This morning, I visited the gym before I got started with my day – in a bid to free myself up to do whatever I pleased as the day progressed. Contrary to popular belief, this just made me incredibly sleepy, and I didn’t really get much done over the course of the day: it wasn’t one of those instant lifestyle changes that made me feel energized and ready to conquer the world.
I’ve often wondered why it’s harder to build up a fitness habit than most others. It’s something that needs daily dedication and commitment, and a lot of investment monetarily and emotionally. It’s also one of those strange things that’s very result oriented and process driven, which forms the basis of several people’s lives.
Having been to the gym for a month every evening, switching up to a morning session, I ended up observing several things.
I feel like the gym is a place where habit and a person’s social class become extremely obvious. It’s quite terrifying, but it got me thinking about how unaffordable having hobbies and passions can be. In today’s world, it’s almost like the “hobby” market is sold as requiring a bunch of equipment or running the risk of serious injury. In the morning, I saw people at the gym without shoes, with a bunch of blisters and red soles as a result of walking on the treadmill – and I understood the privilege of having the opportunity to purchase a pair of shoes whenever they wore out or I felt they had lasted their mileage.
This is possibly true of other hobbies as well – to enjoy playing an instrument, you need to purchase an instrument, to enjoy reading, you ought to purchase books and build a library. To enjoy drawing, you need to have paper and the finest tools stationery stores have to offer. Suddenly it feels like the focus of the hobby has been extended to the market the hobby intersects with. The worst part is that it’s also led to this really strange situation where people compare hobbies and decide they’re better off than someone else whose interests are a little more diverse than theirs.
That’s odd to me.
But going in the morning, the crowd at the gym is so different. For starters, they’re much older. People who come in the morning to my gym are far older than the evening crowd – they seem like professionals who have set routines in place, unlike us “youth” who will do things at our whim and fancy. Moreover, they seem far more serious about their routine. Everything was set in stone – breaks were timed, the music was selected, and the weight increments were defined. It felt, serious.
To someone who is trying to go to the gym for fun – to basically achieve “weight goals” as a by-product of other things, this was strange. There was suddenly pressure to get done with my workout – because if I didn’t I somehow contributed to the slowing of the whole gym and slowing everyone else’s progress.
It was a very weird morning.