There’s a famous saying by John Cassis that goes — It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice. I’ve said that before and I’m sure you know how important it is to me to be kind. That is why, today I want to talk real quick about being nice, in the gym.
Before you go all A-crowd on me, hang on for a few minutes. This is a short read and probably a good reminder to all of us, especially if we work out regularly in the gym. While it may apply to so many other places we normally hang out at, I will give a few specific examples that can make your heart swell, and possibly get your adrenaline up in a non-physical way, the next time you go for a work out.
Because the next time you’re in the gym, you have a mission. And this mission is all yours to seize.
Ever since I started powerlifting about a year ago, I’ve been surrounding myself with really really strong people. Guys and gals. But the ones that always hit close to home are the gals.
Prior to this, I’ve been alternating gym days and workout days at home, and only utilise my membership if I do feel like there’s a need to use some of the weights I don’t have at home. Ever since this too, I’ve been seeing some regular faces in the gym, as I go around the same time every day.
And recently, I took part in my very first powerlifting meet at the Singapore Powerlifting Open 2017. And boy were there lots of strong girls.
Take for example, Insyirah. I followed her on Instagram a few months back and when I first saw her at another powerlifting event, I couldn’t help but marvel at how strong she is and at such a small size.
Natalie Tiong was one too. Prior to the meet, I don’t really know her until that day when she beat multiple National Records for her deadlift and squats.
Heck, the girls in my powerlifting team. Daphne, who is also a coach at Strength Avenue was someone I’ve followed for quite some time. Having represented Singapore in Asia Pacific Oceania meet, she is strong. I’ve always been inspired by her posts on Instagram, but yet I felt intimidated at the same time. #irony I know.
Azimah was one I met by chance thanks to an old friend. Going by the Instagram handle @muskelkat, she is one of those amazing girls who you’d follow to be and feel motivated to get out the couch and do something for your health. Even though I met by chance, I probably still won’t have the guts to approach her.
My point is… The only reason why I got to where I am today is not just because I am deeply interested in the sport, but I guess it pays off to be kind and a little uncomfortable.
If I hadn’t have the guts to talk to Azimah, who was training under my current coach Andyn at that time, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. If I was still intimidated by Daphne, I probably won’t get that pep talk she gave me before my meet. If I let my ego stay with me, I probably won’t be able to squat 100 kilos, deadlift 107.5 kilos and bench a 45 kilo.
And all this made me think, right?
How many times have we walked into a gym and see a familiar face, someone who is genuinely working hard and yet we do nothing to acknowledge them?
How many times too have we walked into our gym, at 6am, sleepy and not bothered, only to give the girl at the reception counter half a smile?
How many times have we said thanks, verbally, instead of just nodding our head when someone gives up their bench for us?
I know for sure I don’t do it often enough. Even though I wouldn’t say it’s our fault, we can do something about it to make this world we live in a kinder place. We can definitely put in some effort, especially if we go to the gym every single day, to genuinely say hi to the people around us. And we can definitely practice random act of kindness no matter what time of the day we’re working out because it doesn’t take much effort to smile.
And here’s one more thing. Sometimes it’s hard to be nice. Sometimes we just feel like screaming and saying something nasty to those people who just don’t clean up the weights after they’ve used it and that takes good strength and thoughts. Sometimes it takes shit loads of self-awareness.
But remember this, it’s always better to be nice. Always.
So do yourself a favour. The next time you’re in the gym…
Say good morning (or evening) to the girl at the reception. Ask her how her day was, and listen attentively. Say thanks when she passes you your locker keys. She’s human too and she’s doing her job, a very good one indeed.
Put the weights back on the rack after you’ve used them, and put it back on the right spot. And yes, especially if you have deadlifted 100 kilos. Not funny when someone else have to do that for you.
Tell that girl or guy that she’s doing an awesome job on her squats, deadlifts, sprints, kettlebell swings. Whatever. He or she will appreciate it. Trust me with this.
And most importantly, spread the kindness along wherever you go. It doesn’t take much and it cost you nothing. In exchange you get hours of endorphins running through your blood, and another person might even do the same to another. Like a smile, kindness is contagious. The gym is a good start, and you’re one kind person who reads this.
And you never know, someone else might step in to give you a compliment one day, when you’ve finally lost that all that weight, or you’ve managed to beat your own personal record in whatever you’re doing.
Kindness is important. Don’t underestimate it. And if we all can practise it, the world will be a better place to live in for sure, and the gym… I think I’ll love the gym more. What do you think?
Have you ever met a nice person in the gym? Or what is the nicest thing someone has ever told you, in or out of the gym? Let me know by leaving a comment below. 🙂
Have a good weekend ahead.
On a side note, Mother’s day is coming. Get her flowers. That’s a nice thing to do too.