Monday, November 1, 2010

Keep the Fitness Snob at Bay

I really couldn't think of a better title for this blog. I had recently read a post by someone who admitted to being a fitness snob. They were dripping in sweat after a workout, and watched someone else who was on a recumbant bike reading a newspaper finish up their workout, and they admittingly judged them and said that the person just wasted 45 minutes of their life that they will never get back.

Boy, I don't know. I guess I just don't agree with that. Perhaps age has made me all the more wiser, but I try hard not to judge others. But I'll admit that in years past, I've seen others at the gym and thought something similar, like why do they bother? But the older I get, the more I realize that you shouldn't judge. How do you know that the person on the bike wasn't using the bike for therapy for knee issues? I have a 70+ year old mother who uses the bike for 20-30 minutes a day to help with the physical therapy on her knee replacement. I'm sure she isn't dripping in sweat, but she's out there doing something to better her health. How do you know that someone isn't recovering from heart issues, and that's all they've been released to exert by their doctor? And how about the fact that at least they are MOVING, rather than sitting at home in their recliner or couch? My point is, anyone who is making it to the gym, regardless of the intensity of their workout, is still there DOING something, and trying to better themselves or their health. Should they really be judged so harshly?

When I see people at the gym, that's really all I think about. That they are there to better themselves. But really, to be quite honest, I'm RARELY thinking about others when at the gym. I'm pretty much focused on myself and MY workouts and have little time to reflect on how hard others are working or what they are doing. But I've run on the treadmill next to people who are overweight and are walking at 2.5 mph on the TM. Believe it or not, the person was dripping in sweat as they did that, and for THEM, the intensity at that speed was a lot. For me, it would be nothing, but that doesn't make me better than them or my workout that much better. We simply have different levels of fitness. And really, can you judge someone without knowing that their personal fitness goals are? You may see an overweight person sitting on the bike at the gym, reading, and thinking that they are doing nothing to reach their goal to lose weight. But how do you know that weightloss is a goal for them? How do you know it's not to strengthen their knee, or they are simply "warming up the muscles" before beginning a lower body weight training routine? The fact is, you don't know.

I wish that people could be less judging and more supportive. Maybe then people would feel less self-conscious about going to a gym to workout.

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