I’ve been attending a gym since I was sixteen. To put that into numbers, I’ve done approximately 149760 minutes of exercise, attended around 832 classes and burnt enough calories to keep up my love for cheese and chocolate. (Life Achievement unlocked surely?)
So you could say from looking at the stats that I’m pretty well-accustomed to a spin class and know the difference between my barbells and my dumbbells.
But despite my gym going credentials and addiction to endorphins, I don’t parade my lifetime achievement around the gym like I deserve a gold medal, but there are some gym-goers who believe their extensive use of the facilities put them in an elite group separate from anyone else in the gym.
Now unless they’re creating a VIP club where you own shares in the place, I’m not sure there’s any necessity to be an unwelcoming prick to those who’ve taken the admirable decision to become fitter and healthier. So what’s with the attitude of those who believe they’re in a completely separate club, despite us all paying the same fee?
I respect anyone who has made the decision to make themselves fitter and healthier because it’s bloody hard. Finding the time and then trying to avoid temptation despite it being shoved in your face. And what makes it that much harder, is those who feel they have some kind of superiority complex over others simply because they’ve been doing it for longer.
I recently experienced this myself when trying out a new class for the first time, in an effort to mix-up my routine and continue the journey for a core that could rival Kate Hudsons. (Damn that woman is strong!)
On entering the studio, I took my place ready for the instructor to kick off the class with the obligatory health and safety spiel. Another member entered and threw me a look that could only be classed as complete disgust. (Oops was I not wearing the obligatory Nike uniform?) On seeing this another member in the room replied to her – “Your space has been taken tonight then?”
I stood there in complete and utter shock. Not only was this a partially empty room that could fit another ten people, but nowhere on the ground were names or places signalling that this was a ‘regulars only’ class.
Now I get it, some of us can be very ‘Sheldon Cooper’ when it comes to picking our spaces in a gym class. We like to be able to see our form in the mirror and hear the instructor, but to be so derogatory and rude to someone else over an empty space in a gym studio is beyond ridiculous.
Being a gym member at the same place doesn’t give you any hierarchical privileges or mean that you are in way ‘better’ than someone else. There is no ‘gym-elite’, and you won’t win any awards for how many classes you attend.
If you notice that someone is new to your gym, how about you do them a favour and be nice?
Gyms are daunting places and full of people who have gained their confidence from years of dedication. It can take a lot of courage to step into an environment full of egos.
So rather then pull out any ‘January Joiner’ jokes, or moan about how they’re booking up all the classes, just remember how you felt on the first day you started the gym, and perhaps give them a helping hand when you see they need it.
We’re all trying our best to make changes, and wouldn’t the world be a much nicer place if we supported each other rather than mock each other.
Don’t let others deter you from your journey no matter what stage you’re at. Keep your head held high and remember that we all had to start somewhere.