It’s a bit of a cliché that men don’t like to ask for help. But it’s a cliché for a reason – it happens to be true a lot of the time. And it can hold you up from making serious progress.
I’ve been going to the gym two or three times a week since last April. One of the lifestyle changes I made last year was to get more exercise, and the gym is part of that. I was a member in this same gym about 15 years ago and while it hasn’t changed that much, they have replaced a lot of the equipment with new stuff.
When I was a member before, I knew how pretty well everything worked. I don’t remember if I had some kind of orientation or if I just figured it out on my own but I suspect that 15-years-ago me would have just figured it out rather than asking for help.
But the stuff that’s there now, I really had no idea how to use half of the machines. They have all kinds of knobs and buttons to adjust the weight and the fit, and I’ve been avoiding them for months. I’ve been working out with free weights and that worked fine but a couple of problems came to light over the last few weeks.
First, as my strength has increased, I’ve been lifting heavier and heavier weights. Which is a good thing but lately I’ve been feeling like they’re getting a little heavy to be doing some of the workouts safely. And second, looking back over my workouts from the last couple of months, I’ve been skipping my lower-body workouts way too often. I always justified it somehow but the reality is, I just wasn’t sure how to use some of the equipment I should have used for my lower body and I never made an effort to learn how.
Last week, I decided I’d had enough waffling about it and I set up an appointment for today with a personal trainer in the gym. I spent all of 20 minutes going through the equipment that I wanted to use, learning exactly how it works. And I even got answers to some more general questions that I didn’t realize I wanted to ask until we got talking.
I’ve spent weeks avoiding this equipment and neglecting my workouts to some degree because I had some arbitrary idea in my head about how much time, money or work it would be to move outside my comfort zone and all it took was five minutes to set up the appointment and twenty minutes to get the information I needed.
The crazy thing is, it didn’t even cost me anything – it’s included with the gym membership!
It’s funny how the brain works. I’ve probably told my kids and the people that work for me to ask if they don’t know how to do something a thousand times. I know that’s the way to learn something. But when the time came for me to do the same thing, it took me over two months to actually do it.
Is there something in your life that you’re a little unsure about and haven’t wanted to ask? If so, take the leap. You might be surprised at how little time and effort it takes to learn something that will save you hours or make a huge difference in the results you’re getting.