Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome new folks to the gym

Just before the end of the year, the only other fully staffed off-campus gym closed its doors for good and our gym, the Weight Club, welcomed many of its former members. In a lot of ways it has felt like creating a blended gym family. Some accommodations were made to help the new folks adapt (i.e. changes to the class schedule) and some party fouls happened (i.e. the taking of another's spin bike which I understand is a big no-no).

Generally, there is a lot of sizing-up happening.

We've added more of everything - more strange folks, more strong folks, more mirror watchers, and grunters. More talkers, more prancers, more chicken legs, and more eternal benchers. As a person who generally likes a wide variety of people, it's been kinda fun! (Except for the increased difficulty parking, ugh!)

Today I met one of the new folks, Cathy. She's about my age, maybe older, and she asked me to spot her on decline, where she had 135 loaded on the bar. She did a set of 6. This woman had strong beautiful arms!! (and beautifully manicured nails, something I have never had and never will). Turns out on bench she can rep out 155. Zoinks! I told her I was glad she was there, that I admired her arms, and that she would raise the bar (pun intended) for all the women in the gym.

This reminded of a great post I recently read by Kellie Davis called Recognizing the Greatness that Surrounds You. The gist of it is to go ahead and pay a compliment in the gym where it is due - pay it forward!

Over the holidays I saw a young guy doing front squats at 205 lbs with awesome form, depth, and power. You'd better believe I told him so!  It turned out he was home on break but keeping up his lifting for college track. (The guy was massive though, javelin thrower maybe? Or piano thrower? Do they have that?)

Who can't use a bit of encouragement now and again? So even thought it's easy to get competitive in the gym, or pool, or whatever, one loses nothing, sacrifices nothing, by giving a compliment where one is due.

So....welcome new folks! Just don't take anyone's designated spin bike and I think we'll all get along fine ;-)