Overcoming the Fear of Getting Started

Spring 2017 Boot Camp

You'll be the only one in the room who doesn't know what you're doing. You're sure to make a fool of yourself in the process of beginning. You've now wasted so much time that starting out isn't even worth the effort it requires. Everyone is going to be better than you. You can just wait until tomorrow, or the next day, or next week, or when you're in good enough shape.

There are endless reasons we can come up with to justify never starting working out. The truth of the matter, though, is that they're really all just excuses, and the people who realize this and get started anyway are the ones who end up happy.

I had the absolute pleasure of working with a current member, named Raghavi this past year as she battled her way to success through the struggles that come with starting. Despite the initial mental hurdles, she pushed fear aside, got out of her own way, and followed through on exactly what she knew she wanted to accomplish. Watching her persevere was so inspiring to me that I wanted to get her thoughts on paper to help others achieve what she did. Whether you're a seasoned vet or just looking to get started, Raghavi's story is full of inspiration for us all...

You expressed that you were pretty nervous to get started here. Would you talk a little bit about what made you anxious to begin?

So many things made me nervous. Before boot camp, I hit a chain-gym almost everyday for a sweat sesh on the elliptical for thirty-minutes. Although I worked out, I couldn’t run to save my life. When Ryan (my husband, who's also a member here) told me about boot camp, I wanted to try it so bad even though my level of endurance was minimal. Honestly, he half jokingly signed me up. I knew it was going to be new and challenging, yet I still put an enormous amount of pressure on myself to be great at movements I had never tried. The expectations I set for myself not only held me back, but they ballooned my fears about getting started. 

I had been giving my one hundred percent to so many things in my life, and I wasn’t ready to start my fitness journey from zero.  In my head, I had an endless loop of fears, expectations, and my desire to achieve something without putting in the work. So in April I attended the first day of boot camp, and bolted, swearing never to return. I didn’t dare to ask for a refund because Ryan loved TTF.

Despite the discomfort, you did step up to take on the uncomfortable–cheers to that! Ultimately though, the decision to run or keep at it was up to you. What thoughts were going through your head when you decided to continue?

I had two options in front of me: I could continue my chain-gym membership and not change anything, or I could take a chance and change everything.  Obviously, there is so much allure attached to making a positive change in your life, but making that decision to change was very hard for me. 

When I stopped showing up for classes after the first day, my coach emailed me saying,"I've got your back through this camp, but I need you to trust me and show up." The fact that someone who met me just once believed in my abilities, and was so invested in my fitness journey was a very powerful motivator for me. 

That motivation helped me reset my expectations, and made me believe that it was okay to struggle. I told myself that I would show up to each class and keep moving at my pace regardless of what others were doing. This shift in my mindset along with the nurturing, and encouraging environment that I found at TwinTown worked like magic for me. So I came back to try again.

I could not be more proud to hear you say that. Congrats on all the progress you've created for yourself! You've now come through our Foundations program (where we teach the basics of CrossFit) and regularly take on a variety of classes with us. Do you have any words of advice for someone looking to go from a place similar to where you were when you started to where you are now? 

Thank you. I have come such a long way and have taken on a variety of classes already. I am the same person who wasn't ready to start a single beginner level class like boot camp, so it amazes me that I try to make it to four regular CrossFit classes per week now. I take one day at a time, do as much as I can, and keep at it consistently. 

Yes, going to a CrossFit gym can be intimidating, but there's never a right time to start. You may not feel ready or fit enough to take on a class, but the secret is to just begin. The whole point is to get to class so you can work on being stronger, and make small progress. Soon enough, you will notice a difference in your body.

The way Raghavi was able to push herself was not easy, and we get that. No matter where you start from, our coaches are ready to meet you there--and are ready to help--but you have to make the first move. Ready? Get in touch! We'd love to help you get going.