warm, welcoming, and supportive place this is, think back to a time when you didn’t yet know that; a time when just walking through the door felt like a small miracle. Then, make sure you go out of your way to introduce yourself to the new gal or head out on a run with the last finisher. Because helping another athlete is how we also help ourselves.