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.
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.