For most of my life, I hated anything dealing with physical activity. I dreaded gym class, mostly because of my unathletic abilities (and the whole exercise-induced asthma thing, too). I was forced to take a 1 credit soccer class my freshman year, and I did everything I could to not have to run. Plus I hate soccer, so I wasn’t happy about having to play it three times a week for six weeks. My junior year I lived with three athletes and dated one, so everyone was always at practice, workouts, or games. It became motivation for myself to go to the gym. To run no less.
By the end of the year, I could run a mile on the track in about 10-11 minutes without dying, and I was pretty proud of myself. Over the summer, I tried my best to run, but I would rather run on the track than on a treadmill. My goal for the fall semester was to run three miles, and that was hindered when I sprained my right ankle in September. I was able to get back to running about two months later – and I found out I can run 1.5 miles in about 16 minutes.
Recently, I’ve discovered the machines in the front gym. I’ve been using the elliptical for an hour two to three times a week, and it’s great because it doesn’t put as much stress on my knees and I don’t feel out of breath like I do when I run. Plus I can watch TV while working out, so that means SVU for days.
All of that being said, I’ve run into some pretty annoying things about the gym. Below are the four worst things about the gym.
The people who run the opposite way on the track
I’d rather run on the track than the treadmill, and plus on the track I can watch whatever team has practice in the front gym and boys attempting to play pick-up basketball in the back gym. I run the track counterclockwise, and 9 times out of 10, others run the same way.
Until there’s that one person who decides to mess up the whole pattern and run the opposite way. This makes it especially difficult if there is a lot of people up on the track, running/walking at different speeds. So you not only have to worry about the slow-pokes but that one person who you could have a head-on collision with.
That one person that uses the machine next to you when there’s other empty ones
As a Communication major, I had to take a Communication Theories class last semester where we covered more than 20 theories that we use in our everyday lives, even if we don’t realize it. The one that best relates to this is Expectancy Violations theory. It deals with how individuals react to violations of social norms or expectations they have for others. To explain this, my professors have used this example: if you’re in a movie theater and all of the seats are open, you assume that someone isn’t going to come in and sit in the seat right next to you when there’s so many others open. So if you’re at the gym, you assume that if there’s six other open machines next to the one you’re using, someone is going to use one at the other end.
Until they don’t, and it just makes it awkward. Don’t be that person.
Having to dress in layers during the winter
Now that winter is upon us, it means dressing in layers to walk to the gym from my apartment. It’s only about a three minute walk, but I think this time of year is the only acceptable time to dress like a complete mess, especially if I go to gym right after class. I leave all sweaty and gross wearing my fur-lined hooded winter jacket, sweatpants, and sneakers while holding whatever boots I wore during the day plus my backpack is stuffed with books, folders, my computer, and my #OOTD. So please excuse my appearance to and from the gym until spring.
Feeling mediocre at best about your abilities in the gym
This one is a big one for me. I’m pretty inexperienced when it comes to the gym, so it was intimidating for me to start going on my own last year. I stuck with what I knew, which was running. The front gym – where I discovered the elliptical – has a bunch of other machines for arms and legs, and I’d like to use them except I don’t have the fondest idea and don’t want to look like an idiot trying to use them. Everyone makes it look so easy, but I know I’d be fumbling about.
Also my apologizes to anyone who has ever seen me run because I most likely look like I’m dying.
Just remember one thing: Anyone who is judging you at the gym is not focused enough on his/her workout. That person is an idiot. Not you. Keep doing your thing. I love to watch Bravo on the elliptical!
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I feel you on the expectations violation theory. Though not necessarily at the gym, but in general. Keep up the great posts.
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