Using The Gym For More Than Good Looks
When I started training, like many others, I used the gym look better in the eyes of others. So really it was to build my self-esteem and not necessarily please others, but I didn’t know that at the time. I have also always been a small person, so it gave me a sense of independence because I became capable doing the simple things on my own, like lifting my bag to the overhead compartment on an airplane or open a fresh jar on my own.
Later I used the gym to escape from stressful Uni work, and since I started seeing results in my strength I got addicted to pushing my own limits.
Soon I started using the gym for my passion and career in helping others move and feel better about their bodies and to improve their health..
I’ve also used the gym to prepare for bikini fitness competitions and as a way to bond and have fun with others “like me”. This is still my favourite way of catching up with people by the way.
I’ve used the gym when I’ve been happy, sad, angry, hurt…
But regardless of the reasons for using the gym, there has always been one driving factor that has kept me coming back for more.
I found that challenging myself physically has always been a great tool for self-mastery and creating a mental resilience to adversity…
You have probably heard that “growth happens outside your comfort zone”. So I can’t think of many places better than the gym where you can be outside your comfort zone on a daily basis.
Growth is the compounding effect of hard work over time, and tracking your progress in the gym will tell you plainly that the work you put in is the results that you’ll get. You see where you are able to lift something that a few months ago was impossible.
Working hard in the gym teaches you discipline, as mastering each movement takes time, and a lot of repetitions.
It strengthens your mind to deal with failure better, because you literally go into the gym with the goal of failing or at least close to failing at some point during your session.
So yes, the trade off is of course a stronger and healthier body, which we all might be striving for in the first place. But while that goes a long way, the confidence and self-respect you get from committing to doing the hard work and chasing the challenge filters into the other areas of your life.