Tuesday, January 22, 2008


There's a lot to be said about perception and I thought about that while I was at the gym last night and noticed an older woman taking a pretty fast paced aerobics class that was full of younger women (you know, in their mid 20's-30's). This woman, had to be late 40's, early 50's (no, that's not OLD, but it was older than the others), and although the rest of the class was able to keep up with the instructor, this woman was at best, one step behind, but kept at it and didn't give up and walk out.

And then, there's another instructor who teaches the Spin class. By "gym" standards, to look at her, you'd think, how can someone like THAT teach a Spin class. She's my height 5'6, no muscle tone that you can see, no definition, wears the stereotypical "big girl" gym clothes, you know, oversize t-shirt over her spandex and yet you can still tell she's "not in shape", again, by "gym" definition. But let me tell you this, this woman has an abundance of energy and has NO problems teaching that Spin class. I've watched women, that are slender, muscular, in "great shape", stop their bikes and walk out, EXHAUSTED! before the class ends. (I don't take this Spin Class because the bikes don't allow for a "coast", and my knee can't handle the sudden stop).

Then there's people like me. I'm 5'6, 190 pounds, I know many read, 190, wow, that's fat, and you're right, it is overweight, which is WHY I'm in the gym 5-6 days a week. Plus it gives me something to do and well softball is coming up. So, to look at me one might think I'm lazy and why would I be in a gym?

I'm so far from lazy it's silly. Not that I don't have my lazy days,but we all do. But I can say this and feel good about it. At 5'6, 190 pounds, I can bench press 75 pounds, 3 sets of 10, that's almost half, I've been away from the gym for awhile, of my body weight. So I can do that, among other things and ride my bicycle 30-40 miles no problem, and do other cardio as well. I have to ease back into running because I popped my kneecap recently, that was a new and miserable experience.

And yet, I see these huge, muscular guys who, at best can lift 200+ pounds 6-8 times and that's it, that's all they do. And these women, who have great bodies, but clearly are there to get in on the dating pool. They walk a little on the treadmill, do some crunches, then spend the rest of the time looking at themselves in the mirrors. (the men do the same thing) I do that too, but it ain't because I'm looking pretty and kissing my muscles. I do it to make sure I'm doing the exercise right, because I sweat like a pig in a pork factory. It's a GYM, you're SUPPOSED to SWEAT!

So you look around the gym and you see all types of people in there. All shapes, all sizes and you have to remind yourself....it's all about perception.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate the gym.

Last time I was at the gym, some crazy guy followed me around asking me if he could spot me. He had the nerve to wag his eyebrows at one point. Tosser.

5:07 PM  
Blogger J R Estelle said...

Deb - For the most part, the men at this gym are there to work out and they'll help you if you ask them, but never the other way around. It just blows my mind that they think HUGE muscles are where it's at. I'm real big on "whole body" fitness.

5:51 AM  

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