THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME: THE GYMS ARE OPENING UP TOMORROW!
After 17 weeks of quarantine for me, to say I am excited is the biggest understatement you could make. To be completely honest with you, I know for a fact there is no other person more excited than me to be able to workout in the gym again. Don’t worry, this is not going to be a sappy “I cannot believe the gyms are opening” post. There was a tweet that I saw on Twitter the other day that I thought should be addressed to everyone before we start stepping foot into the gyms again. Just to be clear: I am not calling this person out, because doing so would be defeating the whole purpose of this blog post. I am simply trying to use this as an example to set the best mindset possible and create a new standard for everyone, regardless if they are going back to the gym or if they are new and wanting to start a better lifestyle for themselves.
The tweet reads, “If you see anyone not wipe their shit down, please video document so we can internet bully people into making them.”
Yes, you read that right. Wow.
I was so appalled by this tweet that I read it a few times just to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating. And before making any assumptions, this was not just some teenager ranting on the internet. I pray for this person, because it is obvious they were not raised the right way, and do not have the slightest clue of how to treat another person.
“Internet bully?!” Seriously?! Has this quarantine taught us NOTHING as a society?! It is truly such a blessing that the gyms are opening as early as they are with how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is. Whether people agree with it or not, government regulations are out of our control, and all gyms and recreational facilities could have easily been shut down for as long as the officials felt it was necessary to keep everyone safe. However, the government can only do so much to protect the people, the rest is up to us to work together to stop the spread. It is up to us to stand united and strong as one unit against this virus. The ONLY way we are going to be able to safely start reopening businesses and gyms is if we cooperate with the rules and guidelines provided, be as careful as possible, and put the safety of everyone first.
In the tweeter’s defense, I am not saying that not wiping down equipment is okay in the slightest. However, it is not our jobs to video-record and publicly humiliate, or I’m sorry, “internet bully” one another. It is the job of the gym owners, managers, and employees to properly inform and reprimand those who are not following guidelines if they deem it is necessary. We definitely need to be actively looking out for one another and making sure everyone is aware of the rules, but it is not any one person’s responsibility to just throw on the manager’s uniform and hand out public beatings. If a person is going 20 miles over the speed limit, it is not your job to assume the role of a police officer, pull that individual over and hand them a ticket. That’s not how the world works.
I was extremely upset after reading that tweet because that is exactly the opposite of how people should be treating one another at any time for any reason, especially during a global pandemic. One would think that after two months of a stay-at-home order and being unable to even hug our own relatives that we would learn and grow to show a little more compassion and respect for the human lives around us; but that is clearly not the case. So I am saying this now and I pray that this word spreads: THERE IS TO BE NO BULLYING, HARASSING, JUDGING, OR PUBLICLY HUMILIATING ANYONE, ANYWHERE, AT ANY TIME AND FOR ANY REASON. I do not care what the reason is, we need to think about the message we are transcending to the younger generations, the examples we are setting for others, and the waves we are sending out that will create a ripple effect. No matter what, someone somewhere is always watching you.
There are going to be dozens of strict rules that gyms need to follow in order to re-open their doors, and not every gym is going to have the exact same set of rules, everyone will have their own! Not to mention all of the other businesses that will be opening. Let me repeat that again: everyone will have their own set of rules! It is going to be extremely difficult for people to be consciously aware of every rule at every place they go to at any given hour of the day, and no one is perfect! So if someone accidentally forgets a rule such as wiping down a piece of equipment after they use it, that does not mean we should be having our phones in hand, ready to record post online for thousands of others to see the mistake that one person made that day. People are not going to be used to being required to clean and wipe down every last piece of equipment they touch, simple as that! It takes quite a bit of time to form new and healthy habits, we cannot judge and punish people if it slips their mind. Hell most of us have been trying to implement healthy habits for years and haven’t been able to do so! I will be the first to admit that I know I will have to be extra careful of that rule myself. I have never been forced to sanitize equipment after use, and when I am in the zone in an intense workout jumping from machine to machine, the last thing I am thinking of is, “where is the spray bottle to wipe this down?” So if a person forgets, please refrain from yelling at them and simply remind them instead. Better yet, leave it to a staff member to monitor member behavior. Now if that person is refusing to wipe down every piece of equipment and continuously chooses to not follow the rules, that is something entirely different. But even under those circumstances, we still should never turn to public harassment and bullying to solve the problem.
When the gyms open tomorrow, look at the people around and remember one very important thing: The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone in their own way, and each person is suffering. You do not know what each person is going through, the fears they face, or the new burdens that have been placed on their shoulders as a result of this horrid virus. Furthermore, you do not know the internal fears that person may be facing to even step foot in a public gym, so do not bully them if they accidentally make a mistake not wiping down a machine.
If you are a person who turns to bullying for some sort of sick self-validation, then YOU are the problem. YOU are the reason this virus is continuing to spread. COVID-19 is a virus that attacks the lungs and respiratory system, but YOU are the virus that attacks the heart and soul; the killer of the human spirit.
Let’s work together to stay positive, safe, healthy, and encourage everyone around so that we can work as a team to fight this virus. No one wants the gyms to close again, but they will only stay open if we work together. Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The same rules apply: if the gym is a space of negativity, judgement, greed, body shaming and public ridiculing, they will not survive. The gyms will not be a safe or enjoyable place to be.
I pray that everyone is staying safe and has a wonderful workout tomorrow! Those looking to get personalized nutrition and workout programs can send me a message via social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org