Resolutionists at the gym

It’s that time of year again. All the “Resolutionists” are occupying my gym, hogging my machines, using my weights. I cannot wait until February until they give up and go back to watching tv with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. The one good thing is that their prepaid six month membership keeps my annual dues low!

Damn. I was influenced by the Resolutionists.

I think I’m adding in two new resolutions. There’s nothing wrong with going with the flow of things, or honoring holiday traditions (no matter how tawdry or…oft made fun of). 

A Yoga 365 and a design/art type 365 I believe are in order.

The yoga one is pretty easy…well. To understand, for you, anyway. 

The other one I want to take a tin can and…do something with it. Change it, do whatever, find a way to recycle it, something. With a coke can or something similar. Daily. Along with the other things I’ve also decided recently that I need to do like

Record daily

And mindfully experiment with different ways of being.

My other ongoing resolutions:

get down to 110 by may/body fat percent of 15, whichever comes first
do yoga more, 
dance more, 
stop half assing things I do,
stop being sorry
getting better at billiards
stop wasting so much time

So I’m going to add those things to my schedule, and hop on my Bulletproof diet and get sexy and brilliant. 

Gym Etiquette: A Beginner’s Guide

I think the worst part of New Year’s Resolutionists flooding the gym is that they/you don’t know gym etiquette. YES, gym veterans should be patient with newcomers BUT we’re getting into February and I’m tired of waiting for them/you to learn gym etiquette on your own so I’m going to give you a crash course.

1. Rack your weights and put them where they’re supposed to be. 

50 lb dumb bells should not be next to 10 lb ones. If ONE person doesn’t put their stuff back the it starts a chain of people not being to put their stuff back correctly and the before you know it, the entire rack is a trainwreck by the end of your workout. Be considerate. Put your shit back and put it back correctly because I don’t like having to walk all over the damn gym to find the dumbbells I need because some asshat was lazy and left the dumbbells in the squat rack.

2. Don’t be an equipment hog. 

No, you can’t have 30 different dumbbells that are just for you and no one else can touch. You may have 2 sets maximum. The rest go on the rack. If someone takes the ones you want, you deal it. Either be patient and wait or do something else. 

No, you can’t use 10 different machines at the same time and not let anyone else use them. The only time this is acceptable is if it’s a weird time and there’s absolutely no one else in the gym. I go to the gym at 4 am and will take 2 different machines but I never take more than 2 and I switch between them quickly so I’m done with them pretty fast.

No, you cannot just sit at a machine and take forever on it. Get the fuck off instagram. I understand taking breaks but get your ass off the seat if you’re going to take a phone call. Other people need the machine and you’re making them wait because you’re lazy? Selfish.

Do what you need to do and move on. Taking an hour to do 5 sets in the squat rack when you KNOW someone else is waiting for it is rude.

3. Gym time isn’t socializing time.

I don’t want to talk to you. I’m here to workout. 

Also, if you do want to socialize, it shouldn’t affect anyone else’s workout. Don’t sit there and take forever because you want to chat. Don’t stand in the middle of a busy and narrow walkway and be in everyone’s way because you want to have a nice long chat with a friend.

4. Do not give unsolicited advice.

Oh you did online research and you’re really comfortable with how much you know? That’s great. I’m happy for you. 

But I don’t care about your fitness plan. I don’t care what you think about my fitness plan. I don’t care what you think I should eat. 

If I wanted a personal trainer or a nutritionist, I would hire one.

5. Don’t be an asshole.

It’s great if you feel confident. I’m happy for you. But there is absolutely no need to be an asshole. Other people workout here too. Be considerate. Do not make fun of other people. Do not give other people unnecessary attitude. Take your sense of entitlement out of your gym bag, because you should leave it at home. 

If you want to do any of these things, build your own gym and workout there. Alone.

