fear /ˈfir/


             be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

The emotion fear and its 1st cousin anxiety can cripple many when faced with something new or different. It is the leading reason why 33% of us sign-up for a health club membership and then resign in less than twelve months. Studies ad nauseum show that we are more accountable and successful in sticking with our individual plans if we participate in small group exercise or circuit training. I set out to discover why so many well-regarded studies trumpet this information. What I learned from interviewing trainers and their group participants didn’t provide me with an epiphany; rather, the conclusion where I said to myself “of course, that makes perfect sense.”

Amy was forty years old when, for the first time in her life, she first darkened the front door of a health club and that’s when a wave of anxiety and terror washed over her. She kept up her courage and stayed the full 52 minutes of the class and came back for other classes. In time as she did things that she didn’t think she could she was proud and happy with herself for achieving her incremental goals; her self-esteem and confidence soared.

Today, Amy is a MOSSA certified trainer and she does not want anyone to feel the way she did her first visit. I learned that these small group classes are open and inviting often with a great amount of levity and fun. Members build relationships with the trainers and friendships develop. “Fierce friendships are forged in this place.”

Two important things that we must know before our first steps into a health club are:

  1. “Success is just coming back, bring good energy, and work at your program.”
  2. “Fit means fit and that looks different for everybody.”

As I read recently, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!