My Learning Project Summary: A Personal Reflection

A PERSONAL JOURNEY…

My major learning project is coming to a close and I have really been reflecting on what I have accomplished over the last few months. When I think back to the beginning of this project I remember feeling nervous to begin. I also remember feeling a little bit embarrassed to tell people about my learning project. Was I embarrassed because I thought I would fail? Was I embarrassed because I did not know how to utilize a gym? Was I embarrassed because I felt vulnerable to let others see my journey? I was experiencing all of these feelings.

Vulnerability Quote

As uncomfortable as I was at times to share this personal learning project, I am thankful that I stuck with it. This journey became so much more than a simple learning project. As much as it was a journey of learning to use the gym and lead a healthier lifestyle, it also became a journey of self-empowerment. I feel more confident and comfortable. I no longer walk into a gym and lack confidence or feel like people are judging me. Throughout this learning project, I have never claimed to be a fitness expert. I am actually the farthest thing from it. I still have a lot of goals at the gym, a lot of learning to still be had, and a lot of growth that I still hope to see. This major learning project was the platform that I needed to begin this journey. It is not something that I plan to stop, but instead, it is a lifelong journey.

I started to think about the progress that I made. Physically, I notice that I feel better. Maintaining regular physical activity at the gym has improved my sleeping habits, I feel more energized, and I although not noticeable to others, I have gained some (not a lot) muscle mass. However, the biggest growth might have been mentally. Mentally, I have gained confidence, I became more knowledgeable about what I am doing at the gym, and I feel a sense of calmness. Although my physical transformation is not noticeable to others, my main goal was not to gain three inches on my arms or develop a six-pack. Instead, my goal was to gain confidence and feel comfortable using the gym in order to develop a healthier lifestyle. With saying that, I think it can be discouraging when we do not see results. At times, I felt this throughout my project. Realistically, I did not expect to see a huge physical transformation after a few months. This article was extremely important for me to read as I move forward in my journey. The article discusses how living a physical lifestyle is only a part of seeing a physical transformation. I know one area that I need to improve on is my nutrition. This is an area where I feel I lack knowledge and need to further educate myself.  My learning project has allowed me to see this as one of my weaknesses. However, it has also made it possible for me to be one step closer to making this change.

TAKING A LOOK BACK…

I accomplished a lot of things during this major learning project. Here is a summary of the exercises that I learned more about.

  • Cardio Exercises (treadmill, spin bike, elyptical, HIIT)
  • Free Weight Exercises
  • Lower Body Exercises
  • Upper Body Exercises
  • Circuit Training
  • Full Body Workout

IMG_4136.JPG

As well, I learned a fair amount through the different online articles that I read throughout this project. I think the resource I used the most throughout this project was Men’s Fitness. I found that Men’s Fitness was a great resource for finding various beginner exercise programs, it was a great resource for motivational pieces, and it was a great resource for quick tips. The Huffington Post was also an important resource throughout my learning project. I appreciated the articles related to fitness and health because they were quick reads, often wrote in numbered tips, and shed light on some of the fears I was facing throughout this journey.

You may have noticed that I kept referring to my major learning project as a journey. I think this is significant because it highlights that there is no end to this project. This was a project that pushed me outside of my comfort zone to gain the confidence to learn about the gym. How do I make the gym a part of my daily routine? How do I learn what works for me? These are questions that I have wanted to answer for years and this learning project was the encouragement that I needed. So, this is not the end of my learning. This is merely the beginning. This is a journey, and an important journey, that I aspire to continue.

Journey Quote

Final Tip of the Week: Don’t be afraid of to try something outside of your comfort zone. It can be the change that makes a significant difference in your life.

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3 thoughts on “My Learning Project Summary: A Personal Reflection

  1. Sounds like you got some key learnings from your project that you weren’t expecting Ryan. Glad to hear that you are feeling a lot more comfortable in the gym. I started hitting the gym back in first year and I had a lot of the same feelings that you did. I don’t have any athletic background so I felt like I was at an extra disadvantage with not knowing where to start, or even if I was doing the exercises properly. But like you I learned that just getting started was the best way to move forward. I like how your Brene Brown quote highlights vulnerability because I think stepping into a gym for the first time definitely requires you to embrace that if you are to overcome the self-consciousness that comes from working out next to people who presumably aren’t newbies. How did you cope with the fear that the more experienced people might judge you? Has your perception of them changed at all? Surprisingly, I have found that the more experienced patrons of the gym are usually the ones who hold the most respect towards new comers. They are generally just stoked that new comers are trying to do something good for themselves.

    Thanks for posting about your journey in learning to work out, its reassuring to see that it is so similar to mine. I was doing really good with it in 1st and 2nd year, but with the increasing busyness of year 3 and 4 I’ve only been going seasonally. Can’t wait to get back into that routine.

    • Thank you so much for your comment it Cameron. It is reassuring to me to know that other people have faced the same fears and challenges when it comes to going to the gym. You asked me how I coped with the fear that I might be judged as a “newbie” to the gym? My answer is that it was not always easy and still is not always easy. Sometimes I still feel insecure when I am working out at the gym, but I think it is the people who I have come to recognize at the gym who take the time to say “hello” or simply have a friendly smile on their face that has helped me to push forward. I also think I have developed a lot more self respect for myself. At the end of the day, I just remind myself that I am at the gym for me and no one else and that helps me cope with some of the fears that come with using the gym. Good luck with getting back in the gym!

  2. Great Job Ryan! I am so glad that your learning project turned into so much more than just a school project! Glad that this has increased your confidence in the gym. Personally, that is the hardest part for me. I see the upper body section crawling with muscular individuals and I instantly become self-conscious! My sister is on the track team here so that has definitely helped me venture over there a lot more confidently – usually with her. Great job on summarizing your key learnings!

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