How to be happy at the gym (do you even lift?)

In which Mae explains everything you need to know and find in order to be happy lifting weights at the gym…

Do you ever see people who seem happy at to the gym? Do you ever wonder if they’re sane? Do you dream of also being happy there?

I’m the perfect person to help, because I partake in the weights. I’m a lifter. I’m hardcore.

I’m so hardcore that one time I sat outside of the gym for an entire hour talking to my lifting buddy and then we went grocery shopping instead. So yeah, I’m a real shredder.

And I’m going to advise you how to be a happy lifter, like me.

First thing you need to do is you need to find the right stuff. Like shoes. And motivation. Sure, there are days when I would rather go to Homesense and look at flower pots. But then I dig deep and I find the drive I need to also look at the mugs.

Next step, find a buddy. I found a buddy and we regularly trick each other into going to the gym and lifting more weights and it’s going awesome. Delusion is way more easy and productive in a group.

Next, find your “dude voice.” Try saying stuff in a deep, yelling sort of way. Don’t just count “five, six, seven.” Pretend you’re the Hulk and say huffily, “fiver, sixxxx, seeevvvvvennn.” Or instead of counting, just say in your best Austrian accent, “Awnold, Awnold, Awnold.”

Find your anger. Sometimes I just whisper under my breath, “yes Luke, let go of your anger…” And then also, “Yoda, help me.” Often, on the other side of anger is laughter, which is nice.

Also, find a happiness-inducing outfit. I prefer things that stay on. I have a mish mash of gym clothes. Matching is optional. Power clashing is nice.

Oh yeah, also find the willpower to care less about sweat. I used to try to conceal it, which is madness. Like, there’s a puddle of water under my mat, and I’ll just try to cover that up or deny it’s mine. Yeah, and that sweat on my butt is also not mine either. Just give that up. Sweat is your friend. Related, I used to notice the pretty girls with make up and they never sweated in embarrassing ways. Which brings me to my next point.

Find the will to never look at pretty women at the gym. Also, don’t try too hard be pretty at the gym. Some women are pretty at the gym, sure. But don’t hate on them. Instead, just be Arnold Scharwzenegger.

Also, find coping mechanisms like code names for the other lifters you recognize. Like there’s this one guy I respect and we call him Converse. For obvious reasons. There’s one woman that rocks and she listens to heavy metal so we call her Metal. And there’s Red Shirt Guy. Finding code names helps make the experience less intimidating and more familiar, which helps a lot if you are paralyzed by a crushing imposter syndrome.

Oh yeah, find the capacity to deal with the creepy dudes that oggle us. There’s no excuse for it. “Dealing with it” means ignoring them when we want to. It also means practicing our withering return stare if we think that will help. I think it also means reporting those dudes to the gym staff when we feel like doing that, but no pressure. Honestly, there’s no right and wrong here, just do what feels comfortable for you and remember that it’s not your fault.

Next, find your squint. I refuse to say “resting bitch face” even if I respect the other women in the gym that have one. But squinting is focus. Squinting tells the world, you’re working hard lifting the weights. Squinting is your friend.

Find the humility to avoid attempting to lift all the weight, first thing. Ha ha, nobody ever did that. I certainly never tried that. Lol.

Also, avoid the person who hoards the weights. Seriously, you have two arms, maximum, and two hands, maximum, so why do you have a fortress of weights around your body most of which are just resting on the ground? Like, hey, you’re seriously ten feet from the rack which is designed to store the weights.

Find the mojo to avoid thinking about the people who don’t wipe down the equipment properly. Or the people who wear chick-sauce and other scents, or the people who haven’t showered in weeks.

Which brings me to the last thing.

Proper form, blah blah, injury prevention, blah blah blah. Research and trainers, blah blah. Stretching and cool down, blah blah, blah blah blah. You know the drill.

Have fun!

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Posted by Mae Furhr

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