Gym couples. Funny gym. Gym stories. Gym life. There are an extensive range of channels, videos and quotes out there portraying the gym as an insane or incredible place of achievement and failure.
Sometimes what we see is funny. Someone’s trousers are ripping or someone is falling off a machine and in those moments the only thing that they can do is laugh.
Then there are the times when we don’t understand how a human body could possibly be twisted in a certain way or lift what is more than double of our own body weight. And then there are the real life scenarios we all see very often. Possibly even so often, that we don’t even pay attention to them anymore.
We accept what other people do around us. That they are present. We may acknowledge familiar faces once in a while. Initiate a flirt when feeling brave. We focus on our session. Possibly talk to a friend.
But how often do we actually see what is going on right next to us?
If you ask me: not often enough. Especially if you’ve been hitting the gym quite frequently for an extended period of time. You’re becoming part of your environment and the things that once scared or surprised you are now completely normal to you.
When I started lifting I felt quite self-conscious. Not that I was shy outside the weights room, but I most certainly was in there. Especially when I went there all by myself. This male-dominated space. Am I using the right technique? Why is that person staring at me? Are these tights see-through? Thousands of questions running through my mind and diverting my attention from what actually mattered.
Now gym is like a home, my home. (I do in fact spend more time there than back home…). And quite often I just zone out, focus on my training and neglect everything, everyone else around me.
However, some days I train and let my eyes wonder. And I wouldn’t even know where to start talking about what I see. Of course there are instances of questionable techniques that make my body hurt just by the sight of it! But I see much more. People grow. Develop. Build strength. Courage. Fail. Get frustrated. Succeed. Laugh.
In short: Gyms are sites of stories that are worth being told.
And I will tell them.