Me, clearly bumming, in my happy place.
I spent the last two days doing the CrossFit Level 2 training, which was chock full of nonstop learning. But, being a very shy introvert with ADHD, it also left me with a lot of time to think about things that happen in my gym, and probably every other gym out there. In one of my very few moments of speaking out loud, I said something about wanting to ban sick people from working out and getting everyone else sick, which garnered a quick “don’t even get me started,” from Nadia, our inimitable cruise director with a relentless smile who has, surely, seen it all. And germy students is certainly an issue we all know well……
As gym owners there are actually several, constantly recurring, times when someone will walk through the door and we want to – and probably should – say “Get The Fuck Out!” But too often, we don’t. At least I don’t. Though that may be about to change.
Here are some times when, seriously, DO NOT GO TO THE GYM. Please. For all of our sake.
WHEN YOU ARE SICK. No. Seriously. No. A small confined space in which we are all breathing hard and heavy, sharing equipment and interacting more intimately with each other than we would in a normal setting. You and your germs need to stay the fuck out. I mean it. We don’t need to catch what you’ve got. I know, you want to “sweat it out” and see if that helps. Great. It might. Here are some non-communicable ways you can do that: A seriously hot epsom salt bath in your own tub. A long run or bike ride. Get in a sleeping bag, wrap blankets around yourself and drink hot tea, at home. Yes, blood flow and heat are great ways to fight illness. But don’t come into a small, sweaty gym with people you care about and breathe all over them. Okay?
WHEN YOU HAVEN’T EATEN OR SLEPT IN, LIKE, FOREVER. I love it when people come in looking bedraggled, and the first thing they tell me is they haven’t eaten or slept well and they feel like shit. Unless you are fully accustomed to Intermittent Fasting and it’s a part of your regular fitness regimen, working out when you are that essentially fatigued is, more often than not, a recipe for disaster. Can it be done low-key and well? Of course. But in my experience, the people who are in that state and dragging themselves in are not the ones who are naturally inclined to moderation. Get your sleep and nutrition back inline and come kick it with us tomorrow. We will still be here.
WHEN YOU’VE BEEN IN EVERY DAY FOR THE LAST FOREVER. Rest days, people. They’re real, and they’re good. They are actually when you see the biggest gains, as your body knits itself back together. At a very base level, and intense workout breaks your muscles up. When you rest, your body throws all its systems at rebuilding those torn up muscles to be better than they were before. That’s why even the bestest, bad-assest athletes have rest days. I will not sit here and watch you break your body down relentlessly and use my gym and equipment to do it. Not only is it bad for you, it’s bad energy in my gym, a bad example for our other athletes. I’m all for “active” rest. Take a walk. Do some yoga. Go dancing. Get a massage. But don’t wear yourself down to the fibers, it’s not good.
WHEN YOU ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AND DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ COACH. Most of us know there’s no such thing. But if you think you’re the exception to this rule, please take your all-knowing self to the nearest Globo Gym and leave us out of it. We have invested a small fortune in our education and the continuing education of ourselves and our trainers. If you don’t want to learn something from us, please don’t join. Besides our coaches being generally awesome, they are the rule-bearers for our gym. If you can’t listen to and respect them, then you are not a member of our community and you can save a lot of money by being the master of your domain at a gym where education and community is not the cornerstone of excellence.
IF YOU NEED TO REST AN INJURY THAT YOU WON’T DO IN OUR GYM. This one’s a little trickier, because I am a die-hard believer that no injury has to keep you from working out. We take great pride and joy in modifying any workout for any athlete while they heal. HOWEVER, and you know who you are, if you’ve been complaining about the same injury for 6 months, can’t do half the things, and aren’t doing anything about it, get out. Go to a doctor and come back to me with a game-plan. OR if you know what you shouldn’t do, but keep doing it anyway, get out. Come back when you can follow doctor’s orders and respect your body. I promise, we will always be here for you, but respect for your body has to start with you.
That’s it. There are some times when you don’t want to workout and totally should. PLEASE COME TO THE GYM IF:
YOU HAD A CRAP DAY. Even though you were planning on working out, your goddamned co-worker / friend / kid was a little asshole and now you just want a drink / cookie / taco / nookie. THOSE ARE THE BEST TIMES TO WORKOUT. If you’re lucky, there will be Slam Balls on the menu and you can give that ball a name! We ALL have days like that. (You can have a drink / cookie / taco / nookie after you workout, if you still want it.)
YOU HAD TOO MANY REST DAYS AND YOU DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY, YOU’LL START TOMORROW, REALLY. Come on in, pronto. Stat. Yes, vacation makes it hard, inertia is a bitch. Come on in, feel free to tell us that you had to drag yourself in and are going at 70%, if you’re lucky. It’s all good. We ALL have days like that.
YOU HATE THAT WORKOUT! Dude, for real. There are workouts that I look at and think, “no fucking way.” (Except on the months when I’m programming, because I am the best in the world at programming things that I love to do.) Those are the best days to come in. Why? You hate it because you aren’t good at it. You hate it because it’s hard for you. Which means that’s your weakness. That’s how you die in the Zombie Apocalypse. (I will get caught trying to run away. I hate running. But I love Cindy. So for those of you who wonder why I program Run Cindy Run, it’s because it’s the only way I can make myself run. I get to do Cindy, if I run.)
SOMETHING TRAGIC HAPPENED AND YOU WANT TO WORKOUT BUT ARE AFRAID YOU’LL CRY ALL OVER EVERYONE. Can I tell you a secret? That’s my favorite. Come to me. Please. In the years we’ve been open, I have had several people walk into the gym in tears because someone they loved died, or they just had a painful break-up, or didn’t get a job they really wanted…. and they just wanted to come to Rocket and workout and be with us. If there is a greater compliment in the world, I can’t think of what it is. Sweat it out, cry it out, know you are not alone.
This is about community, all of us, together, and it always will be.
Which is why you can bring us your stress and your fears and your weakness. But leave your fucking germs at home!
(And I love you.)