There’s a lot of old guys at the gym and I honestly respect the hell out of them for still making the effort to come up to the gym and have their personal fitness as their hobby. Furthermore, they all actually seem to know what they’re doing. I personally believe in respecting my elders, as I was raised by my great-grandparents, and I feel that this has helped me learn a lot. Mainly so, because I will ask them questions and listen to their answers.
A lot of these older guys at the gym lived healthy lifestyles and I learned a lot about them and fitness that I did not know before. Here is what I learned:
- I am far from knowing it all. How humbling it is to talk to someone who has spent their whole life working out! You think you’re doing a great job by being consistent for four months and studying as much as you can, but these guys have a lifetime of knowledge and training under their belt.
- Everyone deserves respect until they prove they don’t, and everyone should be heard out. If I didn’t have this respect for people I wouldn’t learn a thing. Would I ever see the need to read books, articles, and would I ever ask questions? Probably not.
- I learned about their specific journeys and lives. I talked to these guys and they had a lot to share. A couple of them used to be personal trainers and it was great to hear their perspective on weight lifting and what they had learned about training and exercise.
- I learned of some useful exercises and techniques. Sure, I knew about lunges and the smith machine. However, before talking to a guy at the gym who was 55 and still had stronger legs than me, I wasn’t incorporating these into my workouts. Now, I do lunges and despite some of the bad rep towards the smith machine, I do use it to correct some of my squat form. The things I have learned from him have made me a lot stronger in my squat and I’m thankful I listened to an old man’s advice.
The things people will tell you should always be taken with a grain of salt, as not everyone is the best coach or has the best advice. However, having respectful and being open minded can do wonders for your relationships with other people and your own personal development.
To conclude this post, I have a challenge for you. The challenge is this: Find someone at the gym that you admire and you think knows a lot about weight lifting or whatever your fitness endeavor may be, and also find someone who you think may not know a whole lot about that. Strike up a conversation with both of those people at some point. Have an open mind and be respectful, and see what you get from the experience.
If anything, you may at least make a new friend.