By Bobbe White
How do we hold ourselves back in life? Let me count the ways.
I’ve been noodling on why and here’s a big one: We hold ourselves back when we believe people are judging and watching us.
Consider this: people are thinking waaaaaaay less about us than we imagine. I test this theory whenever I work out at the gym or take a class. Most members are high school or college-age. There are a handful of mature athletes in the house. (I use both those terms loosely: mature, athlete.)
Trust me people, they’re not watching us, critiquing us or caring one bit about our squats thrusts. If they give one second of thought to our presence, it might sound like this:
What you HOPE they’re thinking about you: “Sure hope I can work out like that when I’m his/her age!”
What they’re PROBABLY thinking (if anything): a. “Hope I never get THAT old!" b. “Don’t old people have their own gym and workout times?” c. “What old lady/man? Where?” As they step over you.
I realized a long time ago that my presence is of very little concern to others in most situations. I’m okay with that fact. And you should be too.
On the flip side, I enjoy observing them, when they don’t know it. No, not in a creepy way. Geesh. I’ve watched gangly, awkward boys come back more grownup after a summer or semester. I’ve seen young timid girls workout solo instead of having a twin-friend attached to the hip. Eventually, they become more comfortable in their own skin. I’m amused at the cajoling and berating they exchange and also receive from the trainers, who push them for more.
Mostly, I attempt to absorb the raw energy that permeates the gym environment, when young people are present. Then again, maybe it’s the rap music that’s playing…
If and when the gym sets hours by age group I will abide by that schedule. Until then, I intend to show up as it fits into my schedule and be perfectly comfortable. A few of us have already coined our workout times, should we be segregated, such as, “Old Fart Friday!”
But, and this is a BIG but…what if I’m all wrong and the gym rats don’t like mature men or women sharing their weights and space?
First of all, there’s enough space for everyone. Secondly, the kettle bells I use are ones you cast off years ago. Finally, like it or not, one day, you’ll be us. Bratty-looking emoji.
Isn’t it refreshing to realize you’re NOT under anyone’s microscope but your own? Live your life in perspective.
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