One thing I frequently hear from others who are looking to start their fitness journey, is that they are afraid to start.
They believe that the world will not be kind to their efforts. Some are so paralyzed by anxiety and fear that they can’t start.
Some people who fit in this category need to see professional help that can assist in identifying the root of their fear. They may use a combination of drugs and mental exercises that help them ease their anxiety and get out of the house.
For me, I currently take a Rachel Hollis approach — Other people’s opinions are none of my business. They only have the power I give them.
I have been heckled by high-schoolers who have yelled “Run, Forrest, run” — a throwback to the movie “Forrest Gump.” I have had people look at me with a puzzled expression, when I talk about training for the Marine Corps Marathon.
My kids — in particular my youngest son — makes fun of me as I struggle to travel through our new towns at, which has hills. Our old town was super flat.
I think that hurts the most, because he was my workout buddy when he was a toddler. I gave him his first taste of sports, and he now uses his newfound love against me.
While those words hurt, the biggest challenge is really in your own head. Once you realize that other people’s hurtful words have no meaning, you can move on.
You are really the only person who can make you get out of the door. I get out of the door because I like the outdoors. I like exploring. I like to test my body’s limits in a way that makes me feel like I accomplished something.
It helps to find a group of supportive friends and other fitness enthusiasts who are either on the same journey as you or who have been on that journey and want to help others.
I have found some of these type of groups on social media. Look for groups that have rules against selling things, against being a jerk, and maybe rules encouraging members to leave weight loss out of the conversation. If you find a group that doesn’t make you happy, leave and don’t feel guilty about it. They aren’t your tribe.
I’ve found other groups in person. Females in Action, or FiA, offers exercise for females of all ages and skill set. You just do the best can and everyone supports each other.
There are other groups that offer this kind of fitness community. It will take some trial and error, but you find your tribe.
For those who have a friend looking to exercise outdoors but are having trouble, don’t push them to the point that makes them feel uncomfortable. Remember, they must be the ones to get themselves out the door. You can only give them the reason.
Invite them to your activities, say what your plans are, how fast you plan to go … Do it in a way that is reassuring and supporting.
When they exercise with you or share their accomplishments, make sure they feel heard. You don’t have to say anything about your first time running that distance or how your workout went that day. This is about building their confidence so they continue their fitness journey.
Watch their words and yours. Some phrases someone already on their fitness journey may find helpful may crush the spirit of someone who is just starting. Also, don’t let them downplay their accomplishments.
“I only ran a mile.”
If it’s their first time running a mile, that’s a big deal. “Only” cancels out the awesomeness of their accomplishment. Celebrate with them. Celebrate them. Celebrate hard.
Offer them books that you found helpful during your journey. If you find a super helpful coach, great fitting clothes or training program, share it with them.
Other people’s opinions may be none of your business, but they can still sting. Some people who are starting their fitness journey need encouragement and support. You can’t get them out the door, but you can give them the option to make the first move.