29 August 2014


Ah perceptions, they can be a double-edged sword at times.  Yesterday there were two new people in the Thursday morning Nordic Walk session, a very lovely couple who had seen us walking about the park a few times who finally decided to see about joining us.  I had a chance to chat with them towards the end of the class and we discussed how walking with the poles was fun but there was more to learning it than expected.  The subject then got around to how going to the gym was intimidating when you were older, heavier, and seemingly less fit than everyone else in there and I got the "but you're slim" comment.  The thing is for a few years I wasn't slim, I weighed over 2 stone (34 pounds) more than I do now when I began the Couch to 5k program in 2007 and I was a truck driver so most of my runs started and ended with an audience.  That amount of weight might not sound like much but I am 5'3" and smallish boned so for me it was quite a bit and knowing that yes you are being stared and talked about makes you VERY self-conscious.

Not quite my heaviest but close

It took about a year before I got over the worry of being scrutinised and realising that yes, the other drivers were watching but they were going to do so anyway because a huge part of the job is staring out the window so anything new broke up the monotony of the day.  I just hope that seeing me climb out of the truck in my running gear inspired a few others to get out of the drivers seat and start exercising as well.  As far as the gym goes, most people there are too involved with their own workouts and body issues to pay attention to anyone else--and if you find yourself in one where the employees/personal trainers are being rude, go to another one ASAP, that place is not deserving of your patronage and it's YOUR money paying their wages!

With THE Marathon Trucker, 7 years after the first photo

Anyway, a bit of a rant at end of the last paragraph but I did want to share this Psychology Today article that a friend posted on facebook about exercise embarrassment.  Talk about great timing, eh and hopefully it shows that most of us have a lot of the same issues that we are self-conscious about. Get out, have fun, try something new, and don't be afraid to make an idiot of yourself occasionally--that philosophy has created lots of memories and introduced me to people I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Pic via Pinterest

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