About January she decided to see the tree for herself. She remembered that he described it as just behind the apex of the hiking trail, the point at which everyone caught their breath then turned back and left the way they came, just a little beyond following a disused trail and there it would be a lone tree of knotted knots under the humming electrical tower that drew crows and raised dust. “It’s ugly,” he’d said. “But you get to be alone for once. You have to see it.”

The trail began easy. There were mothers and fathers with strollers, fresh and plump faced New Years Day resolutionists, and some that were probably more local from the neighborhood below that these hills cut into and they were in clothing better worn and suited for a long hike. She tried her best to look focused as if she’d done this kind of thing all the time. She nodded back to the hellos and tried to keep a steady pace.

It started to thin out almost a half an hour into the hike when the hill’s incline approached near forty degrees and she could see the surrounding city grow gray, distant, and seemingly empty. There were a few jogging past her with good movement but with less advance than she’d expected. Some hikers overtook her while in conversation with their partners and the quiet carried their conversation far. And what was strange was that maybe the scents were in some way quieter here too as the soaps, deodorants, oils, and salts on those passing by carried in distinct wafts in strength unmuddled by the environs. And it helped that her nose was flared wide from the exertion, or didn’t help, she wasn’t sure.

It was easy again after two brutal climbs that left her sweaty and panting. She noticed that there were no trees anymore, mostly dried bushes and retreating patches of weeds and grass. The city was far now. All she could hear was wind. She could see to the hazy coast and on the other side she could see the valley and the mountains beyond. And there in between was the apex. There were a few persons before her approaching the height. She looked behind and saw even less walking the distance she had covered. She took a deep breath. She remembered what he’d said, that it gets easier, and agreed. The body adapts and she didn’t want to stop moving. So she kept forth.

She reached the top of the hill and found one other person. They kept their distance on the tiny area at the top of the hill, her facing one side and him facing the other. From this height she figured that she could maybe see .1% of the earth. She looked around and thought that a thousand hikes like this she could eventually get a good sense of what she was facing on this planet. She felt good. The air was cold, the sun was blued, and all the cells in her body lit up. She saw the man next to her start to head back down the way he came. She saw a couple approaching the top. She decided to continue.

The disused trail was encroached by a few bushes and overgrown stretches of cactus. She did not know that cactus could grow so wildly, like ivy, and so up high on this hill. She did her best to keep walking and not to consider the fact that the last person to use this trail could’ve been him those months ago. Her shoes became caked with dust. It was too quiet and she felt too alone and some small anxiety rose up in her that someone could be hiding behind some bush. But she tried to turn her mind away from thoughts like these and focused on the satisfying sound of her shoes on the gravel and dirt.

She heard the hum before she looked up to see the giant electric tower. It was a few minutes of walking away and she could make out the crows just as he’d described it. They were black dots in the sky circling the tower in the same pattern water flowed down the sink. And there was the tree under the tower. It was smaller than she’d imagined.

She approached the tree with a small amount of disappointment. It wasn’t as ugly as he’d described it and there was no real aura about it as it seemed to have when he described his hike. She placed a hand on the trunk and felt the dry bark make small bites into her palm. It was the only tree up here as he’d said but there was nothing special or holy about this tree. She looked up and saw the brown stained leaves. She heard the wind pick up and rattle them. She was disappointed. She’d thought she’d have a glimpse into something that she hadn’t understood about him but there was nothing but some tree and some lumpy feeling of loneliness. The crows’ noises, the humming of the tower, and the otherwise emptiness made her want to leave. She looked up past the tree and all there was was a flat, distant sky and she felt in someways that it could suck her up and leave no evidence that she had been here. She looked around felt that this was a wrong place to be. It was too much work to get nowhere. She should’ve just turned around where everyone else did. She didn’t understand why he had been so drawn to this place.

The hike down was brisk. It was nice to hear voices again and even to smell the persons around her. It was better when she could start to hear the traffic of the city. And it was great when she entered her car, took off her shoes, and said out loud that she didn’t get it and she never would. She started her car. She opened a water bottle and drank from it and quenched the lumpy feeling she felt swelling inside of her.