Okay…I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I’ve tried to ignore it…tried to justify it…but I can’t ignore it any more. I’m talking about…..gym shaming or more exactly exercise studio shaming.
I have been going to an exercise studio for over a year (I won’t give the name). It is a very specific, one type of exercise studio that is a nationwide chain. I have really enjoyed the classes, but I’ve noticed something creeping in more and more and I have to talk about it and see if anyone else has experienced it.
What I originally LOVED when I started there is now the things that bothers me the most. The instructors get to know everyone’s names so that during the class they can say great job Sue or you got it Pam or great form Betty….etc. I have noticed several things about this. I REALLY rely on those positive nuggets during the class and I even count how many times in a class I get the pat on the back. I am mad at myself because I shouldn’t be counting on someone else’s opinion to feel good about what I am doing in class. It is my workout and NO ONE should interrupt that flow or how I am feeling about my workout. So why do I depend so much on it and then when I only get one or two back pats, I feel like I just didn’t succeed in that class? Sometimes I feel like I an invisible.
I do notice that people who work in the studio at the desk or other instructors who do the classes get the MOST pats on the back when they really need the least amount because they do it perfectly and get paid to do it OR get free classes. I am one of the older people in the class and all the younger, more flexible people get the most kudos. I know that I don’t do the moves perfectly, but I always give 100% and I feel a little bit of ageism creeping in. I don’t like the feel of it:( I don’t want to sound like sour grapes…that’s not my point. I was just throwing out feelers to see if anyone else has experienced this.
Have you experienced any type of gym shaming? What do you do to quiet the chatter in your mind or focus on what is important? Let me know. Thanks for your feedback.