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Worlds Collide at your local gym.

Posted by on August 31, 2007

A couple weeks ago as I spent my time inside a nightclub laughing and carrying on with friends, my poor little car was violated in the parking lot. Not vandalized, but ROBBED. Thankfully no windows were broken because my good buddy Vince was kind enough to leave the passenger door open to make the evening more convenient for the local hoodlums pillaging the area. I guess this is the problem with manual locks the used car salesman told me about.

As I took inventory of what was missing I realized they made off with 2 pairs of running shoes, 3 pairs of new jeans awaiting hemming, and my prized possession, my mp3 player. Heartless bastards!

The whole ordeal didn’t bother me so much at first because what can you do, its shitty luck. However, I realized the severity of the situation when I went for my regular workout the next day without my mp3 player.

Instead of ignoring everyone while listening to the smooth stylings of motown or the self-affirming words of Phil Collins, I was forced to listen to whoever happened to be savagely grunting the loudest around me. Another unfortunate by-product is that I’ve learned once you can hear someone, for some reason you can smell them better too. Gruesome.

Once I got used to the smell of old man sweat though I started enjoying my workouts sans music much more. This isn’t only because my workouts are now shorter since I don’t dance in the middle of the free weight section anymore while waiting for Nsync’s Bye Bye Bye to finish. But for the first while I started noticing the various types of people around me and trying to figure out(in my own mind) why these people were at the gym. I started finding myself really getting creative in concocting stories to what a specific person’s motivation is for coming to workout.

Looking around the weight/cardio room today for example I noticed several different types of people:

One girl, mid 20s, average build, was running her ass off in a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt.

An overweight man, mid 40s sits at a shoulder press machine staring far away into nothing in between his sets.

A young girl, early 20s, works out diligently while talking to all of the men around her when she could be doing all of her same exercises in the women’s section of the facility.

A bulky mid-35 male does his bench press and then gets up and makes eye contact with each patron around him like he’s just lifted a small building and is looking for the key to the city.

The list continues endlessly, and I’m sure for each of the above people you’ve already come up with a small “Made for TV Special” in your mind about their lives.

Everyone that goes to workout essentially have one goal, better overall health and appearance. But its the other motivational factors that make us all human. Someone may be looking to improve self-esteem or better luck with the opposite sex. Some people may have had a health scare and are trying to keep their clock tickin’ while others may have been spooked by a close friend’s of relative’s health problem and want to avoid the same fate.

Whatever the reasons may be, inside the gym you have people from all walks of life hanging out together for completely different reasons. Reasons that you or I will never know. If nothing else, its an interesting environment from this new perspective.

Its funny the things you realize when you look around a little. I guess maybe I should thank Vince for leaving my door unlocked. Hmm, maybe not.

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