Sometimes I hear people state the reason they don't go to the gym or run or swim is they are worried what other people will think of them. I've never understood this line of thinking. My inability to comprehend this thought process is probably because for the majority of my youth, I flitted around a frozen sheet of water wearing what equated to a leotard with a tiny skirt. A skirt that according to my father was NEVER long enough. Had he had his way, my skating skirts would have been the length of, oh, a poodle skirt. But I practiced and performed in front of God and everyone wearing shiny, not flattering tights, and barely hiney-covering skirts. I was also involved in a sport, like gymnastics, that was individual. Some practices were me vs. that triple salchow, over and over and over, without any real consideration of what anyone else on the ice was doing.
(In the end, the triple remained elusive.)
Are you one of those people who want to "lose a few pounds before going to the gym?" Well, I have news for you. No one is thinking about you at the gym. Really. They aren't. Do you remember 7th grade and were terrified what people would think of you and your lack of a Trapper Keeper?
Then you grew up and realized no one was concerned about your lack of portable paper filing systems?
Nothing is different at the gym. If you could read thought bubbles at the gym, here is probably a rundown of what they are thinking:
"Is this mile done YET?"
"OOO! I love this song!"
"You go Grandpa! (or Grandma!)" in reference to anyone of the Greatest Generation that I see there everyday.
"Why is Kelly Ripa's head bigger than her shoulders?"
"Oh! There's a muscle I didn't know I had."
"I need to remember to get milk."
"I wish I had gotten here first so I had control of the remote."
"Did I just sing that out loud?"
If someone is possibly processing a thought that is about you, it is most likely "Good for them!!" At least this is what I think is happening at the gym. I have the utmost respect and excitement for anyone who is out there, trying. To anyone who made a point to put forth some physical exertion that day, I applaud you!! I don't care if you are 20 or 80, perfectly toned or "working on it," you made an effort, and you should be proud.
|There are many different ways to rehydrate....|
No one is taking note of whether or not you "should be there." There is no prerequisite to wanting to better yourself and your health. There is no minimum age or weigh limit to gain entry. Really the only thing that may get you some stink-eye looks is wearing street shoes in the gym. That is a hard and fast rule.
The reality is we live in a town with an honor system coffee bar. We have that kind of community. For the most part, people are good people, people want good for others. Why then wouldn't they celebrate your effort at the gym? This is what I believe, at least. And if someone is thinking something snarky about my physical effort, well, I know that says nothing about me, and everything about them.