People Watching

29 Oct

The gym is a fascinating place to people watch. Here are a few things I’ve learned since I’ve begun working in the fitness industry.

  • It is essential to carry your “Blender Bottle” protein shaker with you at all times in order to appear legitimate.
  • Monster and 5-Hour-Energy make great pre-workout “fuel.”
  • “Fit Brownies” are an excellent substitute for meals.
  • Spending several hours socializing with the Membership Counselors counts as a workout because, technically, you’re “at the gym.”
  • Jazzercise and Zumba on the stairmaster are not considered unusual occurrences.
  • Looking “swol” (as in swollen) should be taken as a compliment and not a reason to see a doctor.
  • You can’t begin your workout until you’ve downed some neon concoction with a name like “Hemo-rage,” “Jack,” or “No-Xplode.

A little background on this last point…a few weeks ago, I had just started my shift when my coworker rushed over to ask me if I had tried the latest “pre-workout.” (I’m always amused by the constant conversation over the latest and greatest supplements among staff and members). I told him I hadn’t, so he offered me some, insisting that it was amazing. Never mind the fact that I would be sitting at a desk for the next 5 hours making phone calls – I should still try some! I stared at the bright green liquid fizzing in my water bottle, looking like something from outer space…it was definitely about as far from “natural” as you can get. I took one sip and poured the rest down the sink, wondering how anyone could possibly stomach a whole bottle before working out. Curious what was in this lemon-lime flavored concoction, I asked my co-worker to see the bottle. Caffeine, taurine, blue 30…I read the back of No-Xplode….caffeine, taurine, red 40. Hemo-rage? Caffeine taurine, red 40…enough said.

Aside from the fact that there is no magic bullet to weight-loss, muscle-building, or health, here is what I’ve actually discovered at the gym:

  • People come to start fresh, to banish insecurities, and to find acceptance.
  • People stay because they have become part of a community that accepts them and all of their idiosyncrasies.
  • People change because they push each other to be better and hold each other accountable for friendship and for health.
  • People make lasting impressions without even knowing it.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday when I heard my name. I looked up to see a member walking towards me and immediately dreaded the inevitable complaint I was about to receive. Instead, he greeted me with a smile, asked me how I was doing, and said he had just wanted to stop by and say hi. I don’t remember signing him up, but apparently he remembered me. I felt bad that I didn’t even know his name, but I was reminded of the fact that one small gesture can be bigger than you know.

Off to bed…long run with the team tomorrow! 🙂

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