is not the absence of fear but the acquired ability to move beyond fear


1) the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery.

2) strength in the face of pain or grief

The gym in January is a fantastic place to be and witness, especially from a trainers perspective. There is optimism in the air. It’s a time of ‘fresh starts’ and people finally taking ownership of their bodies. It is true unfortunately though that this feeling doesn’t last through the whole year, damn, we are lucky if it lasts till February. There are a number of reasons for this drop off, but I’m going to discuss the topic of ‘Courage’ and its relevance in ensuring the longevity of your gym attendance.

First of all, if you are one of those that has chosen that this year is your year – no more living in a body you’re not happy with – I salute you! Congratulations for finally having the COURAGE to take ownership of your body and wanting to do something about what you’re not happy with. Wanting to change yourself can be a frightening prospect and having the bravery to stand up and even admit you aren’t happy is a big step! Hold on to this feeling! It will be this feeling that you will want to refer back to when you start to question why on earth you are making some of the sacrifices in your life that are needed to achieve your goals. It takes great courage to be willing to potentially change your lifestyle and everything you are familiar with, whether it is eating certain foods or that extra hour in bed. Moving out of your comfort zone can be a scary thought but with enough courage and perseverance to keep trying in the face of the hardship, you will achieve great things.

This brings me on to the next part of why courage is of such great importance now you have decided to make this change. There is a term us fitness professionals like to call ‘GYMTIMIDATION’; the fear of going to the gym because of a feeling of intimidation. This could be due to a self-conscious feeling brought on by being surrounded by people you perceive to be fitter or stronger than you. This could also be brought on by a nervousness of not really knowing what to do in the gym or that you feel like others are watching you and judging you. I admit, although Gymbox is without a doubt the coolest Gym in London, it can be an intimidating club to attend for a newbie. I have had many clients confess this to me and I can understand why. We play loud music, there is nightclub lighting, a DJ, lots of well built trainers and a membership list that is made up mainly of young, hip professionals – all the reasons for why we are cool are also the reasons why we are intimidating. But any newbie reading this now, if there is only one thing you take away from this article I want it to be this: everybody who attends a gym is there for the same reason - the purpose of self improvement. Ok, we all have different goals we want to achieve but generally speaking we all have a membership because we want to improve ourselves in one way or another. It is also important to remember that everybody else has also probably been through a similar thing when they first started on the health and fitness path. Having the courage to overcome your ‘gymtimidation’ is vital in ensuring your permanency as a gym resident and remembering the above will be vital in overcoming any fears you might have. Plus, I personally can vouch that all the trainers at Gymbox are not only incredibly friendly, but also very willing to help, so if you ever have any questions, no matter how silly you think they might be, there is always someone to help – at the end of the day it is our job!

I have one last area regarding courage that I want to discuss and it may come as a surprise to some people reading this. Believe it or not, not everyone will be happy that you have taken the step toward self-improvement, and from experience I can tell you it is usually those closest to you that can be most detrimental to your success. This could be for a number of reasons. Making the decision to change you can make others question themselves and this can generate feelings of resentfulness and others begrudging your decision. This will take enormous courage to overcome, especially in those first few weeks, as your lifestyle change will impact on the lifestyles of those closest around you. Your partner might be quite content with having four sugars in their tea in the morning and might resent your switch to green tea. Beyond these first few weeks when you have really started to make progress and the changes start happening, your courage will be called upon again as your progress makes those closest to you feel insecure and lash out at how ‘you’re not who you once were’; believe me, it happens. This is a journey that will have many peaks and troths, but having the courage to overcome your fears and anxieties, and to overcome the pain and grief that you are inevitably going to encounter will stand you in good stead to make sure that this is more than another washed up New Years resolution!

Good luck, and if you require any help or advice please feel free to contact me via email: or on my mobile: 07747753288.

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Ray Buckton

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