They’re all gonna have droopy boobs like me one day, anyway.
What do that old dude & I have in common, besides droopy boobs & a generally cranky attitude? We both want to be alone at the gym. Not an issue exclusive to us.
When I searched “gym anxiety” a lot came up. Most of it was the usual “I’m fat/weak/clumsy/a heavy sweater & I’m afraid people will judge me at the gym”. To which the usual answer was “Get over yourself. You’re not so special everyone is paying attention to you.” While that is true, it’s not very helpful, especially for someone dealing with an anxiety disorder. It’s also kinda mean.
Everyone’s anxiety manifests differently, so there are no blanket answers. Personally, along with the “I’m fat & feel judged by all the fit people at the gym; everyone is laughing at me” form of typical gym anxiety, there’s also the anxiety that has caused me to cry in the grocery aisle – where only one other person was – suddenly overwhelmed by the idea of how many people were in the store. There’s also the perfectionism causing a paralyzing fear of making mistakes & the paranoia that feeds the idea everyone is watching & judging me. I’ve been trying to convince myself no one is paying that much attention to me in public for 20+ years, but it doesn’t work. The being alone thing is part of what I like about running. You may remember the only race I ever did.
Just not going to the gym is certainly one solution to this problem, but maybe not the best one depending on your goals. I have chosen that route a lot of the time, & history says this will come around again. If your goals lead you to pursuing the gym life in spite of your fear & loathing of other people, then here are a few suggestions from my experience.