Recognizing the Greatness that Surrounds You
Every week without fail, an elderly gentleman who attends my gym asks me, â€œYou wonâ€™t get mad at me if I say you look marvelous?â€ I canâ€™t tell if this is just his way of greeting me, or if he forgets heâ€™s already used that line.
Either way, it brings a huge smile to my face no matter how often he says it.Â Yesterday, he and I went through our routine of him telling me I look marvelous and me blushing. Then he says to me, â€œYouâ€™re embarrassing me over here lifting all that weight. Youâ€™re making me look bad.â€
Funny thing is I aspire to be him one day. At 82, he is an avid gym-goer and competitive ballroom dancer. He travels to various places like Las Vegas to compete against dancers half his age. And he started only 2 years ago when his wife passed away.
I see him in the gym two to three times per week, depending on what time I go, and his workouts rival those of guys younger than me.Â After his comment about how much weight I lift, I told him my goal is to lift as much weight as he does when I am in my eighties.
Oftentimes we get so caught up in whatâ€™s wrong with our gym atmosphere that we forget to notice all of the amazing feats of fitness we see in our daily lives. Perhaps your commercial gym doesnâ€™t cater much to the Olympic lifters you love to admire on YouTube, but itâ€™s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
If you see someone in your gym going above and beyond the average workout, speak up. I donâ€™t think half of us would lift as much as we do or reach the goals that we do had it not been for the kindness of strangers.
During the same session yesterday a guy was working out next to me whom I hadnâ€™t seen before. He was moving a decent amount of weight, and performing heavy compounds like squats, deadlifts, and bench. Admittedly, he put himself through some brutal circuits, but to each his own.
Toward the end of his workout, he threw a full snatch over his head for 3 repetitions. Itâ€™s an amazing thing to see in person no matter when it happens, but this guyâ€™s workout volume should have had him crawling to the locker room. So to throw a full snatch at the end of his sessionâ€¦ completely mind-boggling.
I had to say something. I was blown away. Come to find out, he taught himself how to snatch from the ground by watching YouTube. By that point I donâ€™t think I could have been any more impressed, but I was.
You can think of this blog post as reminder to pay it forward at the gym. As you continue your journey toward greater health, improved fitness, and that perfect physique, also takes note of those who are making great strides along their own fitness journeys. And, say something, will you?
A little compliment can carry a long way in the gym.
Hereâ€™s to an incredible start to what I believe will be your best year yet. I have a strong feeling 2012 will bring you great things.
To help you kick off the New Year right, here are a few articles that I read this morning and think you will enjoyâ€¦
Occupy Muscle Beach by Lou Schuler
My Personal Journey to Hell and Back by Jason Ferruggia
2011 Video Awards by Ben Bruno
10+ Ways to Rock 2012â€™s Face Off by Roger Lawson
10 Rules of Healthy Living by Adam Bornstein