Gyms Are For Dead People

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Today as I walked into the gym I realised something that I have been postulating for a while.

Gyms are the most depressing places in the world.

They are filled with empty people working tirelessly to perfect their surface (and internal to some extent) and the level of superficiality in there makes me nauseous.

Nobody smiles. Nobody speaks. People walk around like mindless drones who occasionally make contact and fear any interaction whatsoever. Most people are trying so hard to look like serious athletes. The level of pretence is laughable.

No sum of money is worth standing in a container filled with deafeningly bad music and superficially conceited drones.

People in gym’s aren’t active. If you want to see active people; go to a library. Those people are actually working out.

You can train your body till your heart desires, but it will always just be a vessel destined for perpetual decay.

My brain is my gym. It is where I workout the most. And when my body is laid down to the ground, it will be my words that transcend me. Not my abs.

An active mind is worth a million perfectly toned bodies. Minds change the world. Minds educate our children. Minds hold the seeds of growth and reform. An impeccably chiseled body will only serve you up until death.

Your mind is your most valuable asset; work on that. Your words live on; your body doesn’t.

Gyms are for dead people. Libraries are for the living.

Don’t let anybody make you believe that having a perfect body is the optimum for life.

Strength comes from your ability to think critically about power structures, social injustice and global development. How much you fucking bench press has absolutely nothing to do with strength.

Certainly, training your body and training your mind are not mutually exclusive. But, if you spend more time in a gym than you do in between the pages of a book or engaging in community work/activism. You’re fucking up.

If you want to get fit, I recommend you to train outdoors. Nature has no opinion of your body and isn’t trying to compete with you. The gym is a spectacle.

If you want to have your soul sucked out by mindless vanity, feel free to join your local gym. But, I definitely won’t be going back after today.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow, while I like the notion you are trying to get across, this post seems very short-sighted. Yes, some gyms are like what you mentioned and a majority of their inhabitants may be missing some life points. BUT, that doesn’t mean we should negate the whole system!

    Why can’t we advocate for a new system with a combination of mind and body. What about you go to your local gym and encourage intellectual conversation about “power structures, social injustice and global development” as you so stated.

    Why not start a gym book club. After a group has finished a book, they all go to the gym, workout together, and discuss it in intellectual debate. I used to do 30 minutes runs around a track with some teammates and we would all stay together and discuss various topics to make the time go by faster as well as keep us all at an equal pace.

    People should never see gyms as getting your “soul sucked out by mindless vanity.” In my experience it’s often not about vanity but more self-doubt. Calling them drones doesn’t help the case. You said they don’t speak and fear interaction. They are not being superficial; gyms are sometimes just filled with awkward tension and nervous doubt. Try going to a gym and being encouraging, positive, and friendly. Encourage interaction and stimulating conversation. It’s amazing what a positive experience can have for a person at a gym.

    Gyms add to the trifecta of Body, Mind, and Soul. Why not kill 2 birds with one stone? Gym Book Club or Gym Bible Study?

    Be the change you want to see in the world. Your blog post makes a decent point, but don’t just discount others for their choice of recreational activity. Enlighten or encourage them if you see fit, but if they don’t take to it, never discredit them or use name-calling (drones, dead people, etc) just because their recreational endeavors don’t mirror yours.

    Love to hear your thoughts,
    ~Joseph
    @theArtofRec

  2. Zoe says:

    you haven’t been to my gym… everyone is very friendly its like a second home. (its also part of a community center, maybe that’s the difference)

    1. Zoe says:

      gah! its also where I get the much time with me, myself, and I. I’ve been an athlete all my life and its part of how I connect my sprit with my body.

  3. Stephanie says:

    This is why I climb! I have found that, at least with the group I hang out with, climbing is as competitive as you make it, no one is out to impress anyone else, and there is an enormous social element to it. Best of all, getting up to the top of the wall / cliff / boulders is a combination of mental and physical acuity. I also run outdoors as many months of the year as I can, and I love how nature does not judge. One of the trails I run on has a horse path, and my favorite runs are where the riders let their horses match my pace and we run together for a few minutes.

  4. Mark says:

    You may think gyms are dead and the people there are trying hard to look like athletes but its all about yourself, you shouldn’t seem bothered about them and what they’re trying to achieve you should bother about yourself in there. your mind is important but so is your body it’s about the mind BODY and soul not just the mind. good quality exercise is key to a healthy mind, good blood flow to the brain is always a great thing and also stops the brain from shrinking as you age you don’t need muscle it’s just what some people desire, a fitness gym is probably best for you. Aerobic exercise will put you in the best of moods. your body is linked directly to your mind so the physical is just as important the vessel needs and should be in good shape for the best output of the mind.

    It’s a gym, the purpose is to workout, if you want to talk bring a friend and perhaps go on the treadmill and do some spin classes on the bikes or even workout outdoors or at home you don’t have to go to a gym!

  5. Kathy Mghee says:

    A very closed minded point of view and hugely inaccurate judgement of all gyms and people who go. I have been a gym person for over 25 years, am interested in the others I see regularly, smile at people AND read library books regularly while there (which I also go to a lot!). The gym is a great combination of “me” time, book discussions and recommendations, connecting with others on a personal level (how’s your daughter in college, etc.), meeting and interacting with all variety of people I wouldn’t ordinarily see daily.

  6. Wayward Sean says:

    I used to share your view. I felt scared and out of place at the gym. Everyone seemed so airheaded and obsessed with beauty. To an extent, you will meet those people at every gym. I have friends who can’t express an idea beyond “I’m going to be BUFF.” My doctor then forced me to join a gym. I had let myself go and had high blood pressure and high cholesterol at age 26. If I didn’t do something about it, I would suffer a heart attack. I live in a city, making too much outdoor exercise difficult. When u started attending a gym daily, I started to notice the difference. Most people were out of shape. Most people looked as nervous as I felt. I started talking to some of them, and it turned out that they had the same interests as I did. The same thoughts and fears. I had portrayed my fear of the gym onto each person there, but they weren’t scary. I now enjoy my time at the gym, and I am so glad I gave it a full chance.

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