Working on more than muscles.
Wednesday is leg day at the gym. Yesterday was Wednesday, so I hit the gym like I do every weekday and began my leg day routine. I’ve taken to doing goblet squats over normal squats because I enjoy them more. So there I was, doing my first set of goblet squats, when this massive dude waves at me through the gym mirror. Having successfully captured my attention, he proceeds to tell me how to improve my goblet squat form, from lifting the dumbbell to the proper positioning of my legs. After he made sure I was doing it right, he smiled and went back to his routine.
I took a few things away from this unexpected exchange.
First, it was a very nice gesture and I’m grateful for the surprise education. I could feel my legs working in different ways and the form was way more efficient than I had been doing on my own. So thank you, Massive Gym Dude, for the unsolicited advice. I didn’t know I needed it!
Second, I actively worked to improve one of my worst traits. On my worst days, I can be an infuriating know-it-all. Like I know everything I need to know and further instruction on the things I’ve been doing are unnecessary. I’m not like that out of a sense of superiority, but rather it comes from a need to prove to everyone (including myself) that I can take care of myself and I don’t need my hand held, so to speak. It’s a dumb frame-of-mind and harmful in the long run, but it’s something I need to work on. And I’ll be damned if, in the back of my mind, I was thinking “I don’t need any help because I know what I’m doing!” when Massive Gym Dude approached me to offer help with my goblet squat form. But I took his advice, applied it, and realized I actually did need some improvement after all. I didn’t feel foolish. My pride wasn’t hurt. In the end, I came away with valuable lessons that I will be applying in future workouts because I actively suppressed one of my worst traits. Go me.
Last but not least, Massive Gym Dude has a red and white stripe on his workout pants. While it wasn’t official Mass Effect merchandise, the pattern was enough to make me think for a moment, “Oh damn, this huge dude must be N7. I better pay attention.”