This article was written by Fitocracy user, roryn!
I’m a little guy. Sure, I’m nowhere near as little as I used to be, but at a towering 5’10” or so and a little under 180 lbs, I’m certainly no one’s idea of “big”, either.
I’m trying not to let that stop me, and there are certainly a lot of people around Fitocracy that help on that score. It’s not hard to find some really impressive (in many ways) users.
We all have our hang-ups and fears. They can be big or little, reasonable or irrational. They can crop up in all aspects of our lives, and there are all kinds of resources on how to deal with them. Sometimes the big fears require some outside help to get over, whether from a friend or a psychiatrist.
Those little ones, though – the largely irrational ones – can be almost as debilitating as the big ones. Sure, maybe not on the same scale. But those little fears reduce our choices. These are the fears that keep us from reaching our full potential, and they are all over the place when it comes to fitness. I’m still a relatively new lifter, having only been at this a little over a year and a half. I have drunk the Kool-Aid and will happily chat up heavy barbell compounds with anyone who opens the door. I’ve lost track of how many conversations I’ve had with acquaintances that essentially end in an excuse to maintain their status quo, though. All I can feel is pity, because their little fears are holding them back.
How many people do you know who are afraid to step foot in a gym because the weights intimidate them, they think they look horrible in gym clothes (newsflash, NO ONE looks good in sweaty gym clothes), or they’re worried about what other people will think of them (sure, there are jerks everywhere – it’s a fact of life. But I guarantee you 99% of the people in the gym are there for one reason and one reason only – to do their workout, whatever it may be, and leave. They could really care less what you’re doing as long as you don’t unplug their treadmill or drop a kettlebell on their foot)?
Then there’s the most insidious little fear of them all – that little voice that says “but I can’t…” or “but I’m a…” that keeps us in our comfort zone. Inside our box.
In our prison.
That little fear is one of failure or inadequacy. This is probably the number one little fear that keeps people from trying new things, whether it’s at the gym or anywhere else.
We’ve all been there at some point. Hell, I still catch myself doing it all the time. The guys will toss another plate on the sled and the first thing that runs through my head is, “there’s no way I’m moving that!”
So let’s turn this around a little bit. All it requires is moving one little word. When you hear that voice, try this: rather than “But I’m a X…” try “I’m a X, but…”
Holy crap. What a difference that makes.
I’m a little guy, but I train strongman events. Maybe you’ve seen some on television or YouTube. Usually they’re filled with these enormous guys – tall, wide, thick, hayooj – whatever adjectives you care to use. What you DON’T usually see are smaller guys.
A user here had been at me for a while to come and train with him at a local ‘black iron’ gym. It took a lot of back and forth with that downer voice, because he mentioned strongman events and all I could think for a long time was, “That sounds kind of cool, but I’m a little guy.” Ugh. I hate that voice.
Eventually I talked myself into it last October and haven’t looked back since. I have a hard time imagining NOT doing the strongman training. Now it’s a constant in my exercise planning. I get to do cool stuff like this:
Atlas stones: http://youtu.be/r_6zk2QTJb4
Keg toss: http://youtu.be/lwj04N1wJ2U
Sandbag carries: http://youtu.be/8EFD5_HHodM
I’m an uncoordinated white boy, but I pole dance: http://youtu.be/tk-ST9F68MM ;-)
Don’t let that voice win. Turn it around. Expand your horizons.
Who knows, you might actually enjoy it.