Posted on April 18, 2014 by Jennifer Lilley
I’ve seen some pretty strange, borderline disturbing things while exercising at the gym.
There was the man who took his gum out of his mouth and stuck it on the treadmill screen, only to put the wad of nastiness in his mouth post-run. I’ve seen spandex in the crevices of men and women (in shape or otherwise) that I never knew existed . . . and that wasn’t a good thing. There have been macho men who’ve greeted one another by fist bumps and women who have managed to lift weights with nails longer than their false eyelashes. Some sights have made me giggle to myself. Others, not so much.
But rather than focus on all of the oddities at the gym, I started to think about the many things I’ve seen that have made me smile, supercharging my excitement about working out. These are the things that keep me coming back, even if others may think they’re not a big deal and even if Running Gum Man is still is a gym member.
Gym moments that keep me coming back
1. Weights still set at superhuman levels, and the little old lady who left it that way
Now some may sit there and think, “How on Earth could that petite bit of an old lady have used this weight level?” Rather than let it bum me out, I’m inspired by her! Same with seeing someone’s treadmill screen after they just finished. Wait . . . they really completed an insane course filled with hills in under a half hour?
If anything, the competitive side in me comes out. Next time, I’m going to see if I can’t work my way up (gradually) to also kick butt in less than 30 minutes.
2. People who clean their equipment
No, I’m not OCD. It’s just nice to know there really are people who care enough to wipe their drool and sweaty slop off the treadmill handles when they leave. They don’t know it, but I’m mentally thanking them and sending happy vibes their way. Thank you!
3. The person who goes for the gusto
Remember that obese person that came to the gym a year ago? How neat is it that they’re now fit and trim? When others childishly gave them strange looks, they persisted. Today, they no longer hide in the back of a group stretch class . . .heck, they may even be teaching it! Good for them.
4. The reader/listener
Scan the gym and most heads are all angled the same way: lifted upwards at any one of the 37 television screens. I’m always pleased to see the person who is (gasp) reading. Or even doing nothing. Today, we often feel like we have to be engaged in something else other than the moment we’re in.
How nice it is then, to read a book or even appreciate the sounds of our environment: the whirring of the treadmill belts, the occasional clang of weights, the faint din from the person’s too-loud ear buds next to us. You’d be surprised at how differently you see and perceive things by changing things up and resisting the urge to watch what celebrity just got engaged to what non-celebrity. All the sounds are good.
Well, just not the sound that involves a certain someone unwrapping a new piece of gum. I can do without that. However, he does clean the equipment afterwards, so he gets a partial good vibe from me sent his way : )
What gym moments inspire you?
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Jennifer Lea Reynolds
Jennifer Lea Reynolds is a weight loss success story who enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. A fan of the elliptical, roasted asparagus and remembering to put the lid on the blender, she’s appeared in many national and local print publications. She lives in New England where she writes professionally about health and wellness in online publications including Reader's Digest, Woman's Day, The Huffington Post, and more.