By Raechel Campbell

Editor’s Note:  This has been modified from its original post to adjust timeline and dates.

“Power lifting, you say?  Deadlifts?  Cleans and jerks? I have no idea what you are talking about.  It sounds very scary, but I’ll give it a shot…I guess?”

Those were my honest first thoughts when I walked into P360 for the first time about two years ago. I was scared.  I was nervous, and I was intimidated as all hell.

At the same time, that’s also what I loved about how it made me feel.  I wanted something different, I wanted to feel out of my comfort zone, I wanted to learn new things and change my body and mind.  You really have to want all of those things in order to excel and grow.  Not just with these workouts, but with anything in life, and I believe in the parallels between the gym and real life.

Over the course of my two years here, a few people have asked me if I have a crazy sports background, but I don’t.  I was competitive in high school and have always loved being active and doing new things, but I never picked up a barbell prior to joining P360.  I remember my first time doing deadlifts and how awkward and uncoordinated I must have looked.  But nonetheless, I thought I was super cool.  In fact, so cool that I was bragging in a roundabout way to this guy I was talking to, about how I was doing deadlifts, yadayadayada, how I was sooo sore and pretty much just trying to impress him.  I remember he asked me how much I was deadlifting, and me, not knowing what was considered impressive, I said “150 pounds” with all the confidence in the world because, hey, I was proud of that! (And still am, and you should be too.)

And his response was, “Oh.”

Never in a million years would I think I would be practicing the movements of a hang clean in the shower (not recommended), or spending over $100 on a pair of weightlifting shoes (which I didn’t even know existed until about 8 months ago), or trying to explain to my mom why it’s okay that I “put weight over my head”.

But now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Before discovering what this amazing gym has to offer, I was doing the same thing for a workout at home every day.  The day after day monotony was getting incredibly boring and it definitely wasn’t doing anything to improve my awkwardness in large crowds.  I was also intimidated to be a member at P360, thinking that everyone here would be a super human freak and only interested in their own progress.  Once I got over the initial intimidation and joined, I could not have been more wrong.  I walked into an incredibly welcoming community where people truly cared about one another in a way I had never seen at a gym before.  I started to embrace it all and I realized I was very capable along with everyone else.  A funny thing happens when you start out.  At first, you are very timid and hesitant to try movements.  Then you try it, and you realize, “Hey, I can do this.  This isn’t so hard”.  Then, you get better and better and before you even know you it you’re seeing amazing results and getting excited about certain lifts.

When I got the hang of things I started gaining a lot more confidence and really became interested in excelling and for God sakes, getting my name up on that damn board!  As I continued to slowly improve, which believe me, took some time, I really noticed my confidence improve and my life improve for the better.

Two years later, after bragging about my 150# deadlift on my date, I can now lift twice that weight. However, I am just as proud of that as I was the very first day I pulled 150# and bragged about it.

It is always such a humbling experience witnessing new and old members reach a goal they are proud of, and brings them so much happiness, because it takes me back to how I first felt when I joined.  A feeling that you’ll just never understand until you try!   This is the exact reason why I kept coming back.  Not to mention, the sense of camaraderie and support throughout the gym and people at P360 is something I can’t even begin to describe.

The point is that you never know until you try and really give it your all.  Progress will take a while because nothing worthwhile happens overnight.  Or even in a few weeks. Hang in there, don’t judge yourself by what others are doing and you’ll find how fun it is to push yourself to measures that you had no idea you were even capable of.  And most importantly, learn to enjoy every single little success along the way!  While I am a a coach here now, I am still a student, constantly trying to improve where I am weak and areas of my form that challenge me and when I do, it’s just as rewarding as the first time.

That’s what’s so great about it here.  There is always something you can try and improve, have someone help you with, and attempt to get better.  You’re supposed to do things that scare you, that drive you out of your comfort zone because that’s really what living is all about, in my opinion. Do as much as you can with your life, try things that you never thought you’d try.  It starts in the gym and carries over to other areas of your life.  Life is meant to be abundant, a point that takes me back to my original point.

It’s certainly okay to feel intimidated when you start out, and even along the way. But never let that intimidation take control of you and prevent from you doing awesome things.

So, get to steppin, yo!

Raechel Campbell began her journey as a complete beginner at Performance360.  She is now a coach and holds 9 records at the gym.  

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