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!