Studying and having a snack.
Got a great workout in today, killed my arms and got a good swim in. While I was weight lifting a couple came into the free weights area. The man was obviously trying to introduce his wife/girlfriend to the joys of lifting, but she wasn't a willing participant. He was going through basic moves with her, but she kept giving up after a few reps. She was giving off a strong "I don't see the point of all this" and/or "I am better than this" vibe, but I easily saw through the facade. I knew she was feeling extremely intimidated by the iron garden.
You don't see many women hanging around the free weights section of the gym. Most ladies stick to the cardio machines. It can be really scary and even slightly embarrassing to workout alongside guys who are bench pressing more than you weigh. I say use that energy, whether it be intimidation, fear, embarrassment, or (most likely) all of the above. Take it and use it to fuel yourself to break your own barriers. Show all those tough guys that hey, you can lift heavy things too! Heavy, of course, is a relative term ;)
Sure, the guy next to me may be curling 50s, but I'll step right up with my 15s and show him, and most importantly myself, what I'm made of.
Going back to the couple, there was more than one occasion when I wanted to say something to the woman. Just a "Hey don't sweat it, you'll get the hang of it!", or a more honest "Don't let all these big guys intimidate you". I never did, I didn't want to embarrass her more than she already was, and it was really none of my business (although she was pretty loud and animated with her protests, so I'm sure I wasn't the only spectator). I just kept to my reps, and tried to radiate as much strength and confidence as possible, hoping that some might rub off on her. Do you think I should have given a pep talk? Perhaps if I see her again...