This is going to be the hardest relationship you’ll ever be in. There will be days you’ll want to break up. There will be disagreements and at times you’ll want to walk out the door and never see them again, but you know you can’t do that.
The relationship you have with the gym can be the best relationship you’ve ever had, better than the one who got away and even better than the one you’ll have with the person whom you’ll spend the rest of your life. Relationships are all about compromise. Not this one. Unless you’re the perfect bachelor or bachelorette, you can’t always have things exactly as you wish them. There will be some give and take, but in this relationship, what you give is absolutely minuscule in comparison to what the gym will give back to you. This is a relationship on your time and the gym can only give you as much as you’ll let it.
Rudy Francisco says very succinctly in his poem, Complainers, that life is just a gym membership with a really complicated cancellation policy. Fewer things about the home of sweat and iron have ever held more truth. The very real connection between the weights you’ll load on the bar and the weight of stress and anxiety in your own life are not that dissimilar.
There are a few perks to falling hopelessly in love with the gym. The first and I think most explicitly important is that the gym’s loyalty is unfailing. The gym is never going to wake up one day, tell you it doesn’t love you anymore and walk out of your life. When you feel like crap, the gym will still be there. When you don’t want to hang out that day, the gym will always reschedule with you, though will always with you wouldn’t.
The gym is selfless and wants nothing but the absolute best for you. You’ll come out of this relationship so much stronger, full of life and self-love every single day you two see each other. Come and go as you please, the gym will always be there for you. The gym will compliment you as you put in hard work, bit by bit, day by day and at the very end it’ll remind you that it is you, and not it, that is responsible for your remarkable transformation.
It won’t get jealous if you visit other gyms, and it won’t ever grow tired of you staying late. Days will come where you choose friends and family over the cold iron and worn treadmills, but it won’t fret. Your relationship is strong and when the weekend finally ends, it’ll be excited to see you again.
This will be the most important relationship you ever have because it’s not so sincerely about us as it is solely about you. Unlike conventional relationships, the gym is in it for you and you only. You’ve nothing but to give it a few hours a week and it will sell you self-confidence and a thinner waist at black market prices. It’s going to hurt you, it’s going to weigh you down at times and you’re going to wish you could break up, and maybe one day you will. But not today.
The gym will always listen to your complaints and offer the perfect advice. The gym will steal your anxieties and tell you it isn’t going to give them back. The gym will humble you by showing you how far you’ve still got to go and compliment you by showing how far you’ve already come. The gym is going to push you when you don’t want to push myself.
The gym loves you, don’t be afraid to love it back.