I’m not really one for gyms. The idea of being surrounded by a bunch of people as I sweat over a pair of dumbbells is not really on my to-do list, especially when there are very attractive guys around. It may also be the fact that I have a tendency to jump off the treadmill ten minutes after I get on it due to my lack of running enthusiasm. And in a gym filled with people running marathons next to me and lifting weights, that makes me seem weak.
I may just be paranoid, and there is probably a very good chance that absolutely no one is paying me any attention, but I feel as if every eye is on me. Which is exactly why if you’re looking to get in shape and make a habit of exercising without quitting when it gets a little too hard, the gym is the perfect place to be.
Recently I’ve been going to the gym to workout with my mom and her trainer to get ready for my upcoming lacrosse season, and although I want to stop every time my calves clamp up or my trainer yells to “get lower and go faster, you’re an athlete,” I don’t. And it’s not just because I see the other buffed-up trainers eying me as I do ladder drills, it’s because I know it’ll make me stronger and faster and fitter and that I want to be in the best shape possible—even if that means sweating in a room filled with good looking guys.
But during my time at the gym today as I did my box jumps and glanced around me, I wondered what reasons other people had for being there. I knew my reasons, but what were theirs. I wondered if they were actually exercising to get healthy and stay healthy, or if they were exercising to just fit into the unrealistic airbrushed image of people society has deemed as acceptable and beautiful—skinny perfection.
And maybe I am just like those people who go to loose some weight. Exercising for a different purpose but still for the same result, to feel better and look better than I am, even when there’s seemingly nothing wrong with how I look now.
Since I was young I have always struggled with my appearance, trying to look fitter, trying to look skinner, spending too much of my time seeing my flaws as being something to hate rather than something to embrace. And I think society as a whole struggles with that as well.
So, yes, it’s important to work hard and never quit. But remember something the next time you go to the gym. Remember that you’re exercising for yourself, and nobody else.
Photo courtesy of http://www.seekyt.com