I have a friend who is doing some amazing things in terms of fitness. She’s part of The Biggest Loser contest going on now at Gold’s Gym Shrewsbury. Prior to the start of this contest, she was a big part of our group fitness classes at the gym. Whenever she wasn’t working, she’d attend. As the contest began, she was uncertain about whether or not she should sign up, but eventually decided to go for it. It’s been such a joy to watch her through this challenge and witness this part of her fitness journey. When I’m not teaching classes, I’m taking them with this friend and today I wanted to share a quote taken from a conversation of ours. I think it’s so important in the fitness world:
“It is not about competition or out doing one another in any way.”
My friend used this line in a communication we had regarding taking class together on the upcoming Wednesday. I couldn’t help but read what she had written and say to myself, “YES! YES! YES! You get it!” I think this is a very difficult concept for some to grasp and for many gym-goers to come to grips with, really. It really doesn’t matter if Bob runs on the treadmill and Billy uses the elliptical trainer. It makes no difference that I spend time on the step mill while some others prefer the bike. It’s not what you do, necessarily, it’s that you do it!
Often times, I hear the exact opposite of my friend’s quote, things like, “I almost used as much weight today as so and so, who’s been doing Body Pump for so much longer,” or “I made it a point to be sure I was going as fast as you in Cycle today.” Although I know this can be an internal motivator for some but the reality is, your workout shouldn’t be a competition, unless it’s a competition within yourself. It’s like looking for validation, in a way. We need to take pride in what we do, because we do it for ourselves, not for other people, right? Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s just the way I see it.
One of the things I really like about a group fitness atmosphere is that it’s just that, a group. A collaboration of people with the same goals: To get a workout, of some sort, completed in a certain amount of time. People working at their own level to get the workout they need/want that day. In Body Pump, you can make a variety of weight selections, in Body Step you take a riser or two out from under your step, in Cycling you can play with your resistance as you see fit. It’s not (or shouldn’t be) about what your neighbor is doing, but about what you are trying to accomplish.
I could ramble on for another few pages, if I had the time (or if I thought I wouldn’t lose a large number of you to a bad case of the yawns). I guess the message I’d like to leave you with today is to find something or some things that you like to do – in or outside of the gym – and do them. Do them to the level you want to do them and take pride in your own accomplishments.
With that said, I do have to say that I am extremely proud (as I see them take pride in their daily challenges/accomplishments) of all of our Biggest Loser contestants at Gold’s. I’m watching these folks not just develop a relationship with fitness, but I see them bonding with each other in a competitive contest that lacks the cut-throat “competition”. I do hope that my friend whose quote inspired today’s blog will let me talk her into sharing her experience when the contest is over. She’s an amazing woman and I’m sure you’d enjoy hearing about her journey.
Carri Nelsen of Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury.
Got questions for Carri? E-mail them to blogs@TheZoneMag.com.