Friday, June 15, 2012

Overcoming Fear

One of my friends said that her mother used to tell her, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Wow, that is a powerful and truthful statement. You can literally apply this statement to everything in our lives. It works for personal relationships, our first time getting behind the wheel of a car, our first ride on the bicycle without training wheels or a parent running along to ensure we don’t fall, but most importantly, it can apply to when we take the next step in our wellness initiatives.

As a fitness instructor, I encounter people who fear attending a class because they are unfamiliar with the structure, instructor or are just afraid of what others may think of them in the class. People may be afraid of rejection, embarrassment if they cannot perform all of the movements, their own personal appearance and a multitude of other fears. Overcoming this fear is probably the hardest part for anyone who is considering taking a group exercise class. I’ve had the same fear, I can relate to what they are experiencing. I’m sure you can. I remember standing outside of my first step class – 30 women and then there was me – the lone male with two left feet.

Had I not overcome my fear of taking a group exercise class, I’m quite certain I would have never become a Master Instructor for the Spinning® program, nor pursued my group exercise certifications. Both of which have opened many doors for me and introduced me to some incredible people from every continent on our planet.

If you fear taking a class because you are new to the club or just starting your physical fitness journey, push it aside and take the plunge. Jump in and participate to the best of your ability. It is like diving into a pool; some people put their toes in and leave, while others just dive right in regardless of the temperature. Do not be worried about what others think, they were in your shoes once as well. You may find that they welcome you with open arms.

It is OK to be fearful of your first class. To ease your anxiety, arrive a few minutes before class begins and introduce yourself to the instructor. Ask where you should stand (or sit) and let him or her know your apprehension about even being there. A great instructor will help you overcome your fear and will know to break down their cuing to help you be successful. And let us face it, you’re lapping everyone that is sitting at home on the couch.

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