My post here has been partly inspired by the 'new directions' topic started by wfunite
Two years ago I had a minor shoulder injury and I was advised by my physio to think about joining a gym. Being both introverted and shy this idea horrified me at first. After a few weeks I realised that I was still considering it - a sign that it was not totally ruled out. I convinced myself that I would join but be one of those folks that just turns up to use the machines whilst wearing headphones and a thousand-yard stare.
Logically enough I approached a small family run gym which I walked past every day on my way to and from work. (I figured I would not then have to get motivated to make a special trip out from home.)
The gym owner, Alison, strongly discouraged me from my intention not to interact with anyone and persuaded me to attend planned sessions for 5 or 6 people, led by a trainer.
This was nerve-wracking at first, to say the least, but the trainers at this gym all turned out to be wonderful, and also push me far harder than I would ever push myself.
The results have been remarkable,not only physically, but in terms of confidence as I've been forced to overcome my shyness. The extra energy I have has also been hugely beneficial.
Don't get me wrong - I'm still an introvert at heart and none of my interactions at the gym have led to friendships outside. I'm just not that kind of gregarious person. But I am much less shy about approaching people when I need to.
I'm confident enough to be honest about who I am for perhaps the first time in my life. I no longer try to find excuses for not attending work social outings. I just quietly decline and say it is simply not something I enjoy doing but that I hope they have a nice time.
The lady I've shared an office with for the last 10 years is finding my transformation into a gym bunny highly amusing.