I saw something in the gym so disgusting and infuriating I thought I’d stroke out and keel over.
I’ve seen people doing some awful things in the gym.
I’ve been trapped in a sweaty man’s cloud of taco farts while I was doing intervals on a treadmill.
What I saw offended me more deeply.
There were four of them. I’ll be nice and call them girls.
One clear ring leader and three worshipers.
Three girls orbited around this attention whoring, little oxygen thief while she loaded up her bar for deadlifts.
Little Ms. Snowflake stands there doling out workout instructions to the other girls while she does nothing.
She’s not a trainer, maybe she’s a coach of some sort?
She’s got the neoprene knee sleeves. She’s got the wrist wraps. She must have come to lift…
I’m confused. It’s been a long time. How has she been here this long and not lifted a single rep?
She puts two more plates on.
Does she really warm up with 315 for deadlift?
I sense something is wrong. The sick feeling in my gut is there before my brain can process a rational reason for it.
Then comes the horror of realizing what’s going on.
She’s in shorts the size of a lifting belt. She’s all made up, contouring and everything.
Boom! Out comes the cell phone.
She took a selfie with a weight she never lifted. I know that abomination went right up on Instagram.
I wanted to scream. I wanted to smash her phone with the weights she should have been lifting and put that on Instagram as a warning.
But that would set a bad example so I came home and blogged about it.
Sitting here reflecting, though, I see more clearly.
It’s like parents and coaches always say, “I’m not so much angry as I am disappointed.”
She doesn’t get it.
She came to the gym and did the exact opposite of what it’s intended for.
The gym is a place where you improve yourself. It’s a place to tear yourself down and rebuild yourself stronger.
When you feel like life is closing in around you, the gym is where you get to push it back.
Countless people have walked into a gym lost and scared. A few months later their whole life is changed.
Through hard work, they earn the pride, confidence, and ambition to go do what they want in life.
Then there’s the others who take the short cut. Instead of owning your own self-worth, you can rent it from others online.
In native American lore, there’s a creature called the Wendigo.
Legend has it people turned into Wendigo’s in the winter, when cold and hunger drove them to cannibalism. A Wendigo could never be satisfied. It would wander in human form searching for people it could lure into the woods.
Every time the Wendigo would eat, it’s appetite would grow, so it could never truly be filled.
In gyms everywhere, through social media, peoples hunger for validation is turning them into modern Wendigos.
They post on social media, and get their first taste of massive instant approval. Slowly, they stop working out for themselves. They don’t build self esteem by conquering their fears. They get it through their phones.
They wander the gym looking for the perfect lighting and background for a selfie.
The body improves, but the soul is gone.
They don’t do it for the love of the sport. It’s something different now.
They’re no longer proud of a PR because someone else just beat it.
They find themselves focusing on training the body parts that get the most likes.
They wear clothes just hoping to get a shout out from the brand page.
It was bad enough when it was just people’s egos in the gym. Now it’s the whole world, 24/7.
I’m all for getting content for Instagram while you are in the gym, I do it all the time. Just don’t fake it.
You can’t put a price on becoming the best version of yourself. Document that journey.
It’s yours and you alone can lay claim to it.
Don’t be a Wendigo.
Nobody’s follower count ever lifted a single pound.