Thursday, March 4, 2010

Do you ever get nervous before a workout?

Every year in elementary school we had to run a mile for TIME in gym class. Even though I was a decent runner and was usually one of the first girls in my class to finish, I always had it built up in my mind that it was the worst thing EVER. The night before, I'd get  butterflies in my stomach, and I'd have the same uneasy feeling when I woke up the next morning. And in high school, I'd get all bajigity (there I go using that word again) before a big swim meet or a practice that I knew in advance would be killer. (The kind that resulted in rushing out of the pool to puke. Holy smokes, coach, we were only 15!) 

So now that I'm an adult who isn't being forced to sprint around a track ten times or swim 12-200m I.M.s for time (I still have nightmares!), I can take it easy when it comes to working out, right? Wrong. For several years, I did moderate elliptical sessions at the gym and half-assed my way through spinning classes, but I wasn't seeing the results I wanted. 

Recently, I've been kicking it into gear by doing: fast-paced circuit training that includes these crazy moves called man makers; heavy-resistance bike rides; and interval runs on the treadmill that make me feel more than a little uncomfortable. (Add an incline and I'm good to GO!) But some weeks I start slacking off again, and that's when I force myself to get back on track. Tonight, I'm begrudgingly going to a sports conditioning class at the gym that will involve a ridiculous amount of squat jumps, lunges, pushups and SPRINTS. Ughh, sprints. Everyone will be broken up into teams so we can race each other—it is not fun. And if you finish last, you feel like the loser in gym class who no one wanted on their kickball team. (Which, ahem, was never me.) People will start clapping and cheering your name as you attempt to finish without a look of total mortification on your face. It sucks. Oh lord, don't let me come in last! 

Needless to say, I'm nervous for tonight. Is that normal? I suppose it's good to do something outside of your comfort zone every once in a while! Does anyone else get the same feeling before a tough workout?


  1. I guess as someone who has never been much of an athlete or athletic competitor, I don't get worked up to work out. My gym is very much an "every man's" kinda place, so you can be a toned hottie or a big momma and fit right in, which helps.

    But, I danced a lot as a kid. I was taking ballet 6 days a week my freshman year of HS, and I would get REALLY nervous before taking the company classes on Saturday. Then I decided that while I was a good dancer, I wasn't THAT good, so I quit and focused on school stuff. And yes, I would get nervous before tests, and I still get nervous at work.

  2. every workout i do? i am always nervous beforehand.


  3. I think that is totally normal! Anytime you step out of your comfort zone it is nerve racking! I get uber nervous before trying anything new! :)

  4. don't be nervous, whatever happens if you pass or, or something horrible- itll be an awesome blog later ;)

  5. Shannon, that's good that you still get nervous at work—it shows you care. I usually always perform best when I have a bit of nerves rumbling around in my stomach. I ALWAYS get nervous before I interview someone, even though I've done a million.

    Trayn, you get nervous before EVERY workout?! Actually, if I were doing your workouts, I'd be nervous every time too! Looking at them just makes me dizzy.

    True, MHP. But this is the kind of class where I don't think I will ever NOT be nervous. I made it through OK though. Phew.

    Chelsea, I KNOW! I thought about that mid-way through the class, and was bummed at the end that nothing mortifying happened for that very reason!

  6. I havent been a member of a gym for a couple of years now, but when I was I had no problem whatsoever with fear.........who am I kidding!!!
    In a male gym environment the worry starts at home with thoughts of the communal changing rooms full of 'peacock' like males with perfectly toned bodies who don't mind strutting around naked. I'm not totally out of condition but at 49 have to work really hard to simply not get fat. Then in the spinning class do the guys take the easy option? is done to the max and the stragglers disappear to the water fountain amid smirks and nods. The weights section will see women using the general muscle building equipment (the stuff that works for me as work provides me with enough weight exercise), whilst men generally pump iron so much that they can't touch fingers to waists because of all the upper body muscle.
    Me, I start with a little treadmill/cycle, move to weights area for the machines, do some stretches and then have a do all the women. Guys, don't spin and pump soooo much!

  7. Thats a crazy class. I don't ever interact at the gym, that might make me more nervous. But in general I don't worry too much at the gym. I think everyone at the gym feels vulnerable or self consious on some level or they would not be there. Side note: I noticed a lot of what Gary has at the gym. I was lifting pretty hard and then in the last two years I realized that I was getting hurt, and not healing. Backing off of the weights is hard when you are surrounded by meat heads, but I think doing what is good for you rather than just adding weight is really "manning up". If you can lift like crazy without getting hurt great, but I can't anymore. Those guys will be old sooner or later too.

  8. Yeah, Gary and George, I can see how guys would feel pressure to perform at a certain level at the gym with meatheads all around. I hate the guys who grunt at a disgustingly loud volume when they're pumping iron. Ew.