“You see that overweight girl who’s clearly self-conscious about being in the gym? Well if you make eye contact with her, smile.
You see that old guy who obviously doesn’t know how to use that piece of gym equipment correctly, maybe instead of taking snapchats making fun of him, show him how to use it properly.
Yo to that gangly teenager that not so subtlety copies your workout, let him. He admires you, and that’s a pretty big compliment.
You see that overweight guy who’s always on the cardio machines but constantly staring at the weights section wishing he had the confidence to tackle it. Smile at him, that might be all it takes.
You see those cardio moms that read their books and workout at the same time? Stop thinking you’re better because you’re more serious than them and maybe pull your head out of your ass and realise that this might be the only time they can afford to both those things.
You see that thin girl who you think doesn’t even need to go to a gym? She’s doing this for her health, to better herself. Don’t you dare judge her.
You see that guy struggling with those weights that are clearly too heavy. Don’t laugh when he fails, praise him for his ambition.
See that woman right in the middle of the weight section, surrounded by all those guys. Respect her, do you even realise how much balls that takes?
What I’m trying to say is that the gym for the next couple of weeks is going to be packed with loads of different people with different goals and ambitions. This is new territory for them, it’s already scary, don’t you dare add to that. I remember how terrifying it was when I first joined a gym. So maybe instead of just actively trying not to be gym douches could we also try to praise and encourage them. A smile or a kind word could be the difference between this being a short stint or a lifetime habit. I know it’s certainly what made me stick around.”
By Eric Brown