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Don't Expect to Find Self-Confidence in a Gym

Dear Friend,

Late last night I couldn't sleep, so I dressed and went to the gym. It's a big 24 hour place, and late at night can be relaxing. I find a deserted corner and do mostly exercises I could do at home, or anywhere, for that matter. But the joint has a steam room, a sauna, and whirlpool; things not currently available at Casa Furey.

I was probably about 2/3 of the way through my workout when I was startled by someone asking me a question. I hadn't seen anybody approach, but I wasn't watching closely either. It was a nice looking woman a little north of thirty, and she wanted to know what I was doing.

"It's called Combat Conditioning," I said.

She said she had never heard of it, and that it looked dangerous. I told her it was quite safe, much safer than most of the equipment laid out all around us. We bantered on for a few minutes, and I even got her to do a couple of those (dangerous) exercises.

Then she said, "I don't really know why I come here all the time, it really doesn't change the way I feel about myself."

I had to invoke what I call "Rule Maker, Rule Breaker." There are places where I don't like to mix business into the equation. I know a few people at the gym, but I really don't go out of my way to socialize when I'm there. Everybody has places they would rather be anonymous, and this is one of mine. But hey, it's 2:30 AM, and what else was going on, except for some sweat and heavy breathing?

"Is that part of the package?" I said.

She didn't understand. So I said, "Did they tell you you would feel better about yourself if you came here all the time?"

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"Yes," she said.

"But you don't feel any better about yourself?" I asked.

"No," she replied.

I then asked her "Why do you come here all the time if you don't feel better about yourself?"

She paused. Then she said "I guess I thought it would just happen."

"Well it won't just happen," I said. "But it can happen. And it could happen anywhere, but you are going to have to make it happen yourself. You can feel good about yourself if you want to. It's your choice. The gym can't make you feel good about yourself. Only you can develop self confidence."

"Should I stop coming?" she said.

"No", I said. "You and the gym are two completely different things. The gym is a placeŠŠ.. and youŠŠ.. are a living, breathing, thinking human being who has every right to feel good about yourself, whether you are here or not."

So I broke my rule, and felt good about it. She thanked me for the unexpected advice, and I think she'll be looking at herself in a different light.

Before she left she asked where she could get some information on those bodyweight exercises, so I sent her to


Sean Furey

P.S. For more information ongetting self-confidence go to here.

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