A Letter To Those Nervous At The Gym

1Dear Nervous Nelly,


For whatever reason (better health, fitness, weight loss etc.), you have decided to come to the gym for a work out.  You know that daily physical activity is the key to a longer and healthier life and between siting in classes and pounding out assignments all day, you could use the mental break. You walk in determined to give your body the ultimate sweat session it needs, only to be intimidated by the six-foot 250 pound football player squatting double your body weight. Not to mention the super fit girl walking around through the weight machines like she owns the place. What seemed to be a stress-free time has suddenly turned into immense intimidation at place you feel anything but comfortable.

I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. Many gym go-ers (female and male), feel the exact same way you do. But the good news is, just because you may not know exactly what every machine does or how to work every muscle in your body, doesn’t mean the gym isn’t a place for you.


Let’s face it, there is always going to be someone who is lifting more or working out longer than you in the gym and that’s ok.  Everyone has their own reason and motive for going to the gym and working out. For some, it’s to help gain strength, keep the freshmen fifteen off, or simply a way to relieve stress. It’s important that you determine the reason that you’re choosing to go to the gym and channel that throughout your workout. Fitness isn’t a one size fits all type of mold and is highly personalized through every individual. All the time you waste worrying about what the person next to you is doing, is time wasted that you can use to better your own physical fitness.


Yes, there are a lot of different machines that cover the gym that can make anyone feel lost. There is no need to overwhelm yourself and try to learn what each one does in a day. If you find yourself wanting to know how a machine works, it’s important to let go of your fears and ask. Asking a fitness supervisor or frequent gym-goer is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of intelligence. There is a lot of ways that you could seriously injury yourself by just hopping on a machine with little knowledge on how to use it. Lets face it, it would be a lot more embarrassing to injury yourself in the middle of the gym because you didn’t know how to use the machine then simply asking.  Asking when you aren’t sure is the only way you are going to learn and prevent serious injuries. If you find yourself feeling silly for asking, remember that every expert was once a beginner.


Sure there are a lot of people that walk through the gym extremely confident with an exact plan of what they are going to do, but that doesn’t mean you have to. If you’re new to the gym or working out, do some research online or on Pinterest to find some new moves that you can incorporate into your next workout. Start by doing some basic dumbbell moves (think squats, shoulder press and fly’s) or jogging on the treadmill and add more as time goes on and you get more comfortable. Attending group fitness classes is another great way to learn new exercises for your workout while also learning proper form. Don’t be afraid to try new exercises and classes, after all it’s important to switch up how you workout for maximum results.


At the end of the day, the only person that you should focus on when you go to the gym is yourself.  Going to the gym to workout is a time where it is acceptable to be selfish. It doesn’t matter what others are doing or how much they can squat, it matters what you’re doing. Worrying about what others think of you in the gym is a waste of time because those who are truly working out are focusing on their own workout, form, and technique and have little time to look at what everyone else is doing. So the next time you find you find yourself feeling intimidated or nervous in the gym, take a moment to remember why your there and focus on your own bodies needs and movement.





~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.~


-Hannah Anderson


Grilling VisualGrilling is often times associated with summer or a dinner time celebration. But what’s more difficult for a college student, finding WHAT to grill or WHERE to grill? If you don’t live on campus, you really don’t have a grill, but once you find the grill, what do you grill? Chicken? Hamburgers? They all sound so good, but you want to show off your grilling skills for all the lady friends you have out there. But this link will direct you to a fantastic website on how to whip up some easy grilling recipes! I have decided to highlight my favorite two recipes and give you how to create them in a nutshell, just in case your mind isn’t back in the reading/college mindset yet.


Grilled Corn on the Cob: If done right is packed full of vitamins, nutrients, and amino acids, if your curious, check out this site to see all the benefits of corn! Steps:

1) Pour the water into a large pot, and stir the sugar and 1/2 cup salt together until dissolved. Place the ears of corn into the pot, and allow to soak at least 30 minutes. (Easy enough to do in the dorms)

2) Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil the grate.

Remove the corn from the soak and grill the ears, turning every 2 to 3 minutes to cook the kernels on all sides. Brush the grilled corn with butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken: Grilled chicken is such a versatile, endless opportunity meal, chicken breasts are packed with protein and other essential vitamins and minerals, check out the nutritional information here. Steps:

1) Preheat the grill for medium heat.

2) In a shallow bowl, mix the mustard,honey, mayonnaise, and steak sauce. Set aside a small amount of the honey mustard sauce for basting, and dip the chicken into the remaining sauce to coat.

3) Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill chicken over indirect heat for 18 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally, or until juices run clear. Baste occasionally with the reserved sauce during the last 10 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning!


Grilling in the dorms, or even off campus isn’t as hard as it sounds. One trip up to your room to prep the food and the walk of fame with the beautifully done food is all it takes. Planning, shopping and being ready to drool over the food will be the hardest parts.

“Success is a journey but we treat it like a place and it doesn’t make sense if you don’t you enjoy the ride.”

-Riley Pink


The Importance of Treat ‘Yo Self

Treat Yo SelfAs young college students, we are constantly stressed about something. Whether it’s a big test, our work schedule, or our lack of money, there are a lot of potential stressors out there for young people. While there are probably tons of methods out there that will help you to minimize your stress levels, I believe that there is one very simple solution that is constantly overlooked: Treating ‘yo self.

If you are not a fan of the T.V. Show Parks and Recreation, you may not understand this reference, though it is pretty self-explanatory. The basic idea of “Treat ‘Yo Self” is that you deserve to reward yourself for events like a job well done, or a stressful experience you’ve just endured. It’s important to remember though, that when you are treating yourself, the actual reward is not as important as the act of rewarding yourself. Was that a little confusing? Let me try again.

Basically, it doesn’t really matter if you treat yourself with a bowl of your favorite ice cream flavor, or if you buy yourself a really expensive watch. The actual act of planning something nice for yourself is far more important than the actual, physical reward.

When you plan something nice for yourself, two amazing things happen: you will have something to look forward to and you will become your top priority. Next time you have a major project, or an important goal to achieve, plan to do something nice for yourself. It will go a long way.

|Stay motivated and don’t give up. Amazing things will happen|

Julia O’Connor