Bodyfix Gym Member Journey of just Getting Through the Door – Deon Swiggs

Getting Through The Door

Have you ever got ready to go to the gym but then end up doing everything and anything to avoid going?
Have you ever driven around the block and then gone home or sat in the car park anxiously holding the door handle counting the birds flying past?
So many times I have faced these to just get through the door.

I know a physical work out is good for our body and mind. But behind that physical workout is sometimes an even stronger battle in the mind and it is mostly unseen and unwritten. It can be harder than the actual workout. It was for me. The constant fear of judgement. The little phrases in the head saying things like;

you aren’t good enough.

Its like living in a battle of two magnets of the same polarity dancing around this invisible forcefield. Heck, it was so difficult only a few years ago that I effectively gave the gym an annual donation.

If you have ever struggled, like me, to get through the door, then yay!
Because now you know you are not alone. For so long I couldn’t work out why I had this fear of working out around other people when I have presented to audiences, spoken in large crowds, put myself out there all my life and have faced many tricky situations along the way. But the gym was just incredibly intimidating.

So how did I overcome the aversion to the door?

For me, it was understanding the fear. In my circumstance it was a childhood trauma that that was the source of my fear. The physical excursion in the company of others was the trigger. It led to an overwhelming sense of danger with intimidation, embarrassment and vulnerability. So, my subconscious minds fight or flight response kicked in and created the barrier at the door to keep me safe.
Can this be real? Yes, this is very real. Many have said over the years toget over it, or, you can overcome this fear. Well yes, you can overcome it, but not alone and often not without a prompt.
Recently I was confronted with one of those unexpected prompts of life. Out of it has been a greater understanding leading to being able to take on these fears and self-doubts. The journey I’ve been on is ongoing and will likely never be done. It is only but one example in a sea of possibilities but if we take a step back and understand our fears and doubts it goes a long way.

Here are a few ways of thinking that have definitely helped me get through the door

Know you’re not alone.

Reach out to others and be open about the challenges. You will be surprised at the challenges each and every one of us has had at various parts of our lives. Then prove the doubts and worries wrong. It can be incredibly pleasing to beat your brain. 😊

Understand you and your needs.

If you have something holding you back then be honest to yourself about those. This may take time and it will be different for everyone. But the one thing I have learnt from my own journey here is not to feel embarrassed and to not rush.

Create a safe space.

The place we choose is vitally important. I stuck Bodyfix out because it is inherently a safe family feel environment to be be vulnerable. But even then, if you need, take Moo or one of the crew for a coffee and share your story. It makes a massive difference when even just one person shares that understanding with you.

Set and record goals.

In addition to setting long-term goals, remember to establish attainable, short-term ones. I used to try set goals based on weight loss. Now I base goals on overall fitness and how my mind feels. This change in mindset was a critical change in how I felt entering the door. Just remember to check in on the goals from time to time.

Let them think what they want.

We will never stop a troll. So let them fill their mind with you. You win that way. But worrying what others thought in the gym held me back for so long. It isn’t as easy as it sounds to just stop worrying but if we do those other things this will fall into place.

Surround yourself with the right people.

Keep the people who encourage you close and seek out their feedback on a regular basis. For me I needed to have a personal trainer. I continue to use Chris who in turn breaks me. But the banter, accountability and encouragement each week is vital.

deon and chris standing next to sign saying happy 10 years bodyfix        deon exhausted after his workout
*addition from the team here, Deon can exaggerate 😉 , we promise we wont break you!

Face your fears.

That little forcefield around the door will come back from time to time. Own it! It is OK. If you can’t get in the door, it’s fine to go home and sulk. But don’t let it weigh you down. Now you will understand what is driving the fear and tomorrow will be better.

*If this happens to you, know that you can also call us from the car park, we can come out and chat, or meet you at the door.

Ultimately it is ok to find it hard to get through the door. Understand that you and try your hardest to say no to the self-doubt. Remind yourself that even if things go terribly, and they most definitely will, you are there, continuing to change and making progress towards your goals. I am still yet to try a Spin class again after that embarrassing first try. What a mess. But I have a goal, take 2 by June.

Above all else, remember, the door is only part of the journey and you are not alone!


if any of this resonates with you, click here to get in touch so we can chat about how we can help!



Article by Jessica McDonald

Hi, I am Jess, Gym member, staff member, and customer service ninja here at Bodyfix. You might have seen my face behind the desk, online or simply around the gym. I love that I get to have conversations with our Members and Staff alike to bring you these stories. No matter where you see me, I am always up for a Hello!

Comments are closed.