Why I Prefer Sweating In A Gym and Not In A Forest..

I have a LOT of outdoorsy friends. Growing up in Montana, that’ll happen. I also am pretty outdoorsy myself, don’t get me wrong. I truly enjoy being outside in the sunshine, walking through woodlands, swimming in rivers, camping under the stars, all of it. I love that shit. Really. But I have noticed something over the years that I don’t love. That is when my super athletic, active, outdoorsy peers chuck a big bowl of judgement and arrogance on my head when I talk about how much I love working out in a gym. I hear things like (in the most snobby voice you can imagine) “Ugh, how can you work out inside, I just need the fresh air in my lungs.” to “You know, working out inside on those machines isn’t even that good for you.” First of all, I am pretty sure my working out inside is better than the alternative, you know, not working out at all. So anyways, I decided to vent about that for a bit and then explain a little bit about WHY I prefer sweating in the gym and not in the lovely outdoors.

I think the first reason is very simple. The energy. The second I walk into the gym I instantly feel this excited, tense, competitive energy that I absolutely love.  There are nerves. There is anxiety. There is pain. There is triumph. There is defeat. There is everything. There are just SO many different emotions and feelings that emanate from each person that honestly inspires me. I love that everyone in there is trying to make themselves better. Who knows what their reasons are. They might not be the best, or they might be the most inspirational story ever. But one thing is certain, everyone is there to improve themselves. Being amongst a room full of people working towards their own betterment motivates me more than anything.

The second reason is also simple. The bodies. Now I know it’s most people’s worst fear to hear that people are actually staring at them at the gym but thankfully most people are mostly concerned with their own bodies to care about yours.. Except me. I love looking at the diversity of people’s shells. I was talking to a massage therapist the other day and I realized I envied him because he got to observe and interact with SO many different body types. I just find it fascinating how radically different human bodies are and I actually enjoy observing the ways in which those diverse bodies accomplish great things.

The third reason is again, quite simple. I go to the gym to sweat. If my shirt isn’t soaking when I leave, I didn’t work hard enough. I am 100% serious about this. You can verify with my poor gym bag that smells terrible.. While I am at the gym I am focused and I am there for a reason. To improve my physical and mental health. On the other hand, when I go for a hike, I don’t want it to be a freakin’ sweat bath. I want to enjoy being outdoors and I want to breathe in the lovely fresh air, not wheeze it in. I don’t want to be in pain while I am amongst the beautiful aspects of nature. To me, that sort of ruins it. I like getting my heart rate up anywhere.. But I just REALLY prefer to do my hard core body improvement, in a gym.

Now, I don’t expect everyone to feel the same way as me about this. I, unlike some of the people I know, understand that everyone is different and everyone has different ways of doing things. But I just couldn’t help feel that most of the people in my life were looking down on me because I’m running on a treadmill and not on a trail. And that sort of pissed me off.. So I just wanted to share with them and other people who find it so hard to believe people want to work out inside WHY I love going to the gym so much. I felt like maybe they just really didn’t know. So now hopefully they do!

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Why Ephemeral?

e·phem·er·al
əˈfem(ə)rəl
adjective
1.
lasting for a very short time;
short-lived; transitory

 

The first time I saw this word I think I was in my second year of college. I was proof reading a poem for one of my friends when I came across it. I realized that I had never seen it before, a realization that I absolutely love having, and so I looked it up right away. I immediately felt a connection to the word. Transitory, transient, fleeting, these were the synonyms I saw that just resonated with me so deeply. This word spoke to so much of who I was at the time, and still am. Physically and mentally, I am always seeking to move. One of my biggest motto’s in life is to never be stagnant. Never to stagnate in my growth as a person, never to stagnate in my learning, and to never stagnate in maintaining my relationships.

 

I have kind of been known in my family as the one who just really can’t stay put, and I like it that way. For the past four years, I have never been in one place for more than six months. I don’t really know what it is, I crave change and variation. So I guess in a physical sense this word directly describes me.

 

I think it is really interesting because one of the synonyms for the word ephemeral is transient, which I loved. It reminds me of the word fleeting which just seems so light and airy and free to me. Transient is such an interesting word though, because it has such a negative connotation. I can remember people in Missoula complaining with disgust, “Ugh, the transients are back”. They were referring to the nomads that pass through in the summer with their giant backpacks. There is just this crazy stigma about people who don’t settle in one place in this country. It seems to me that people think “Oh okay it is fine when you are young but once you hit a certain age, there are certain expectations”. Cue the judgmental looks that say, “Isn’t about time you start thinking about settling down? Isn’t it time for you to move out of your rebellious wild young phase into debilitating, boring routine life? Shouldn’t you be acting like a grown-up now?” Well guess what? I don’t want this phase to end. Stability sounds terrible to me right now. I understand some people want it and need it and that is okay but I don’t think this is just a phase for me. I think it is a part of my soul. I don’t want to ever settle because contentment breeds complacency and complacency breeds stagnation and stagnation breed mental paralysis. And that just breeds, ugh, gross. I am getting a weird feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.

 

I need to be moving and learning and seeing and feeling to breathe. How can you do that when you adhere to the rut of so-called normalcy? You can’t. Well, I can’t at least. So, there you go, that is why I love the word ephemeral and chose to name me and my blog after it. It represents constant change and fresh renewal and growth. Those are things I want to embody and expose myself to all the time.