I’m a classic introvert. I tend to come across as pretty quiet when meeting someone new. It’s not because I don’t want to be outgoing; most of the time I’m analyzing each situation by observation – trying to get a sense of the cast of characters involved and figuring out where I fit into it all.
Professionally, I have no problem lecturing in front of a class of 20 not-so-bright-eyed-college-aged-students (I teach marketing and internship courses from time to time – mostly at 8AM which is why they are not-so-bright-eyed), talking to hundreds of potential students and parents during admissions events, or speaking out during a staff meeting.
Personally, when it comes to meeting new people, whether it be at a networking event, joining a gym, or attending a party, I get anxious and can (unknowingly) come across as standoffish, snobby, unfriendly, quiet, etc.
I trained for both of my marathons alone, all the while thinking that I should join a running club, attend a BAA workshop, go to the pasta dinner the night before the marathon. But I didn’t. I was too nervous that I’d be slowing someone down or would feel uncomfortable in a room full of strangers.
Heck, it’s taken me almost a full year not to get nervous every time I walk into my gym. I almost quit CrossFit entirely after I left my first gym because I just never felt that I fit in – not the gym’s fault at all – it was just not a good fit for me. And that’s OK. After a few months of working out (alone) at the gym at work, I decided to give CrossFit another try and at a different gym. I’ve stuck with it and finally feel that I am making strong connections.
Whether your goal is to run a marathon, try out a new workout (a barre class is still on my list!), start CrossFit, work with a personal trainer, or sign up for a weekend boot camp, I encourage you to get out there and do it!
Here are 5 tips that will help you break out of your shell:
1. Talk to at least one person per session. I noticed when I was at my old CrossFit gym and again at my new gym, there’d be times I would leave a class and I’d realize that I hadn’t spoken to one person. I typically workout right after work and am still thinking about the stresses of the day, what the next day will bring, etc. so being social is not on my mind just yet. I now make a conscious effort to forget about all things work and focus on enjoying the workout and getting to know the people there.
2. Don’t bring a friend (at least not at first). Contrary to what most advice says, I think it’s better to try something out alone. When I bring a friend, I tend to focus all of my attention on them, rather than getting to know others.
3. Introduce yourself to anyone you don’t know. I remember when I first started at the gym, I always appreciated when people introduced themselves. As the ‘new kid’, we all want to feel accepted and welcomed. Now that I’m no longer the ‘new kid’ at the gym, I introduce myself to anyone I don’t know.
4. Participate in gym challenges and/or competitions. Many gyms offer in-house competitions or challenges that coincide with the goals of the gym and their members. Sign-up and participate for anything your gym offers. The challenges and competitions are successful for overall community building of the gym, but also as a member, you’ll feel a stronger connection to the gym and other members.
5. Find a gym and trainer that you feel comfortable with. This is really important. Like I mentioned, I almost quit CrossFit entirely after trying out only one affiliate. Try out a few and then decide where you feel most comfortable. You’ll be much happier in the long run and it will aid in your quest to crush goals!
If you’re an introvert, like me, I’d love to hear what works for you. Let me know in the comments!
Getting bored with your workout routine? Check out last week’s workouts below for inspiration!
Monday Rest day
Strength: 5X5 back squats
I worked up to 135#.
Workout: Complete as many reps as possible in 3 minutes
3 power cleans (95#)
9 air squats
Rest 1 minute and then repeat for a total of 5 cycles
I got a total of 270 reps Rx.
Strength: Complete the complex every 2 minutes for 6 rounds (2 push press + 1 jerk)
I worked up to 90#.
Workout: Score is number of rounds to complete
200 mountain climbers
60 push press (75#)
Run on a tabata clock (work for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds)
I finished in 28 rounds using 60#.
Thursday Rest day
Strength: Rope climb practice
Workout: Complete 4 rounds for time
15 front squats at 1/2 of body weight
I finished in 15 minutes using 75#.
Saturday CrossFit Boot Camp at the beach
With a partner:
1 mile run
200 single jump ropes
200 single jump ropes
1 mile run
I’m helping my mom train for the Spartan Race at Fenway in November (go Team Trotski!), so she’s been coming to boot camp on Saturday mornings with me. She’s having some issues with her knees right now, so we split up the work in this workout, however she modified the run to a 10 minute walk, I completed all of the jump ropes, and she modified the burpees to push-ups. We finished in 32 minutes.
Sunday Beach day!
I’m trying to soak up as much beach time as I can, so the hubby and I headed out for the day. I ended up swimming a few laps the length of the beach throughout the day (despite seeing a shark(!!) in that same water earlier that morning). This lady bug was my good luck charm.