About 20 years ago, I experienced “Gymtimidation” as a member of a gym in Ohio. Buckeye Fitness, I believe was the name of the place. The owner was a professional body-builder. The equipment was top-of-the-line. My friend was a personal trainer and invited me to join so we could work out together.
In the beginning, I lacked any “Gymtimidation.” I was perfectly at home among the machines and mirrors. With my personal trainer friend, I felt part of the group. I didn’t realize I was in an exclusive environment for body builders. So I had to be told.
“You see those big guys over there? Stay out of their way. They’re friends of the owner. They’re professionals. And they’re on steroids. Which means they can be aggressive and they have no patience with non-professionals. Steroids can make you mean. And hungry. So just stay out of their way. Never hang around and wait for them to get done with a machine.”
So I learned. I learned that I needed to make myself small at the gym. I needed to be as invisible as possible. This place was not “all about me.” But at that time in my life, I was accustomed to being marginalized at home, at work, and now at the gym. I was used to being invisible, so all this was not a problem. I wasn’t offended. Inclusivity was not on my radar. I didn’t know any better.
Live and learn. Today, I do know better. I’m no longer OK with being invisible. And the attitude at my current gym is the total opposite of Gymtimidation. Inclusivity is a core concept at the GCC Fitness Center. The GCC Fitness Center radiates inclusivity. The staff and members consist of a diverse mix of people. The employees welcome us, encourage us, and accept us regardless of our fitness level, natural ability, or campus status. I adore the diversity of our fitness center community. Individuals don’t need to yield to cliques. My workout is just as important as yours. Fitness opportunities are adapted to meet the needs of each individual. There is no one-size-fits-all fitness mentality. Check out the GCC Fitness Center and experience how it feels to stay fit without “Gymtimidation.”