Everyone has a story worth listening to – how did we forget that?
This crazy world we call the ‘fitness industry’ or ‘fitness community’ or even ‘online fitness community’, tends to lend itself very well to dogmatic tendencies. If there’s one thing I despise, it’s ignorance. I firmly believe – and subscribe to – the philosophy of accidental ignorance being forgiveable and intentional ignorance being unforgivable.
If anything, it’s in times of accidental ignorance, that my most harsh lessons have been learned. On the contrary, in times when I’ve shamefully thought I knew better and dismissed someone’s story, someone’s experience, someone’s potentially valuable anecdotal evidence; I’ve learned nothing other than how foolish I was.
This is why I’m a notorious talker. I’m the one who you can never get away from. And it’s all because I see the time I get talking with others as a gift. There are people in the world who are lonely and longing to talk to someone, yet they can only dream of the sheer scale of social possibility I’m blessed with on a day to day basis working among a popular gym. Furthermore, I’m blessed with a very observant and thorough personality, and what I’ve done with this is, mastered the art of scoping out each and every individual’s personal value. Their gift. Their magic.
Those who view conversation as a burden can’t possibly gain anything from their interactions.
I mean what can we really obtain from a conversation with an ‘average’ 80 year old man? Could we not learn how precious time is? Could we not learn how important it is to stay active and keep regular hobbies? How he wished his wife would’ve followed in his footsteps and thus, perhaps not suffered from mental illness?
And the moody 14 year old girl who seems to hate everybody. Could we possibly cast our minds back to our 14 year old selves and realise how much growing up we have done, or how far we’ve come?
Or the 35 year old man who’s just gone through a divorce. Could we not learn how important it is to show affection to our spouse and kids? This is all about perspective and how you approach a situation.
For those that want this in a fitness based context –
This is where natural prejudice enters the discussion. Too many of us rubbish the opinions of others purely based on appearance. You’re not 5’10 and 250 lbs @ sub 10% body fat? You don’t know shit about building muscle. You’re not breaking powerlifting records or breathing down Zydrunas Savickas’ neck at World’s Strongest Man? You don’t know a thing about getting strong. Those are the attitudes of many.
(ironmind.com – Zydrunas Savickas aka ‘Big Z’)
Just because someone isn’t rivalling the absolute elite, doesn’t discredit their story, their value. They might not be as good for any number of reasons; genetics, natural strength potential, not using a training style that best suits them, poor dietary habits, not actually desiring to be a mass monster and many more. We all have our gifts. Intelligence is a gift. There are plenty of super smart people in the world of health and fitness that don’t look as head turning as cover models. And they’re just as capable of guiding someone through a phenomenal transformation as someone more stereotypically ‘aesthetic’. Sometimes more so.
It’s human nature though, to gravitate towards our set of ideals. We all fall victim to it at times. Lots of guys in particular look down at anybody who has a 1/4 inch less on heir arms than they themselves have. The guys bigger than them are gods. They’re the holy grail. You see, these self obsessed mass monsters get all the girls. They’ve got so many girls that they’re in the gym 2-3 hours per night, every night.
(Of course you do bro)
The smaller guy who’s branded ‘worthless’, his story isn’t worth anything to bigger guys. Never mind the fact that he’s had more girls and women than these ‘swole brahs’ will ever have. Never mind his graduate degree and his amazing people skills. Doesn’t matter, he’s not HUGE.
Not only that, you get guys who won’t give some girls the time of day unless they’re ‘hot’ or whatever. Again, never mind the gift these ‘uglier’ girls may offer; practice talking to women and possibly a beautiful character which transforms the way you see them. Nothing happens unless you give it a chance. I thought your mother already told you that though.
Case in point –
I was talking to a new friend of mine who’s new to the modelling world and is very lean (around 9% body fat or so) – and legit 9% not 19% claiming 9%! And he was telling me he adopts a low carb diet despite his low body fat. He feels he performs and functions best on a very high fat, low carb diet. This totally flies in the face of conventional wisdom in that you’re supposedly a carb sponge as you get super lean.
What’s his story? Once again, don’t be afraid to challenge the norm. A cat can be skinned numerous ways. Stories are an incredible learning tool and they’re all around us. Drop the straw vision and you’ll gradually start seeing how much potential value each and every person and situation can add to your time on this planet.
The irony of it all is: When you selfishly dismiss someone or their story, you actually get less for yourself than if you had heard their story. Their story will benefit your life in some way, that’s guaranteed.
So you manage to profit selflessly. That’s the winning formula in my eyes.
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
This post really resonates with me. I love connecting with people and hearing their stories! Nice to know others do too!
100%! I think every time someone gives you their time, it’s a gift of sorts. That’s by far what I love most about working in a gym; the interaction side. It gives you not only physical evolution, but spiritual, mental and even social evolution!
Interaction makes the world go round = my favourite line 🙂 Oh and glad to hear you enjoyed the post, thank you.