Last Friday I was a wannabe bully at the gym. I went to 24 hr Fitness with my husband to workout. I don't have a membership there, but I have gone as his guest a few times when he is home for a holiday. I usually just go up to the gym I work at whenever I want...unlock the door with my key...and I usually have the entire place to myself. I can set up little stations. I can drop the weight if I need to because we have rubber bumper plates. I don't ever have to be around people that I don't like or know...because at my gym...we are like family...and I love my "family". There are not mirrors to admire oneself in...it is a completely alternate universe to 24 HR Fitness.
I get really frustrated and stressed in a "normal gym" situation...or a "globo gym" as Crossfitters call them. I always feel like everyone is staring at me...like I can't do anything without SOMEONE watching. I recognize that much of what I do is advanced and different. Not everyone does Olympic lifts or pull ups or technical Barbell lifts...stuff like Power Cleans etc. But I recognize that I am the weird one, so I understand.
My husband and I do not hardly ever workout together, but when we do he likes me to help him with movements or lifts that he is unsure of or needs coaching on. I had our workout written up and we got started. When we got done doing Deadlifts and Front Squats, we left to go do some other stuff. He told me to leave my towel and stuff over there since we would be "right back". I had no confidence in that plan...I knew someone would come along and "steal" our spot...that's life in a "globo gym". Sure enough...some skinny guy in his 30s came along and began changing the weight...oh well...sucks but what can you do. That's what I thought until I saw him pick up my workout notebook and throw it against the wall like a piece of garbage. I was starting to feel a little warm...I mean WTF? Dude?!? Why you gotta throw my crap around like that?!?!
I kept calm and continued. I told my husband that we would just front squat without the rack. We would use the bar we set up for deadlifting...change the weight...power clean it up and then front squat over to the side. We did. When I was done, I was standing there watching my husband...coaching him and I see this guy back squatting and in all honesty...I have NEVER seen a shittier back squat in my ENTIRE life! He was really upright (front squatting his back squat) and his knees would bow WAY in when he would come up out of the squat...and not just a little...I'm talkin way in...like his 2 knees were about to touch. His head was cranked back up to the ceiling. It was horrendous. I wanted to give him a few tips, but I could tell his ego couldn't take it...so I bit my lip and looked the other way. We continued working out.
I came back for our last round and I hear this goober turn to the guy next to him that was shoulder pressing and start talkin about everything that everyone else does incorrectly in the gym. I was so shocked and for some reason...it made me really mad. This jerk throws my book...can't back squat to save his life...and has the "juevos" to talk shit about other people?!?! I looked at my husband and said, "I'm about to tell this guy off! So you better just walk away and pretend not to know me if that's gonna make you uncomfortable." He looked nervous. I wanted so bad to be a bully. I wanted to be mean and tell him what I thought. I wanted to point out everything he was doing wrong. I wanted to tell him he had chicken legs and throw his book against the wall like he did mine. I decided that I couldn't feel good about that...so I controlled myself...eventhough it took A LOT of restraint.
Then a big, cute, buff guy...probably my same age...walked by to get a drink and saw me lifting and said, "Wow...you must be an athlete." I was taken aback and my husband said something...I just smiled and LOVED it (I know...pathetic). It was actually good because it diffused the way I was feeling and made me look at things from a different angle. I feel bad for what a wannabe bully I was. I didn't act on it...but the intention was there. I realized that instead of being aggravated and arrogant, I should feel so lucky that I have been taught how to lift correctly...that I have had the opportunity to learn from experts like Mark Rippetoe. It was a real eye opener for me. It made me LOVE what I do. It made me realize how important my job really is and it made me rethink the way I see other people at the gym.