gym feels

this one ain't so serious folks, i promise :)

Due to the gigantic influx of gym-goers fulfilling their resolution it's been a bit cramped in the gym I go to usually. My usual gym is a very fitting dumbbell shaped room with the free weights and machines being farthest from the entrance and the yoga mats and straps for gimmicky fitness related crap closest. The treadmills, non-moving bikes and stair-things are in the middle.

Ignore the lines inside the rectangles, I was just lazy and didn't edit them out

January 2 comes along and I drive to the gym as per usual - going the long way trying to avoid cops and having to turn into incoming traffic because I fear for my life frequently. But as I pull into the parking lot my face contorts into confusion and I reach for the volume control of my stereo to turn down Ice Cube and his opinions on west coast and east coast relations. Last year I began going to the gym religiously after mid April and I didn't get to experience the new years rush. So when I finally found a parking spot behind the ice rink arena a block away, I didn't realize just how many people would be streaming in and taking all the parking. I shrugged and dismissed the mild inconvenience, I was going to the gym anyway, what was the problem with walking a couple more steps to the doors? But obviously it gets worse.

My gym is located in the left wing of a giant recreational center. This meant that usually when I ran on the treadmills I could watch people swim and play around in the big wave pool right in front of my gym, only a thick glass wall separating the two. This also meant that after my workout I usually went into the hot tub or sauna and stared at the wall until I was satisfied. But as I entered the building I could already hear how crowded it was in the gym floor, especially for 5 in the morning after New Years day. I'd like to think it was because the receptionist saw my confused look, or maybe it was because she too was feeling overwhelmed, but she nodded at me as per usual and instead of casually dismissing me, she instead started telling me at how incredibly rude the new people were. I nodded trying so very hard to feign interest but really all I wanted was to start my workout because it was back day and that meant deadlifting and deadlifting is the highlight of my day.

A minute of small talk turned to five and I knew it would turn into ten if I didn't eject myself out of there. I made sure that the receptionist noticed my sudden change of direction when I looked for the time and shrugged when I, "suddenly realized that I'm kind of in a hurry and should get this thing started."

Opening the door to the gym was an experience all in itself. The doors were airtight and slightly soundproof so all I could hear from the lobby while I chatted with the nice receptionist was the low rumble of machines being used and the low mumble of many people talking and grunting. But when I opened them the sounds amplified themselves by at least 10x. Talk of what body they were aiming for, what protein shakes they had bought, what brand shoes they thought were best, and various other useless crap mishmashed into a cacophony of high pitched squealing that for some reason annoyed the shit out of me.

"Wow Cindy, I am so fucking hung over right now but I want to get fit and better for 2014!"
Yeah we're such partygoers! Let's continue talking while you sit on the only bench press so people can't use it!

Don't get me wrong though, I totally condone verbal interactions between two people, I just fucking hate it when everyone tries so very hard to talk over the noise and it ends up being a room filled with people screaming at each other.

"Whatever, I'll just run on the treadmill and listen to some nice music to get into my zone before I start lifting some heavy-ass weight."

But that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. Our gym had a total of 15 treadmills and I had never seen them so full that there's a lineup to run on them. There were two employees of the rec center carefully watching and timing people on the treadmill and instructing them to get off after ten minutes. That's how crowded it was.

I usually don't write about fatties but there were two that laid down on the yoga area and took up all 8 of the mats. It was almost artistic how they laid down so majestically that they needed every single mat to cushion their already cushioned limbs. It bothered me how people didn't tell them off only because they were probably pushing four-hundo and it would be mean if anyone got in their way to bettering their lifestyle. What was really amazing though were the regular yoga girls and guys that somehow managed to achieve meditative state pushed into the corner of the room with no mats of their own. If you have never seen ten or so grown adults in lotus positions back to back and inches from each other, I recommend it. Those people who can meditate in that environment probably deserve some inner nirvana.

Oh god the free weights.

It was disastrous.

Have you ever been so pissed that you wrote a poem in your car? I surely haven't.

It took me 10 minutes to get the six plates I needed to start deadlifting. It was strange how some of the kids there held onto their plates and how hurt they looked when you asked if you could use it. If it wasn't for the regulars I probably would have taken twice as long to hunt down more plates. I don't even know how I got my hands on an olympic bar, considering there were only two in the gym.

I did my first set of five and for some strange reason strangers around me took that as a signal to start giving me advice. I know how daunting the gym can be for first-timers and I understand the value of advice and wisdom given to me by those who have achieved or are close to achieving their goals. Hell, if it wasn't for some random guy who suggested I try deadlifting and squatting, I wouldn't be enjoying the gym as much. But if it's some 15 year old and his friends hanging out at the gym during Winter Vacation with 8 inch arms and curling 25's with shite form, I start to have a problem with it.

According to them a deadlift rep doesn't count if you touch the floor with the plates when you bring it down. According to them and other's around them that deadlifting is dangerous and if I go any heavier than what I am doing right now I will break my back.

I learned a cool ability that day. The ability to stare at someone and hear them, but not actually listen to them.

If I sound smug or condescending towards these people, then fuck you. Motivation begins and ends from within and if these people's motivation begins at January then cool, I don't give a fuck. But when their motivation ends at February and I can go back to quick hour long workouts then I will be the last person to cry for them. If it doesn't end at February and instead keeps going, then cool.

It pains me to know that most of the people in the gym right now won't know the joy of hitting a big milestone in an almost empty gym while those around you clap.

Not really doe, fucking hell I hope February comes quick.