Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Standing Out in the Gym

My last post discussed a number of things I do at the gym to stand out in a positive way. Here are a few more thoughts:

8. Develop a stretch routine that will help protect your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Funny thing is, if you are good at it others will ask about it. And, in no time you will have others who want to stretch with you. This is a particularly fulfilling opportunity, in that you can work with older folk to help them improve their joint mobility and reduce their chances of straining muscles. Oh, and in the process, reduce your own risk of straining muscles and joints. And, if there are any younger folks who are smart enough to realize they need to stretch to protect their muscles and joints - hey, they might even join in.

9. SMILE. I don’t really care how hard the work out is - if you smile the world will smile back. DO IT!

10. End every contact with others with “See you tomorrow”. It makes a difference.

11. Remember, when someone new starts working out with you, to focus them on the basics that you had to go through to develop your skills. And let them know the goal is to perfect the form for each of the exercises. Reps, more challenging positions, and heavier weights will follow in time - provide they don’t hurt themselves by rushing too fast.

12. Take pride in the routine you develop - pride based on the fact that you are working on strengths and exercises that you know will help you age gracefully.

13. BE POSITIVE! There is one older gentleman at my gym who always wants to talk about something that has happened to him – getting cut off in traffic (and almost getting into a fight when he chased down the person), getting annoyed when someone wants to use the equipment he is sitting on… He has an unbelievable number of stories about how he has been aggravated. He is a poster child for failing this rule.

This guy is one of my pet peeves. I avoid him. Not just because I can’t get him to quit talking, but because what he says is not uplifting. There are so many good things in life – celebrate them – share your happiness, not your aggravation.

I am going to add a few other pet peeves below – things that make me avoid folk:

14. No discussion of bodily fluids.

15. No discussion of medical conditions. That’s for old folk – and you ain’t old (unless of course you spend all your time talking about your medical conditions).

16. I would think some things wouldn’t need to be mentioned, but unfortunately things like body odor and bad breath are issues. Seriously. Clothes need to be washed regularly. If you like the new wonder sweat-wicking synthetics they may need washed after every workout.

I wish I could say that folks will let you know if you stink. They won’t – they will just avoid you.

17. If you are not using a machine – get off of it. They are not provided as a convenient place to spend 15 minutes texting while others wait to use it. Flip side, if you are doing a long set, let others jump in while you are recovering between sets.

Kelly (my wife) was concerned about my retirement. She did not know how I would handle the loss of social interaction that came with not going to the office everyday. The gym has filled this loss very effectively, and allowed me to build friendships and make peoples lives better even as I satisfy my need for social involvement. Believe me, it is more satisfying than texting people incessantly or telling everyone about what you are doing on Facebook. Really.

Muffin and Muggles

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