The Gym Is a Safe Place


Photo Credits: @corehandf

Hunter Pearce, Opinion Reporter

When it comes to working out, most people can find themselves overwhelmed. Ideas such as being exposed, being ridiculed for improper form, hurting yourself, and many more reasons scare and intimidate people. Is this fear warranted? The short answer is no. The gym may seem big and bad, but it’s not. I frequent the gym regularly and there are some moments where I felt nervous or scared, but as time went on and I visited regularly, the fear and anxiety faded. Now that may seem like a pipe dream for some, but it’s not. It’s up to you on whether you take my word for it or not, but I encourage you to give it a try and many other Raiders encourage you to as well! 

 Darian Vuong, a football player and avid gym goer, workouts three hours a day running, and an additional hour-thirty weightlifting. Darian stated, “Overall I believe gym culture is wholesome. Influencers like Joey Swoll really promote a healthy gym culture and other influencers as well.” 

He also stated that you should, “Support others and become more social. Reaching out to others can make it less stressful. Bringing friends makes it a lot better.” In the end, Darian said “Going to the gym was one of the best choices in my life.” 

Kaleb Tsegaye, another passionate gym goer, stated “We all start somewhere. We all start small. I couldn’t lift the 45 lb around 2 years ago and now I’m at 235 and climbing.” 

Now not all of these interviews had positive things to say about gym culture, some individuals we interviewed stated that the gym was “toxic”, and that they don’t recommend it for anyone. Between all of these Raiders, one thing was in common with them, and that was the amount of time they had gone to the gym.

Although there are no issues with being inexperienced in the gym, some individuals who had been going for a month or two thought it was toxic. Who doesn’t feel judged when they do something in a public space that they haven’t done before? It’s human nature to assume the worst of someone’s thoughts of you, especially when you are already feeling vulnerable. To anyone who wants to go to the gym or tries to go to the gym and feels scared, just remember you’re not doing these workouts for them, but for yourself. Focus on your gains and avoid mental chains.

It may seem a bit hard to get confidence from your fellow Raiders. However, that’s not the only way to get you started. An average of 90% of teens ages 13-17 use social media. Although social media can be controversial and overall unhealthy for teens, it can be helpful if used properly. 

Tik Tok is a prime example of this. With the release of Tik Tok in 2016 and its increasing popularity in recent years, it has become a good place for teens. It’s a place of inclusion, education, and most importantly motivation. 

Popular Tik Tok stars such as Joey Swoll, Katefrumpfitness, and many more provide motivation for young teens aspiring to go to the gym; motivation can be found anywhere if you search hard enough for it. 

Personally, I started adding popular tags such as #gym, #Motivation, among others, to create a more tailored for you page to the gym and motivation. This, at the start, seemed pointless because I began skipping them saying it was distracting me from focusing on myself. However, after a couple months of watching these motivational speakers and gym goers, I was encouraged to finally go. It started twice a week with workouts at home, and now it’s on my schedule everyday. 

If you refuse to start the race, you will never know how far you can run. The gym shouldn’t be a scary place, and slowly gym culture will move further towards being on the wholesome side. Approach someone and see if your form and technique is right. I’m sure someone will be happy to help you out. There will always be people out there who are sour and negative, but that’s on them. Don’t ever let anyone determine your drive or dedication in life.