Embarrassing Exercise

Particularly when you’re not used to doing any sport or fitness activity, it can feel awkward to get into something new. In talking with others about cycling, running, yoga and other physical activities, I am reminded how awkward it can feel to even try such things.

“I’ll probably wobble and fall off.”

“I’ll look silly.”

“I tried it and got out of breath [and felt silly].”

There is a sense of standing out when we start something new, and this isn’t necessarily what we want. We might be body conscious, we might feel like we have to dress up in certain clothing, and with that not being our usual attire we might feel like it doesn’t suit us.

When these sort of conversations crop up in my life I really like to try and tell people: “Don’t worry about it! Just get out there and do it.” Whether it be riding a bike, taking up running, or even going out for a walk, joining a class like yoga or even doing something like yoga in your own home.

There is often a physical awkwardness associated with taking up a new physical activity, after all our bodies aren’t used to it; when we try running for the first time since childhood we might be particularly rigid, when getting on (and off) a bike, or at junction we can feel wobbly and lack confidence, especially around other road users. Yoga has a balance aspect too.

All these things can hinder us, or even cause problems for us; not being relaxed when running can put extra strain on our joints, and when riding a bike if we’re not relaxed and showing an air of confidence we can make other road users unsure of our intentions.

But in saying all this I don’t want to put people off! I just want to highlight the reality for some people, and that I know it’s not so easy for everyone to just get on a bike or go out running even though I won’t give these things much thought; in fact I quite like to show to others how easy it can be, just by doing it.

One comment

  1. I always feel silly when I haven’t been on a horse in a long time and then go riding with someone. Once I ride for a little bit, I feel comfortable again.

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