I know this feeling. I've experienced it A LOT.
In the end, NOBODY cares.
I was never worried that someone would "see me" and laugh or anything. It's that I would get in someone's way, or not "know the ropes". Found a gym (Planet Fitness) that's really aggressive about being 'non judgemental'. I'll leave the debate about whether they go too far to others. But when I got there, I found that my knowledge from reading stuff on Sparkpeople and a few high school/college gym classes that I was far more knowledgeable than most people there.
As for going outside and running (which I'd never really done), my natural route is along a road with a huge shoulder for biking/running/walking. Lots of people. I figure as long as I stayed out of people's way (staying to the right), I'd be fine. I was more than fine.
You'll find all these weird things like how runners acknowledge runners. Most will wave/smile/nod at you. Some will make supportive comments. It's kind of fun, actually.
Interestingly, though, as I've trained for a triathlon, I've been running and biking. Cyclists around here acknowledge cyclists, but not runners. And runners acknowledge runners, but not cyclists. It's kind of funny. And tracking those kinds of observations give me something to think about when I'm out there.
Just did my first tri and was really worried about the unwritten rules. While there are some, (stay to the right), pass quickly, don't spread your stuff into other people's area in the transition area....they're pretty common sense.
Sure, there's a few joe pros who aren't as "friendly" as the huffers and puffers like me. But they're not "unfriendly" either. They've got lots of friends and fellow competitors they've seen around a lot and they tend to interact together.
I met lots of people, and we shared a lot of our stories about our journeys. Coming across them on the route was a blast. High fiving and supportive cheering.
Get out there. Pretty soon, you'll be the 'judgemental' one, getting grumpy about people who don't control their dogs on biking/running/walking trails, or walk on one side...letting their dog walk the on the other side where the leash then creates the perfect decapitation device for the unwary jogger/biker. Or the people who walk 3 abreast on a fairly crowded trail.
| current weight: 187.2