I hate gyms.
No, seriously. I hate the smell, the noise of these stupid machines, the grunts of exertion resounding around the room. I hate weight training. I hate treadmills, steppers, stairmasters.
I love running outside. I love swimming. I love my martial arts (I’m doing more of a mixed martial arts style by now because I’m mixing TKD with ancient Korean martial arts, do Tai Chi in the classic Yang style, do iaido and just got started on fighting fans). I even like doing my forms with weights on my wrists, ankles, biceps and around my waist just because it’s not classic weight training (and let me tell you, some of them are harder than weight training can be. Ever tried doing a slow kick on waist height with a five-pound weight on your ankle? Ouch!).
I guess I’m a gym-o-phobe. My sports club here in Germany has a multitude of courses to chose from, not one of which is a classic gym workout. They keep me occupied during these cold winter months.
They also put up the tennis court cover halls this week, so I’m going to start on that next week or in two weeks depending on my partners. Can’t wait to go chasing that yellow ball again! My fencing trainer’s license should be coming through some time this month as well so I’m going to be coaching once more.
Hell, I still need to work. Dammit!
The funny thing is that though most of my sports put me in direct competition with everyone else in the class, none of them involve the kind of body-judging grunt-adjusting thing that goes on in the gym. You’re not competing about your bodies, you’re competing with your bodies.
I’ll never have a model’s figure (full thighs, butt, muscled arms, wide ribcage and shoulders), but dammit can I do a drop-kick on a model’s 6′-high head. Coming back from a workout, I always feel energized. I don’t feel down, or bad about myself because I didn’t compare. Even if I couldn’t do something (and yes, I’m looking at that fucking triple jump-kick combo thing I should be doing that has me landing on my butt all the time), I’m more fired up than anything else. Even if I lose a bout, I don’t feel like being a sore loser. I feel like I’ve learned something.
I guess that’s what irks me a lot about traditional gym workouts- the lack of learning progress. There’s only so many exercises you can do on those machines or with those weights after all, and your body offers limitless opportunities to play with it.
That said, I should be sleeping right now. Have to go to the office in five hours. Oh shit!