2000-09-30 / Sports

Fitness Forum…

Dear Shaun,
By Shaun Ruskin

Dear Shaun,

This might sound a little silly, but try and understand where I’m coming from. I’m in terrible shape, but I don’t want to be anymore. The truth is, I’m embarrassed to join a gym because I’m afraid of not knowing what to do, and looking stupid doing it. The last thing I want is people staring at me while I make a fool of myself. What do you suggest?




I suggest you stop caring about what other people think, because you can bet your bottom dollar they’re not losing sleep worrying about how you feel.

It’s so true Stacy. In this day and age, people couldn’t give two poops about what goes on around them. They’re so wrapped up in their own personal and professional lives, that giving even one minute to be concerned with someone not knowing what to do at the gym, would be as time consuming as a Rock Star having to sign an autograph for every fan, after every single concert. Okay, that had to be the worst comparison I’ve ever used, and I apologize for it, but I’m leaving it in anyway. It’s ridiculous, but sometimes people say and do ridiculous things, and even have ridiculous thoughts about a certain topic, such as oh…I don’t know, caring about what other people think, for instance.

Listen, I understand how you feel and where you’re coming from. Believe me, I’ve been there, I’ve been all over there, and I’m here to help. In your question, you said you didn’t want to be in terrible shape anymore. This means you’re ready to begin your journey to feeling better about yourself, inside and out. So even if there are one or two doofs who might poke fun behind your back (there won’t be) because you’re inexperienced, are you really going to allow them to stop you from doing what you set out to do? Please say no. Don’t ever let anyone prevent you from looking and feeling great, in any circumstance of life. It’s all that we’ve got, for God’s sake!

Remember Stacy, I could have easily given you some pointers on how to look " cool", or skillful at the gym. I chose not to, because your question stretches way further than fitness alone. Whenever you’re starting something new, remember that it’s one of the greatest and most exciting feelings in the world. Life can be such a drag sometimes, I mean, can it get any more repetitive? Trying something that you have never tried before is the only remedy, even if you are self conscious, scared, or embarrassed.

It also helps to realize that every person you see in the gym, at one time, had absolutely no idea what the hell they were doing…just like you. So focus only on what you want to do, it’s ok to be selfish sometimes, enjoy it, and I know I’ll see you at the gym real soon.

Shaun’s Thinking Out Loud:

Why is it, that certain people become so confident and cocky the second they set foot behind the steering wheel? All of a sudden they transform into the "Night Rider". They’re driving around like maniacs, dipping in and out of lanes, burning rubber, showing off in front of their friends (Yeah, that’s cool), but…we all know, that the moment they get pulled over, or God forbid into a car accident, their attitude completely changes. Now they’re not so cool anymore. Mr. Hyde has vanished and Dr. Jeckyl has reappeared. Be the person that you are for crying out loud, and cool out with all the road rage and crazy driving, believe me, its not worth it…

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