Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Negative Nancy

The other day at the gym my training partner and I finished up our set of front squats (his poor wrists and shoulders unfortunately don't have the flexibility - Eric - stretch!) and while he moved on to step ups I stayed in the rack and did some overhead presses.

A guy doing some ab work - from here on in I will call him (Negative) Nancy - gave me some dirty looks.  And continued to give me dirty looks and bad vibes while he waited for the rack next to me to open.  

This is a classic scenario at the gym.  Nancy had asked my partner if I was done with the rack, and was pissed at me that I wasn't.  He later went up to my partner and said:
"Not to sound like a jerk, but your girl doesn't need to do overhead presses in the squat rack.  You would think that a personal trainer would have more gym etiquette than that."
So Nancy apparently did have a reason to be mad at me!  And he really was giving me bad vibes!
(Not to say everyone who is being a whiny bitch actually has a legit reason, we shall not be paranoid folks.)

I was pissed.  Overhead presses, in the squat rack, is a legitimate place to do the exercise.  If you are pressing 100lbs or so (which I am not currently, but some day!) you don't want to be cleaning it up every time you want to press it.  But c'mon folks - I don't really have to argue my position, do I?

Afterwards, while stretching, I was contemplating my sweet revenge (just kidding!) and thought...

This guy thinks I am a personal trainer! 

And it seriously made my day.

Granted, he probably thought I was a personal trainer because I am only one of a handle of women in this particular gym that actually do anything with a barbell, and his wheenie little brain probably can't comprehend a girl wanting to get strong for pure physical and psychological enjoyment...but I digress.  He noticed me either way.  He noticed what I was doing, my actions, and my confidence.  It means other people are noticing too!

But, besides from wanting to rant about Negative Nancy at the gym (and it does give me some satisfaction calling him a girl's name) I wanted to share with you my advice on being confident in the gym and staying positive there and elsewhere.

1. Have a plan.  

I usually never do an exercise without methodically researching it.  When I don't use an already made workout program, I research how to make my own.  Gain enough knowledge as possible about what you are about to do, and you will find confidence in knowing you have prepared yourself to the best of your abilities.  Have a plan when it comes to making decisions inside, and outside the gym.  Knowledge is power.

2. Realize that everyone will stare at you - in the gym and elsewhere.

At least, that is what you will think they are doing.  People stare at the gym.  They want to know what other people are doing.  Realize that everyone is going to stare at you, and you can stare right back - it's ok.  Eventually this will go away, and you will come to accept it.  Stand tall, walk proud, and eventually this will carry over in to other aspects of your life.  Practice taking the heat momentarily in the gym, so you can apply it to other parts of your life.

3. Recognize that being positive is something you do, not something that is done to you.

Okay, let me explain.

Being positive means that you are positive when things could be negative.  It is not something that happens to you.  It is what you do besides the negativity that might be happening to you. It is a conscious decision and it is worth the effort.

4. Let it go, let it go, let it go.

Negative-Nancy-Mean-Pants up above was being a loser - let it go.
You can't get chin ups today - try again - and let the frustration go.
Your plan didn't work out - let it go and learn from it.
You can't get to the gym, so go tomorrow instead - and let it go.
Let go of the negativity.
Let go of the stress.
Release it.
Let it go.

That's what I was telling myself when I walked out of the gym that day with (Negative) Nancy's bad vibes oozing on me, stuck in the forming cobwebs of my mind.  I shook it off, I made a conscious effort not to let it effect me - and I moved on.

Much love and peace,


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