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Thursday, February 27, 2014

People are odd. Okay, so that's not news for any of you.

Today, the entire family went to the gym after work. That is a busy period for my gym (as I'm sure it is in most gyms) and one of the three ellipticals I like is broken. DD got on one of the remaining two...right next to the one already being used. emoticon So I got on the treadmill. I don't like the treadmill, but I need to mix it up, so whatever!

Anyway, there are six treadmills in my gym (small gym) and no one was on any of them. I took the second one from one end just because I like to not be on the end. Partway through my treadmill, a woman got on the treadmill to my right. Still no one on any of the other treadmills. That bugged me (really lady? move over!!!) but that's a personal problem and she really didn't do anything wrong. As she started her treadmill, she kept looking at my display. Then she set her machine to go faster with a higher incline than mine. I didn't notice at first, but she kept looking at my machine and I couldn't help but notice.

What did I do? I just did my normal workout. I discovered that I HATE running uphill - it's HARD!!! But, the only way to get better is to practice doing it. So, I practiced...some. When I was running, she upped her incline to 15. I don't know when she lowered it - I was too busy trying to breathe!!

After we left the gym, I asked the family if they noticed...they had. And, apparently, a woman on a treadmill three down the other way (I don't know when she got there - again, trying to breathe) kept looking at me and what I was doing and then checking her DH's display. (She was walking and playing with her phone, so she couldn't possibly compare her activity to mine.) I have no idea how I compared. I don't care.

Which means brings me to my question. Why do people compare themselves to other people in the gym? Or anywhere for that matter? I will admit that I do notice what some other people are doing. If I see someone who looks to be in good shape and doing an exercise that I'm not familiar with, I'll look and try to copy. Helps me learn and add variety. Also, we are having a challenge at the gym - we are walking to different towns within our state. One of the other regulars (and my friend) told me that I have a target on my back - he's going to catch up with me. That kind of comparison, friendly competition, is motivating. I get that kind of "comparison".

But, if the guy next to me is running at 8.0 on the treadmill, I will notice and be impressed. But I won't feel like I should compare myself to him. I don't know his story and he doesn't know mine. Maybe 8.0 is slow for him? Maybe I'm recovering from an injury? Maybe his wife just left him and he's working out the grief, stress, anger by running at an ungodly speed? I don't know. I don't care. I'm there to make myself healthier. If I can learn from someone else, I'm happy. If I did what I planned to do, I'm happy. Heck, some days if I just made it to the gym, I'm happy!

My point? Do what is right for you. Don't worry about the guy next to you. Just do your thing and be proud you did.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I run into similar issues Barb. There are two elliptical s at my gym that everyone likes. If you are not waiting at the door to rush on to it, you end up waiting for ever.

    But the larger point is the WHOLE family is at the gym. That is something to be proud of. you are setting a good example
    1473 days ago
    . . . . which is why I like to work out alone! LOL!!! It takes all kinds to make the world go round!!!
    1474 days ago
    Wow! I notice the strange stuff at the gym. Like the other day some lady was on the treadmill with a pair of pants on and one leg was missing.

    Some guy picks up things on the floor by licking his finger.

    Some really beastly guy keeps prancing in front of me like he is body beautiful!
    1475 days ago
    Being so competitive really sucks, doesn't it? emoticon

    I have to say those treadmill displays tempt me too to look and see what my neighbor is doing. Albeit I don't go into competition. Reason enough to stay off the dreadmill altogether... (hate the dreadmill!)
    1477 days ago
    Maybe they look at you as someone they wish to be like? That if they work harder and try more they can get where you are. Or maybe they're just silly. People are strange. I find that most of them seem to think that they have to "better" than the person next to them or they aren't whole. I dunno....I am working hard at just being the best me I can be, I sure don't want to worry about being bigger and badder than anyone else.
    1478 days ago
    Well said! That is kind of creepy that she did that.
    1478 days ago
    I think the whole thing just sounds creepy! Why compare to you or anyone she doesn't know??
    1478 days ago
    Just gotta laugh at the competitive nature of some people. I'm with you, just do my own thing. I also agree with Sherri, I would take the one on the end and then put an 'out of order' sign on the other one next to me.

    1478 days ago
    I agree with everything you said.

    It sounds like this woman has issues with insecurity, if she is trying so hard to "beat" someone who is a stranger to her.
    1478 days ago
    I hope that doesn't ever happen to me! It would of made me feel weird! Like someone behind you when you're at your computer. I don't care for that either!
    1478 days ago
    well, I would always pick the treadmill on the end...unless there was someone on the one right next to it, and then I'd want to put an empty treadmill between us. What can I say, growing up rural as me I have a great need for lots of personal space and I always need an easy exit.
    Why the need to compare? I don't know. I just know that if you have time to be looking at what I'm doing, you're probably not working out hard enough, ha ha.
    1479 days ago
    It's easy for me to tune out the details of other people's workouts. I don't wear my glasses in the gym. I simply can't SEE the display on the next machine!

    The funniest thing I've seen in the gym lately was a guy who kept taking pictures of the display on his treadmill. I was impressed -- I can barely run and listen to music at the same time!
    1479 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Rhetorical answer... because it takes all kinds

    You are comfortable enough in you own skin and mind to continually do what it is you need to do and then simply do it.

    1479 days ago
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