My Experience in a Gym – From Non Member, To Gym Member to Staff Member

Moo (the owner of Bodyfix) asked me to write a blog this month to share on the website. I thought… what on earth I could possibly share.  We have all of the knowledge and inspiration already here at Bodyfix our Christchurch gym.  An amazing team of PTs, nutritionists, coaches, holistic approaches, group instructors and more, all right here at our fingertips.  But in my experience, none of that knowledge and expertise matters if you cannot get through the front door of the building.

My struggle to get through the doors of the gym

So the piece of the secret sauce that I bring to the team is my journey.  I have seen both sides of the coin, as both a non-member, member and now staff member. I consider my job to be that middle person who gets to soak up all the knowledge and expertise of the gym team and share it with strangers and members so that no one has to face those uncomfortable struggles when it comes to looking after themselves and their health.

How to join the gym when it all seems a bit too intimidating.

I want to help people struggling with health for two reasons.

1 – I have faced that struggle to move and make my health a priority as I get older

2-  I love being able to help people, especially via social media.

The importance of pushing past your comfort zone

This week I saw the power, first hand, of getting out of your comfort zone. As a member walking in those doors and then leaving a better person.

This has encouraged me to share a little of my story, along with why all of my friends thought I had hit my head when I said that I was not only a member of a gym… but now worked there too.

“I don’t ‘go to’ the gym.”

When I was younger, I was active, but as I got older my balance started tipping, the amount I was moving was not compensating for the amount I was consuming. So I figured out I could make the small changes, you know, swapping the Gin and Juice for the classic Gin and Tonic ?

Now so, as I tick that “late twenties” box, I’m very aware I am still a spring chicken, but I’m also super aware that as our bodies get older the virtues of youth dissipate and we need to take matters into our own hands.

“But Jess, you just said you don’t go to the gym”

I am a very confident person, even when I am not I will usually fake it. I know that I thrive outside of my comfort zone, everybody does.

I  can get up on a stage, absolutely shaking in my boots, and lose my place from the keynotes in my hand in front of 500 people and not bat an eyelid.

When I was training as a hairdresser and having eyes on me for every second of a 6-hour exam, scrutinizing every move I make, people watching over me is not something that gives me fear.

Until I walk into a gym….

For people who can relate to this, it was for a wide variety of reasons:

  1. People can look intimidating
  2. The machines can look intimidating
  3. The unhappiness I felt with how my body looks and feels, even though it was my motivator to change, it was also simultaneously holding me back.
  4. Not knowing what to say when I arrived
  5. Not knowing how the machines work.
  6. Thinking that even though everyone starts with no knowledge and I felt like I was the only person in history to be that person right now.

So what changed?

I found all kinds of ways to increase my exercise without heading into a gym. But my limited knowledge and ideas held me back, made me feel bored with the walking and the running.

My network of people is always growing and I think that like minds attract like minds.

I had been feeling so stuck and intimidated but as I met new fit people at the gym who focused on their health, they opened my eyes to the possibility of increasing more than just my fitness. I discovered that the mental power of a workout held just as much power as the physical benefits.

And through this, I started realizing I was very much in my head, talking down to myself, instead of getting out of my head or changing my thoughts.

Being a part of our BodyFix family has opened my eyes. I know realise a gym membership is about more than working out and the desire to lift the heaviest weights or sweat the most or collapse in exhaustion. It is about the tribe we have created here. We have an environment of nurturing, support and growth. We don’t look at you and expect you to know what you are doing or to achieve the goals you set in just a week. We are here to guide you, grow you and make sure you feel better about yourself and your day when you leave.

The power of that extra set and smashing your goals

My own achievement last week was during my personal training session with Mitchy. I have been jumping in on group classes and then seeing her one on one for training sessions. These sessions are getting me out of my comfort zone in two ways.

  1. One, learning that strength is just as important as cardio, especially if I want to succeed in doing a chin up (My personal goal for you to all help me hold accountable for!)
  2. And also to move around all the equipment, learning how it works and how each of the movements benefits our bodies to aid in what we want to achieve.

This week, Mitchy pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone. At the end of our session she gave me that cheeky knowing smile and said cool, you are going to do one more set of this, on your own. I’m pretty sure at that point the sweat was not from the banded squat walk I had just done down the track. But how could I say no? We had gone over the next set together, she talked me through each movement, guided me on what I should be feeling and how to correct it if I wasn’t. Then it was all on me. And you know what, not one thing changed. The world didn’t crumble around me, no one turned to stare at me and I finished the set just fine.

What was I worried about?

I can’t even remember; All I know is sometimes you just gotta do it And if you need a hand, we are always here to help.

Jess xx

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.