My wife and I recently went to Las Vegas for the wedding of two Hustle members, Beth and Eric (congratulations!!!). We had a blast celebrating the union of this strong, supple, and toned couple - but I needed to remind myself that partying at weddings can sabotage any nutrition and exercise plan. And let’s not forget this was in Sin City of all places! Luckily my wife and I stay pretty active during our vacations and we have some really good habits in place to help us stay on track during travel. These habits include supplementation (currently taking exogenous ketones by Pruvit to encourage ketosis), early workouts every other day (to help balance out your indulgences), and negotiating the splurges as they come. If you consider that most of us go on vacation to take a break and feel better a good workout will always help your day improve.
For the wedding we stayed at the Tropicana, which for a budget hotel on the strip was pretty nice. The gym, however, was not the most desirable place for a workout. It was essentially a hallway with several pieces of equipment arranged at seeming randomness throughout. While it wasn’t super crowded (maybe four people on some treadmills or stationary bikes and three others by the weight rack) you couldn’t move around with bumping into something or someone.
Now this might sound strange coming from me since you’ve all known me to be a personal trainer for so long, but I felt insecure as I began my warm-up there. Perhaps it was the small, awkward space, or the fact I’m rehabbing a shoulder injury I suffered in a jiu jitsu tournament, or perhaps it was the fact the area was foreign to me. Whatever the reason, as I was warming up I felt like people were watching or judging me. It might be strange for a trainer to admit this since there’s a good chance I had more experience than everyone in that room. In addition, I meet almost daily with people who feel skittish about starting a fitness program and help them work through this anxiety - but I felt similarly in front of these three strangers! Nevertheless, I persisted, and as my workout progressed I got the chance to interact with some of the other people working out. They all ended up be extremely friendly, and one of them was very encouraging, commenting on how we’d all “still get the job done” despite the small space. I found it interesting how insecure I was at the beginning of the workout contrasted with I grew more comfortable with the space and those strangers who were super friendly and willing to share with me.
‘Is this how someone feels when they come into my gym for the first time?’, I wondered. ‘Do feel this similar insecurity and fear, and are they unsure of what is going to happen? Do they doubt themselves and their abilities, and are they desperate for change but not sure exactly how to achieve it?’ The experience in Vegas was a great reminder as to what it felt like to be working out in a new space around new people. Even though the insecurity and anxiety exists at first, it’s worth it to know that most - if not all - of it exists only in your head. I believe that Hustle is a community of people just like these strangers I worked out with Vegas. They’re friendly, non-judgmental, and helpful, as well as concerned with their own workouts. This was a great reminder to me that we all create situations in our head which are much scarier than they really are but if you push through it will most likely be very rewarding! Remember this the next time you’re working out while traveling. And when someone new stops by Hustle maybe remember how you felt your first time here, and then smile and say something friendly!
*Editor’s Note: I also attended the wedding and, while the workout room at my hotel was a little more upscale, I experienced the exact same feelings of insecurity that Chris described. It’s funny that both of us were experiencing the same thing at the same time on opposite ends of the Vegas strip, but his points are extremely solid: almost all of these feelings come from a fictional narrative created inside your head. Chances are that everyone else in the hotel fitness center is feeling the exact same way! Make the effort to focus on yourself and your workout, just one rep and one set at a time, and I guarantee you’ll persevere through those feelings, and maybe even meet a couple cool people at the same time. Viva Las Vegas!