I recently wrote a post about how you might be wasting your time and effort at the gym by making common mistakes. Today I’d like to touch on how you are wasting my time at the gym; probably not the actual you, since we likely don’t belong to the same gym, but the universal you, because I am certain that you are probably doing some of these things in your gym and pissing off nice people like me who are forced to put up with your poor gym etiquette.
- Sitting on machines or benches- If you are sitting down doing nothing then move. No seriously. Get up. Unless there are several benches or machines just like the one you are sitting on, then you shouldn’t be sitting on it; especially during peak hours when the gym in full. If you are resting between sets then look outside yourself (novel concept I know) to see if anyone is patiently waiting for you to finish. If so, let them “work in” by politely asking them if they’d like to work in between your sets. This isn’t an old school video game arcade, you cannot hog your spot with a quarter on the screen. Get in, do your business, and get out. Move on.
- Leaving weights on Barbells and other equipment- I know, you work really hard and you are just hoping some hot chick will see your great efforts, be smart enough to do math in her head so she is rightfully impressed with the number of 45lb plates you have stacked, and you’ll finally get rewarded for all you do. But it isn’t going to happen. Its time you give up the dream and re-rack your weights when you are done lifting. Here is why… there are three kinds of girls using weights in the weight room:
One, the smart girl who likes to lift and isn’t there to meet anyone, who is just annoyed at you being rude and won’t speak to you anyway because she is tired of re-racking your weights.
Two, the stupid girl who likes to lift light weight and doesn’t know how to do math in her head so you will never impress her by leaving your weights on the bar. You’re better off asking if she needs a spotter for that 5 lb dumbbell she is curling if you really want to hit that.
And, three, the girl you brought with you who is standing around looking awkward and doesn’t know why she is there and not getting her nails done and you will have to re-rack your weight because she can’t lift as heavy as you.
If his one sounds directed at men, I apologize, but I have never actually seen a woman NOT re-rack her weights, ever.
- Blocking traffic while you look for a “close place to park”- Do I even need to address this one? Seriously, unless you are actually handicapped or have multiple kids (because believe me I know how annoying it is to drag two children and two bags through a parking lot as they both beg to be held or both try to run from you in opposite directions), then you should pick the furthest spot from the door and get your warm up in walking from your car to the door. Seriously, you are about to go inside and get sweating moving your body, but somehow it still matters that you park closely? Just stop it.
So the next time you go to the gym, or anywhere for that matter, try to remember that you are not the only person in the world, that other people have needs just as valid, and sometimes more valid than your own, and that there are rules in place for a reason, and that most of the time the reason is so people will be obliged to be nice to one another since we can’t seem to be bothered otherwise. And you might, just might, finally earn the respect of that hot chick who will then be obliged to come over and thank you for re-racking your weights. It happens.
I think it is best to start this journey by identifying what it is I think I am doing right. All too often people have a tendency to focus on their short comings or what they do wrong and that is NOT what this journey is about. So to avoid that confusion I want to start by packing my preverbal suitcase with the items I cherish and love about myself and my life. No matter who you are or how you came to be here there is always something positive you can say about yourself. Our culture has taught us that having a good self esteem is essential to survival, but it has also strangely and ironically judged us for doing just that; those who think highly of themselves or their specific talents are often described as boastful, egocentric, self-involved, arrogant, ego-maniacal etc. As a matter of fact, my husband whom I adore is one of the most egotistical people I know. And while I fully understand that sounds negative, I couldn’t think of a higher compliment to give him. On his most recent cover letter for a promotion he said he deserved the job because he “woke up in the morning and pissed excellence”, my god! If the man pisses excellence just imagine what else he could do and what his body doesn’t consider a waste product! My husband is a wonderful man who is giving and thoughtful, caring and fun, but the man also believes he is a gift to the world and he has no problem listing the ways he is awesome, if we only had the time to listen to that many. I secretly wish we were all like that. How much happier would you be if you could eagerly exclaim to anyone who’d listen all the ways in which you rock this casba? How much better would you feel about yourself if instead of focusing on all the terrible things you did or said today and all the things you didn’t get done, if instead you could sit back and tell someone about all the wonderful things you did or moments you shared and how amazing they made you feel. No one ever does that. So here is my way of starting that tradition, and my goal for this week. First I will list the things I have in life that should make you all supremely jealous of me and you will read them and be glad that I have them instead of resentful that you may not or angry that I dared boast about them so blatantly. Then I will try to post each day something new I identified that brought joy to my life, that is solely mine to cherish and I should not forget. Call it gratitude, call it bragging, call it recognition of beauty, call it what you like. I will call it me and mine.
- I am well hydrated (yes it is small, but I promise you it is a big deal). Don’t believe me? Start drinking more water
- I love my husband and am lucky enough to have found a true soul mate, no really, I swear
- I have two amazing boys that I was lucky enough to grow in my belly and show the world too
- I care about my friends, I may not have time to be there for every breaking news flash, but I care and love them fiercely and would protect them from harm. I have never hurt one intentionally or maliciously. I have never stabbed one in the back
- I am good with dogs. I have an affinity with them that I am grateful for and proud to call instinctual
- I workout regularly, about 4 times a week, but more if I can eek the time out. I freakishly love that I can make my body change at will with just a little work
- I put my kids first, but I am learning sometimes they need to be second
- I read. I can’t stress how important I think reading is on so many levels. I’ll say more about that later
- I sing. I sing all the time, to the radio, to my children, I make up songs. My favorite is “There’s a penis in your pants…” you sing it to the tune of “if you’re happy and you know it” my boys think it is so silly
- I get it all done. I am the queen of multi-tasking and the master of nothing. I put this down as a brag, but to be honest it will be one of the things I work on in the future. I am never really present and my ability to get t all done makes me anxious, quick to anger and resentful.
- Maybe the most important thing, for this journey anyway, is that I am capable of change. I welcome new experiences that will help me grow and achieve a better me. I look for peace and I will never give up. I will never let circumstance or others stop me from being happy. I will never say it is out of my control. I think that is brag worthy.
What do you like about you? What have you said or done that makes you proud? What would brag about if only he world would let you? Why do your friends love you? Your children? your mate? I bet you can make a pretty good list, and that is the place to start.