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The 8 emotional stages of a group exercise class
Joining a gym can be a big step for anyone, and it can also be super awkward. From not knowing where any of the equipment is and having no clue how to use it, to the confusion surrounding appropriate gym wear – there’s a lot to deal with. Then you’ve got group exercise classes, a whole new ball game! Walking past that fitness studio filled with enthusiastic, regular class attendees is enough to strike fear into the heart of gym newbies everywhere. Here are the emotional stages of doing a group exercise class…
#1 False confidence
OK, so you’ve never done this before but you’re totally on board with this fitness thing and willing to give it a go (this lasts approximately 3.5 minutes).
Your activewear is on point, you’ve been giving yourself pep talks in the lead-up but now that you’ve arrived at the fitness studio, doubt sets in and you do an awkward dance at the door deciding whether to actually go in. This is when you realise the confidence from #1 was indeed, false.
Why does everyone in here seem to know each other? And why do they all seem to be mates with the instructor? Where do I stand? Do I need equipment? Am I wearing the right thing? Should I ask someone? That person looks friendly… oh wait no she’s with another friend and also seems to know the instructor…
#4 More hesitation
The instructor asks if anyone is new to the class and you’re not sure if you should admit it or just stare at the ground and hope it’s all over soon. You timidly raise your hand from the back row and are told not to worry if you can’t keep up. Which leads to…
You’ve chosen the back row because it feels safe but five minutes into the class the instructor moves and you’re now IN THE FRONT ROW and can’t keep up with the moves. Why is there so much jumping? Why are there rhythmic arm movements involved? And why did you wear your tightest tights and you all of a sudden feel unfit and uncoordinated and assume everyone else in the class agrees? Side note: why is there so much sweat on the floor, surely this is not hygienic...
OK, so you’re halfway through and you’re totally getting the hang of it. Your arms have finally caught up with your legs and you’ve even exchanged a few friendly glances with fellow class-goers (yay!).
#7 Actual confidence
You’ve reached the final stretching phase of class and despite being surrounded by people in questionable positions wearing what are supposed to be opaque (but certainly are not) tights, you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself and make a mental note to check when the next class is on for the week.
#8 Full circle
Months later you return to your favourite class, give Steph the instructor a friendly wave before asking your classmate Josh how his new job is going, when you see a newbie awkwardly dancing at the door…
Have you tried a group exercise class before? Do you like to exercise in a group?