Not that many years ago I remember walking into a gym scared me to death. I knew everyone was looking at me funny and they just knew I didn’t belong.
And those mirrors, YIKES, I didn’t need to look in the mirrors here, they were probably just as bad as the one’s I had at home.
Wearing all I had, (usually what I would wear to bed), extra-large sweat pants, with an even larger t-shirt (most likely with several stains on the front).
I would veer over to my safe zone, the cardio deck , then head over to the ladies’ weight rack, pump out a set of 20 reps, maybe do some abs (sit ups, crunches), then I would go home.
I would do that for a week or two then quit because I just didn’t fit in…looking in the mirrors clarified that I REALLY didn’t fit in…
And hiring a trainer seemed silly to me… trainers were for someone that could afford them or trainers were for professional athletes training, not for out of place, afraid of the mirror, women like me.
And I already felt bad, why would I hire someone to yell at me and make me feel worse?
But I noticed something one of the few times in the gym, the trainers seemed different then my perception. They were training regular people like me. I noticed they were encouraging them, veering them away from looking in the mirrors and getting them to focus on their words.
As I watched, my beliefs started to shift and I knew I wanted to change. What could it hurt, these trainers seemed to have their clients best interest in mind, besides the trainer would be a good distraction away from the mirror’s.
That was the point that I decided I was done worrying about how others saw me in the mirror and I wanted to change for me, so I hired a trainer.
As a skeptic at heart, I was still tentative about what this trainer could do for me.
Yet, she drew out the best in me, she treated me with total respect and understanding. She taught me so much more than how to squat with a barbell. She made me feel comfortable without being distracted by anyone in the mirrors and taught me that I did belong.
The biggest thing she taught me about myself, was my “own” personal starting point; a place I didn’t need to stay. She taught me how to dig deep to achieve my greater potential. I didn’t need to know anything more than what I already knew because she was going to teach me what I needed to know.
Soon I wasn’t distracted by the mirrors or the other fit people, or even my bad attire. I started focusing on the training, and my trainer. I didn’t worry that I wasn’t performing better than anyone else, I only needed to improve my own workload each workout.
And every workout I progressively got better. My overall performance and focus changed.
As a girl who never ventured into the “weight room” in High School or even at the Y in college (hung with the Cardio equipment and “pink” weights);
I started loving putting the barbell on my shoulders, picking up the heavier weights. I was even comfortable doing walking lunges across the gym floor past those big scary mirrors and in front of all those other gym members.
The confidence I gained helped me shift my perspective on my ability to perform. I didn’t question if I could, I started working on when I could.
It was amazing, I didn’t focus on the scale or how my pants fit, those were just side effects. And the fact that I was doing clapping push ups in a few short months, after struggling doing 5 from my knees was totally mind-blowing.
Every workout and every exercise, my trainer encouraged my potential out of me. She was able to see and show me, what I had a hard time seeing.
She knew how to get into my head, and wipe my doubts. She taught me how to start seeing for myself that I could, be and do better. I was capable, I had it inside of me the whole time, she just opened my eyes to that fact.
Each workout she would give me a challenge and each workout I would step up and do what was asked.
There were days when I didn’t want to do another, but she knew I could do more. She knew my potential so she encouraged and coached me to the next rep, next exercise, next set.
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without hiring my first trainer and all the subsequent trainers following.
What I figured out, was if I wanted to be better, I couldn’t hide on my own island. I needed the guidance and support, to get out of my own way and find my potential.
It was okay for me to ask for help, it gave me a positive and success seeking perspective that I will always be grateful.
Funny thing about our gym is we don’t have any mirrors, WHY? My coach taught me I needed to trust her as a coach, with my best interest at heart. A good coach can teach you how to see, feel and experience your body without being distracted by the what you perceive to see in the mirrors.
I truly believe that a good coach can teach you so much more about yourself than how to do a squat or a burpee. A coach is someone who can tap into that inner strong self you keep berating and hiding from in the mirror’s. A mirror can only reflect what you think or perceive about yourself negative or positive. What is so amazing is how that image can totally change when you get the right coaching.
And when I have a client say to me, “Jenn, when I look in the mirror, I hear your voice of encouragement”, I know I have done my job a millionth times over.
So this is why I own a Fitness Business without mirrors. I want to teach my clients how to tap into their own potential without being distracted by what the “mirror’s” are saying to them.
(Besides, who can get a good workout in, when everyone around you is trying to get a perfect selfie of themselves working out…)
If you are lost, hiding from the mirrors like I was, join my inner email circle. Every week I offer fat loss eating and exercise tips, that can help you overcome the fear of the mirrors.