I love The Oatmeal but today's comic is not me, and it's not my Husband. I know because we talk at length about how we behave in the gym. Husband and I are not very alike in personality even though we like a lot of the same things; he tones down my more brashness and I lift him out of his insular nature and force him to play and make friends.
Today's Oatmeal was about people looking at each other in the gym and making assumptions about them, all the while those people are looking at the next guy and thinking their lives would be better if...and so on. I'm not going to say that doesn't happen - of course it does! But not like depicted in the cartoon. I'll see a really fit person and think "Wow! They put a lot of work into looking like that, I wonder what thier routine is." If I'm on the treadmill I will look at the display panel of the people around me and compete with them. I will say shit like "They're running at 9kmph? I'll run 9.5." "Tjhey quit at half a mile?! Wow that's weak, I'm running a mile just to show them." Completely disrespectful of the fact they may have been in there for an hour already and this is a finish.
I have thought to myself that if so and so wants to lose weight they should up their cardio and stop swinging those tiny half kilo weights around. I have looked in utter despair as some women contort themselves into yoga positions I'd dislocate a hip if I tried them. For me they gym is competition and pushing myself. To be better than I was the week before, and to be better than the person jogging beside me for that short time they are beside me. Not a better person. I mean a better runner, biker, weight lifter whatever. Just for that set. I could care less about their lives at that moment. After workouts, then I'll chat with them and all that competitiveness disappears. In fact I'm thankful to them for being there to help me challenge myself. I've been humbled and humiliated many times too by those who are slick gym masters. That challenges me more. I love those people, not envy their physiques in a way that I pine and moan over, but wonder if I push myself could I get that too? Then I tell myself they probably only eat egg whites and oatmeal so no.
Then again I've not been to a gym in six months so...