Stop Dreading the Gym

By Shanae Godley

As I write this blog for you, I also write it for me. You see, about two months ago, I stopped going to the gym. During a workout session with some other ladies, I became ill and developed a slight fear of going back to the gym.

Why am I sharing this with you and a group of people that I don’t really know? Well, my hope is that by shedding light on my situation I will inspire those who have a fear of returning to the gym to try again. 

Here’s my story:

One day in November, I joined a group of about 5 or 6 women at the gym for a workout. This was not my first visit with them. We warmed up, stretched, and then jogged for about 20 minutes. During the jog time, I began to feel exhausted. I could have stopped, but my self-talk game is strong!

“Girl, you can do this. Do not stop!,” I thought to myself and maybe even yelled it out loud a time or two. With a little water and positive mindset, I believed that I could make it through the workout.

Afterwards, I went with the group to the weight room where we did a series of bodyweight exercises like squats and burpees. Let me stop there for a moment. Does anyone else think that burpees are from the devil? Burpees have got to be the worst exercise man has ever created. 

Anyway, amid the third set of drills the room started spinning. Now, I’m no stranger to fainting spells, but I didn’t want to have one in the middle of this exercise session. Finally stopping myself, I walked out of the room. It was my hope that I would catch some fresh air and not faint. The objective was to NOT humiliate myself in front of these strong, amazing women who didn’t seem to have a problem with the exercises. They were determined to finish, but I was struggling, and “the struggle was real.” 

I tried to rejoin the group for the end of the session, jumping in just in time for planks. It didn’t take long to realize that this was not the best of ideas. After one 60-second plank, the spinning and throbbing pain in my head got worse. I just wanted to layout on the floor and not move for a few hours. 

At this point, I was beyond embarrassed. The ladies had to help me from the floor and assisted me with walking down the stairs. I was extremely appreciative of the sisterly love! They were very kind to me. I just wish it never happened. 

As you can probably imagine, I didn’t return to the gym for workouts. How in the world could I ever show my face there again? The last thing I want is to be the weakest link or the sickling of the group.

There are many reasons why I felt sick, but that’s another story for another day. All I know is I cannot allow this one incident to keep me from reaching my health goals. 

Last week, I implemented the workouts from the gym at home to see if I could do them. It’s taking some time to get back to jogging the full time, but I seem to handle the bodyweight exercises well. A 60-second plank is still hard, but the room didn’t spin. I have yet to try burpees (and probably won’t…ever!).

In my excitement for finishing the workout, I recorded a video and shared it with the ladies from the group. My message to them will be the same message I have for you. 

I’m not giving up on me, and I hope you are not giving up on you. I’ll be back in the gym real soon!

No matter what you have been through or are going through, you should not dread the gym. Everyone is going to the gym for the same reason – to exercise. Well, at least most people are going for the same reason. So, don’t let anyone make you feel bad for being you and for going after your goals. 

If you have some goals you want to reach, I invite you to join me on a journey to better health and enhance your own journey by taking the 20/20 Health and Healing Vision Board Challenge. Here is the link to sign up: I hope to see you on the journey! 

I believe that you are courageous and beautiful. Remember, going to the gym will only enhance your greatness; it does not define it.