How to Get Back to the Gym After Quitting

The Walk of Shame


Sometimes starting over is just as hard as starting fresh, if not harder.

I walk in with my baseball cap tightly pulled over my face. I wear my sunglasses as I stride inside, keeping them on as a mask for a few steps longer than I normally would. I don’t want the receptionist to see it, but I know I reek with it.

I reek with the stench of shame.


I hadn’t been to the gym in over a month. As I punch my phone number into the keypad and set my finger down on the scanner to sign in, my mind is a flurry of “What ifs”.

What if they saw I hadn’t come in a month and ended my membership? What if it’s been so long that I’m using the wrong finger, and the front desk clerk will have to instruct me how to sign in – as if I’ve never been here before?

What if the attendant’s screen lights up brightly when I sign in, with the words “QUITTER, POINT AND LAUGH” scrawled across the screen?

Of course none of this is true, and I sign in without issue.

The point is that there is a sense of anxiety a lot of us feel when we first start a new regimen – whether it be working out, going to school, starting at a new job, etc. What a lot of folks forget about though is that sense of nervousness we get when we come back to something familiar after a long time away. Sometimes starting over is just as hard as starting fresh, if not harder.

Starting fresh means you’re jumping into a new adventure, forging a new path. Starting over means you started the path and then stopped, leaving it to gather dust and cobwebs from neglect. I’m starting over at the gym.


There is No Such Thing as “Finding Time”


My life has been a whirlwind of responsibilities and major events lately, and I allowed myself to fall for the oldest excuse in the book – the excuse that I didn’t have time to workout.

As I’ve preached to you guys in another article there is ALWAYS time to workout so long as we are willing. I wasn’t willing for a spell there, but that is no longer the case.

A few days ago, for the first time in weeks, I packed up my shoes, grabbed my trusty water bottle, and made that walk of shame into the gym. I went into the locker room and laced up my Chuck’s. I marched my way to the squat rack and got to work. My joints ached for a bit, painfully aware that we hadn’t done this in a while. My body let me know how upset it was, refusing to come close to touching my old set max, forcing me to lift about 30 pounds lighter than I had been before.


It wasn’t easy and it sure wasn’t pretty, but it was a start. Starting over, starting again, starting anew – none of it matters. All that matters is that I am starting.

How do you go back to the gym after quitting? You simply go.


I am a twenty-something coder in training, amateur weightlifter, and newly minted website owner. Aside from coding and lifting, my other hobbies include writing, drawing, reading, and the occasional video game. I live in the ever-wonderful Los Angeles, California where I was born and raised.

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