I’m health conscious.
Part of my routine involves resistance training three days a week — usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As long as my husband isn’t away for work, I am there at 5.30am, rain, hail or shine (or in the case of this past week, in sub-zero temperatures!)
It’s no big deal. It’s just what I do. I started going that early, because it was really the only time I could fit it in. Now it has become so much a part of my routine, that I am no longer shocked at the time the alarm goes off.
Part of my workout routine involves listening to my ipod. Without it I feel lost. It’s almost like my training partner. It helps me focus, and helps to drown out the odd grunt and moan that come from the ‘men’s area’.
However, a few weeks back, I forgot my ipod. Not quite a catastrophe, but I was put out. After all, gym music is not very inspirational.
So I decided to make the best of it and (shhh), listen to other people’s conversations! Well, I had to do something to fill in the time between sets.
Surprisingly, there are many regular gym goers at 5.30am, but most of them are men.
Two of them I had dubbed ‘the beefy boys’. Not that they are huge, but they are strong. I would guess they are in their late to early 30s. They always train together, and NEVER bring a water bottle. Probably because parading back and forth to the water cooler provides a better opportunity to show off their muscles to the people who don’t train near them.
Anyway, it turns out they were on the machine next to me.
“Great,” I thought. “Now I’ll probably get to listen to them talk cars, compare muscles and generally big-note themselves.”
Well, you could have knocked me off the chest-press when I stopped to listen.
They were talking recipes!! Yes, real recipes. Not what protein mix they use, but how they cook their meals. And it wasn’t simply throwing sausages and chops on the barbie either. I’ll admit the conversation was very ‘meat orientated’, but they were talking marinades, salads, and how they cook their veggies to go with their meat. I was tempted to invite myself to dinner.
They also discussed how different cuts of meat were better in different dishes, and then concluded by comparing notes about their butchers.
They were probably better versed in meat than most of the current contestants on MasterChef. Except for Lynton. He’s from a cattle farm.
But the point is, that I had been making assumptions about these blokes for months — purely based upon what they looked like (and to some extent how they behaved). Never in my wildest dreams did I think they could cook.
I found myself wondering what other people in the gym do during the rest of their lives, and whether I had been making assumptions about them.
How many people do we make assumptions about?
Do these assumptions prevent us from engaging with that person? Or being nice to them? Or letting them go before us in the supermarket queue?
Lesson #1 — People can surprise you, if you take the time to eavesdrop, (I mean listen).
Lesson #2 — Gym music really is bad, so always remember your ipod.