motion at the gym

I am relatively new to the gym. I have been working out mainly consistently for the past 4 weeks. And I had a break, but before that I was working out consistently for let’s call it 3 months. So in all, let’s call it maybe 4 months of mainly consistently lifting weights. That’s maybe an important clarification. I have been running something like 500 miles a year for the past few years. But I have not had a consistent in the gym routine.

I have tried. Lowercase try though. Like I have done some weight lifting – but I have never, or I should say had never, really made a concerted effort to lift consistently.

Now, though, I am really consistent. I am lifting 6 times a week. I am tracking it in an app called Strong. Super basic simple app. But does the job.

And I am seeing great results. I am past the noobie gains phase. I hit that maybe a month into my weightlifting. Felt great, yes.

But now I’m mainly focused on form. Like I go to the gym and you see all these people – people certainly more cut and stronger than me – who seem to be doing really terrible form. Like really just swinging weights around with very little intentionality. Just feels stupid and lazy. You know what I mean? They lift for the bicep curl and then just swing the weight back down. So yes, sure, they can lift really heavy. But only one direction. It’s half the workout. Its bad form. It is not how it’s supposed to be done.

But then again, they are stronger, so who cares?

I think it’s a pretty good analogy for life. You can look around and see all these people doing things, in different places of their lives. And you can see them and think — hmm, how are they so far ahead? Perhaps they are sloppy characters. Or they are just not that good at things yet they are far ahead. Or perhaps they are unethical. The list goes on.

And I see them and think to myself – I don’t get it, terrible form, yet relative success.

And the truth — the harsh truth is that the world is complicated. It’s hard to assign causation to things. We live in a complex system. There’s a lot going on.

And also, details really don’t always matter in the short run. Like perhaps the person lifting – with bad form – could have gained muscle way faster if they had done good form. Or perhaps they would have avoided an injury. The same thing is true in other aspects of life. People can skip the steps. They can skip the details. And they can still get outcomes.

But that’s not to make a lesson out of them. It’s not to say they are doing things the right way and that there’s only one way of doing things.

I used to understand high level why people enjoyed giving advice. And that was the primary motivation for giving advice – was to satiate people’s egos. They like to feel important. More than that, though, recently I’ve been feeling like that people really want to feel less alone. And being able to talk with someone. To share advice. It really makes people feel less alone. It makes people feel like they can be there for them. It makes people feel like they have a purpose.

And I…I feel like I have been missing that lately. I have been on the cusp of it at times. But my purpose is honestly purposeless. That’s my purpose. To just exist. To explore. To chase curiosities.

I keep trying to defend myself against that. To set up meetings. And meetings. And over and over I keep trying to find myself busy.

But what’s the point of that? It’s like lifting at the gym with no intentionality? Sure I may get somewhere eventually.

But it feels reckless.

I am allergic to that stuff. Or at least used to be. I literally developed a physical tick from anxiety and from having to deal with all this bullshit that pops up in the world. From having to explain to myself that it’s okay that people are not doing what I ask of them. My stress literally defeated me. Or nearly. I made it out. But barely. And now I’m rebuilding. And I’m thinking about how to build up. And I’m making decisions that I think if I stick with them will compound for a long time.

And one of those decisions I’m making – at least a point of awareness – is to care about the details and not give up on them.

At the same time though, I am also making a choice to not care about trying to change other people’s actions. To just accept that I cannot manage other people’s minds. It’s not my job. People may get upset. People may be unhappy. I am not trying to cause either of those things to be clear.

But if they are…well they will get over it.

So that’s what is top of mind right now.

Less motion at the gym. More intentionality. More care. See how that works for me.

I find the gym can solve a lot of problems. Just like running. And writing.


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