It’s hard being the new kid just about anywhere. Moving to a new home, starting at a new school, and making new friends is challenging. But, kids are pretty resilient. It’s us adults that often have a hard time with change.
I’ve actually been having a hard time with change lately. It’s nothing huge or life shattering, but it’s a pretty big part of my life.
After 2 years, we just changed gyms.
This may not seem like a big deal, and it was something we wanted to do, but I’ve still been struggling a bit to adjust. There is the new location, new class times, and all the new people. I’m still getting into a routine, and trying to figure everything out.
So, whether you’re considering joining a gym for the new year, or changing gyms, I’ve got some tips to help you stop feeling like the new kid and enjoy the change…and your workout.
Why the Change
While the gym might not be the place for everyone, we have loved belonging to the YMCA the last couple years. A wide variety of classes, family activities, free childcare, and discounted lessons were just some of the reasons we were members. It was also affordable for our family, we had 2 locations fairly close to our house, and it was a very family friendly place.
However, as the boys got older and are now in school full-time, our entire family wasn’t getting as much use out of our membership. They also have lost a few teachers, so it became harder and harder for me to find classes that I liked and that would fit into my schedule.
So, I started looking around for alternatives, and a friend mentioned a relatively new gym close to our house. It also had another location that would be close to my husband’s work, it was roughly the same price, and it had a lot more classes available. When I emailed inquiring about membership, I got 2 free months, a discount on the joining fee, and a couple free personal training sessions.
I went on a tour, and I was sold. Clean, bright, and closer to home. My husband was sold because they have a bar. (I still don’t get a bar in a gym, but maybe it’s just me!)
We had a little overlap, since we had to give a month’s notice at the YMCA. So, I’ll admit, I’ve been going to both gyms since the beginning of the month.
Now, I only go to the Y once a week. There is one class and teacher that is my favorite, and I honestly don’t know how I’m going to say goodbye this week.
I’m not a huge talker at the gym, nor have I made a ton of friends. Working out is my “me time.” I like taking classes, being challenged, and feeling strong. So, I tend to go in, do my class, and go back out.
But, since we’ve been at the same place for so long, I do have lots of acquaintances. There are a few people I like to chat with too. I’m going to miss seeing their friendly faces and comisserating about how hard the class was.
I also really just love this teacher’s class. She’s great at motivation, she’s easy to follow, and her energy is unbelievable. I wish I had a fourth of it…or her strength.
So, I’m seriously going to have some withdrawals.
If I could just pay for the one class I would. That’s how much I love it.
Anyways, I will reluctantly say goodbye for good this Thursday.
The Challenges of Being the New Kid
As I mentioned, this change was something we looked for and wanted, but it has still come with some challenges. These challenges can happen anytime you try something new or move to a new location.
You need to figure out where everything is, how things work, and how it will impact other areas of your life.
How long does it take to get there? Where do I park? Is there more than one entrance?
Which classes should I try? Do I have to get there early to get a spot or equipment? Where are the weights and mats? Where should I stand?
Where’s the locker room again? Do I have a locker preference? (I didn’t know that was a thing when they asked me!)
So, here’s how I’m finding out those answers and more.
How NOT to Get Started
Whether it’s your first time in a gym or the first time in a new gym, there’s bound to be some anxiety and anticipation.
I’m going to be honest. My first day at the new gym didn’t go so great for me. I was late, I forgot where the locker room was, I didn’t know about the towels (they have clean towels all over the place for you to use!)
I also felt a little uncomfortable in class. It was really hard, but everyone else seemed to be used to it. I didn’t know where the weights were, where to put my stuff, and didn’t even have a partner when we had to get one.
Ugh. I had flashbacks to being in gym class in high school.
So, I’ve come up with a list of things to help you have a better experience.
How to ACTUALLY Get Started
- Get a tour before you actually go to workout, and then go back again. You may not remember where everything is, but at least it won’t seem completely new. It also is helpful to wander by yourself without the staff member trying to sell you on everything. You can take your time, and relax by yourself.
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get there, park, and get a locker. If a class starts at 9 am, make sure you give yourself a buffer of at least 15 minutes. That way if any part doesn’t go as planned, you still won’t be late. There’s nothing worse than being new and late. Trust me.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. Ask questions at the front desk if you don’t know where something is. Introduce yourself to the teacher. Say hi to a few people. Even if they look intimidating, they really do want to help. I figured this out my second time there. They REALLY do want to help.
- Be easy on yourself. The first workout might be tough. You might not know what you’re doing. You might get lost. You might not have a locker preference. It’s OK.
- Keep letting yourself adjust. It’s not going to feel as familiar as your old gym. You’re not going to know anyone at first, and you make keep needing to try new classes or equipment before you find your fit. Give it time.
How it’s Going Now
I’ve now been a member at the new gym for about 3 weeks.
- I’ve tried a ton of different classes. I found some I really like, and one I did not.
- Tried new parking spots.
- Found and used the locker room.
- Bought my bag with me.
- Taken towels (even 2 sometimes!)
- Tried different spots to stand. I haven’t found the perfect spot yet, but I’ll keep trying.
- Found coffee and an awesome dispenser to fill my water bottle.
- Introduced myself to 2 different group exercise instructors.
- Said hi to a few people.
- Got a partner in class.
- Did not get a partner, but made it work by myself.
- Used one of my free personal training sessions with a Yoga instructor.
While I’ve had a few issues, overall, the new gym is great. I still don’t feel like I did at my old gym, but I know it won’t happen overnight. Change is good right?
I’m going to keep plugging away until I find the schedule, classes, and routine that works best for me. Doing new things is always a challenge, but it is also a way to grow and find out new things about yourself. I’m definitely up for it. I won’t be the new kid forever.
Has there been a situation where you’ve felt like the new kid? Do you belong to a gym? Or are you thinking of starting a new fitness routine for the new year?