Saturday, November 5, 2011

Attitude Check vs Fat Check


I’ve been taking it slow at the gym for about two months now because of compressed nerves in my neck. It’s not all that uncommon but I started losing the feeling in my fingers and after seeing an orthopedic surgeon about the issue, and then on to a spine surgeon after the MRIs revealed it was in my neck, I am now on the physical therapy train. It’s all going pretty well, but of course the worst part of it all is that I have to take it a lot easier than my mindset allows me. Now of course this entails a lot of rest between sets and taking my weights a lot less intensely as I had before. Almost as bad is my ability to listen to what is going on around me, and as many would know I am not a very sociable animal.

Needless to say, today I received a lesson in why I never made it as a Personal Trainer despite the fact that I have a degree that would say otherwise. I lasted less than six months in the industry after I received my certificate and then entered the manufacturing world. I just don’t have the temperament, and I get many reminders of why I don’t. My ability to be a vapid know it all does not come in handy either. Most people are NOT amenable to advice, and usually I find myself pissed off after I offer some. I just can’t help it though and it is my cross to bear. On the rare occasions that I can just keep my mouth closed and not offer any commentary, I am usually treated to the gems of ignorance from others that still remind me why I just don’t like people enough to be a Personal Trainer.

Take the three idiots that were dominating the conversations at the gym today. You had the woman who was speaking loud enough for everyone to hear her, what I will assume is her husband that coddled her stupidity, and the friend who was a new audience for it all. This woman came in about the same time I did and after a quick trip to the changing room, her and the perhaps a husband made their way to the stair-masters. They spent roughly three minutes on the steps, and along comes said friend who hasn’t heard “the story” yet. Now of course everyone in the gym gets to hear “the story” now, and not while they are on the stair-masters but after they have both gotten off and are standing there ranting to the sympathetic friend.

I have seen these two bozos once or twice a week for a year or so, and they never actually complete a full five minutes on any workout, but they inevitably spend at least an hour in the gym chatting. On this occasion the woman is finally explaining what her real problem is, or at least what she thinks is her real problem, and that would be her trainer. I am happy to announce that it is not me, and this is because I don’t do this for a living. She stood there for over a half hour, basically half of my workout ranting about how she spends all this time in the gym and she has gained twenty pounds. She’s used the trainer’s full name at full volume dozens of times, and not once has she done anything to break a sweat that didn’t involve angry banter. Do you see a trend here?

Now to contrast this with something tangible, in the exact same amount of time that she stood there, her husband backed up every word of what she said, and the new recruit into the cult of “Idonwanna” to rave about how that poor trainer screwed her, I had a pretty good workout. Now for me this was a very light day but I did, three sets of cable pull downs, three sets of lat rows, three sets of arch angels, three sets of incline rows, three sets of dumbbell laterals, and three sets of military presses. I also had time to chat with others about the idiots we can’t hear the stereo over, get about a half a gallon of water in me, and do the precise amount of recovery time between each set. Recovery time should be equal to the amount of time it took to do the set. I can’t speculate the amount of calories I had burned but if I had been on a treadmill doing 4.5 at an incline of 15 like I usually would on my cardio day, I would have burned approximately 800 calories in the time that these people vented the reasons they can’t burn calories.

The moral of this story is that you can be whatever you want to be in this world. It takes effort, not sympathy, and there are as many people in this world out there willing to encourage you as to stand and listen to you commiserate. Getting the gym membership is a great start. Using the gym membership is an even better step to achieving your goals. Having the willingness and ability to step outside of the things that probably caused your problems to begin with takes more effort than some people have in them. Attitude adjustment starts BEFORE you do what you need to, to lose weight and feel better about yourself. If you do that then I assure you that you will have a much better outlook on yourself. You don’t need people to stand with you, you need people to stand behind you sometimes.