There Has To Be A First Time

Today I went to the gym for the first time in nine weeks. Even though I could only do a light workout, mentally I needed to make this happen.

As I was getting ready, I felt afraid.

Afraid of feeling out of place.

Afraid of making a mistake and overdoing it.

Afraid of being demotivated by doing a light workout, when I was used to the heavy lifting prior to my surgery.

Fears, even though I’ve been to my gym hundreds of times.

There Has To Be A First Time | Workout Nirvana

Photo credit: AndreasS /

As I heard these fears run through my head, I continued to get myself ready. I talked to myself a little. I kept going through the motions, knowing that I was going no matter what.

It reminded me of when I got back into lifting weights about seven years ago. I was sitting on the couch one night and realized I’d grown soft, a bit flabby, and unfit. I knew I had to do something, and that was get back to lifting.

At first, going to the gym was a drag. I was pushing myself to do something that wasn’t altogether pleasant just yet. I had to leave whatever I was doing at home and drive to the gym. I had to push forward, even when others said “I didn’t need” to go to the gym.

“Yes I do,” I said. And I went until it felt so good I didn’t want to stop.

Walking into a gym is one of the scariest things a person can do. So is going to your first personal training session. Hell, it can feel scary to sign up for online personal training. Performance anxiety, anyone?

We all experience fear when we do something new. The question is, what do you do with it?

There has to be a first time.

When I was finished with this first gym workout since my bilateral mastectomy, it felt monumental. I’d gotten myself ready. I’d pushed through my fears. I’d driven to the gym. I’d gotten out of the car, feeling uncertain, and I’d walked straight in.

I probably did overdo it by the way.

When you go to the gym, try a new workout, start a program or diet plan, or do anything for the first time, take a moment to comprehend what you’ve just done. You’re brave, not fearless. There will always be fears, but push through anyway. There’s good stuff on the other side.

This article originally appeared on

8 thoughts on “There Has To Be A First Time

  1. It’s so hard going back after an injury (not that you were injured but it’s still scary). You think you’ll overdo it, you’re afraid you’re going to hurt yourself again….it’s a huge mental block!


  2. Thank you for this… I’ve been PETRIFIED of getting back in the gym. The fear of re-injury has left a normally fearless woman pretty effing scared.

    My biggest challenge is just accepting that i won’t be the athlete that i once was. I won’t be able to run as long, lift as much, move as much. But I have to allow myself to be the athlete that I am — and that person can be every bit as strong if I just let her be.


    • Word. You got this Robby. It’s all about a gradual reintroduction.

      For years after my neck injury, I was fearful of reinjuring myself or making it worse. I avoided the gym for a long time. One day, I saw an ad for a one-time introductory core class. It felt safe and I decided to do it – we’d be on the floor and I could go at my own pace. That was the turning point for me and after that I found an ongoing class to which I brought my own 2-lb weights. I was self-conscious but I mostly didn’t care – I was determined to work my way back to strong and away from fear.

      I know you can do this Robby. One small step at a time.


  3. It is hard to go back to the gym after an injury. All those fears of being judged that can end in performance anxiety. Plus all those fears of getting injured again. Thank you for sharing and inspire others to be determined to gain back strength.


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