To the New Person at the Gym
Dear New Person at the Gym,
You stand across from me in DEKAFIT or CrossFit. I can tell by the look on your face you are embarrassed. Embarrassed that you can’t do a pushup or don’t know how to adjust your rower or that you walk when everyone else is running. You look around and wonder what you are doing here. You glance at me and I smile, but you look away pretending you didn’t see, because that would mean I noticed you. Maybe you are discouraged. Maybe you tell yourself this was a huge mistake and you’re going to ask for your money back. Maybe you wonder if I’m judging you.
I am not. I want you to know how proud I am of you. You see, even though it might not seem like it, none of us are judging you. Why? Because so many of us were just like you. We know what it is like. We know how hard it is, especially in the beginning. Maybe you woke up one day weighing forty pounds more than you did five years ago. I have been there. Maybe you recently had a baby, and you wonder if there will ever be a time when you don’t have to tuck your stomach into your pants. I have been there. Maybe you get half way through the warm up in a group fitness class and wonder if you are this out of breath now, is a full hour going to kill you? I have been there. Maybe money and time are tight and the idea of spending money on yourself feels awfully selfish. I have been there. So many of us have.
You see us running or rowing or lifting weights, and may feel discouraged. You see us for what we are now, but many of us started out just like you, on a journey to find our best selves.
I know it is hard, but it will get better. And then you will wake up one day and wonder when you became that person. You know that person who can jog a few miles or do a whole DEKAFIT class without being sore the next day. And you will be the one, standing across the room, smiling at the new girl hoping she knows how lovely and wonderful and brave she is. Hoping she knows she is worth all the work. Because you are. You are so worth it. You deserve to be your healthiest self. You deserve to find people and a place where you can begin where you are.
Come back. You are so worth it."