If I had £1 for every time I had heard that statement from a new Personal Training client, I would be a rich man. I heard it again this morning.
"I'm going to die doing this..."
"I can't lift that..."
"No way can I keep going..."
Starting your fitness journey can be very daunting and intimidating. We assume that we won't match up to the standards set by "Those People", who ever "They" actually are. We assume that everyone else has it together, finds training really easy and it is only us that...
Finds it difficult...
Can feel the life draining out of our legs...
Feel THAT sweaty and out breath...
But this is simply not true. Everyone starts somewhere.
What you are doing is holding yourself to imaginary standards, someone else's standards. Someone who has probably been doing this a lot longer than you have.
It is natural to not feel very comfortable performing a task you haven't completed before, in an environment you haven't been before. Even if you aren't heading to the gym and you are just going for a walk or a jog, or trying a fitness dvd; you have a perception of how it is SUPPOSED to look.
And what we get into here is a position where we assume everyone else is judging us.
We play the "What will they think of me?" game.
This is because the fitness industry is unwittingly aimed at the people it already serves and not the people who actually need it's help.
Many people who exercise regularly do want a six pack or big muscles and want to work at a phenomenal intensity in a competition.
"Harder, better, faster, stronger!"
Many people in fitness are chasing excellence and that is great for them, I have huge respect for people who are training this way and chasing these goals.
But if you are very new to fitness, chances are that kind of lifestyle is extremely intimidating. You may perceive that's what "Being fit" is all about and you think there is no way you could achieve that so why get started in the first place.
What you need to understand is that health is relative. Fitness is relative.
Your fitness goals are your personal goals. They are individual to you.
If you find it hard to walk back to the car with your shopping then you can look at improving that. Achieving that from your training is a fantastic result for you, it is personal to you and is achievable.
If it takes you an hour to walk with your dog, look at taking 30 seconds off the time. Then 30 seconds off that.
If you don't feel comfortable in your clothes, focus on losing a few inches off your waist. Go down a waist size, dress size; do your belt up an extra notch. Whatever it is for you. Don't get distracted by what everyone else is doing.
Think of this example.
Picture that gym rat who throws weights around, runs really quick on the treadmill and does all those sit ups.
Then imagine taking them to your place of work, sitting them at your desk and asking them to do your job.
Chances are they would feel uncomfortable, disorientated, confused, unsure if they are doing it right. They would feel vulnerable as all of your colleagues rattled through the work looking like they knew what they were doing.
Chances are you have experienced some of those emotions when getting started in fitness.
Allow yourself to be a newbie. Be patient with yourself, allow yourself to get it wrong from time to time and allow yourself to build up your level of experience.
Take it one step at a time.
12 months from now you will see someone else walking in to the gym with that fear in their eye and remember that you used to be there.