Dear Gym Guy Who Just Doesn’t Care,

You’ve been there – right?  You’re at the gym, and someone comes in who just doesn’t know how to use the equipment.  As they walk from machine to machine, and apparatus to apparatus, they do everything completely wrong.  People snicker, point, whisper, laugh…

And I’ve been there.  I’ve been streaky with my gym attendance.  I never worked out in high school, as I was a chorus and drama nerd, I worked out for the first time in college during the summer while at camp with Nathan Walker, a guy who had a neck thicker than Brock Lesnar.  I got into a second time when I got my first job out of college at Westbury Christian, working out alongside Coach Steve Hawley.  I fell in love with it, and for about 2 years, worked out consistently.  I got into it again after about a 5 year hiatus when my wife and I moved back to Houston.  This time, I got really into it.  Sadly, after life caught up with me and I had a few shoulder and joint injuries, I stopped.  So, I’m not perfect, I get it.

When we moved back to Nashville, for about the first 18 months here, I worked out pretty consistently, got to where I could move a decent amount of weight, and was pretty knowledgeable about how to do all the lifts and use all the equipment in any gym.  Recently, I’ve gotten back into working out after taking about 8 months off.

Today, I ran into that guy.  You know the guy I’m talking about.  The one I mentioned above.  The one who uses every single machine completely the wrong way.  The guy who works his shoulders out on the leg press machine.  He was about 50 years old, and he was wearing an old Hulk Hogan style shirt that was about 20 years old.

He walked into Anytime Fitness today, and I was about done.  I was doing a superset with dumbbell curls to finish my workout, combined with some triceps pushdowns. He walked by, stopped, turned around, walked back to me, and watched me finish the set out.  He looked right at me, clapped, and told me “Great job, Boss!” and then walked on, to do back rows on a pec deck (also known as a butterfly machine…yup…wrap your head around that one.)

In between sets, you could tell he was listening to a group like ACDC or Metallica, as he was doing full fledged air guitar, spinning around, and at one point doing a jump kick while jamming on his invisible Gibson SG.

And while I judged him, and mocked him in my head – I had a realization.  This guy was having a heckuva lot more fun than me.

He didn’t care.  He didn’t care if he was using the machine wrong.  He didn’t care if he looked silly.  He didn’t care who was watching.  He didn’t care if he was doing it right.  He didn’t care if people were staring.  He just didn’t care.

It hit me.  I want to be that guy.  I want to be the guy.  I wish I didn’t care, but I do.  I care about what people think about me all the time.  I want to look right.  I want to act right.  I want to do things right.  I want follow the rules.  But sometimes, we need to be the guy that just doesn’t care.

When I got done with my workout, I walked over to him while he was finishing a set of biceps curls using a leg extender machine, and when he finished a set, I gave him a high five, and said “Great job man!  Keep it up!”

May we all have a few days in life when we just don’t care.

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