Comparing Yourself to Others: Always Great for the Self Esteem

1 04 2008

Here is a great program for young girls that uses running to help with character development and self esteem. Click here to check it out.
 
So health benefits motivate me to work out, blah, blah, reduced cancer risk, blah, blah, stress relief, but what motivates me to push through each individual workout when I am at the gym is completely selfish and superficial. And that’d how I like it.
 
1. I always do my Cardio next to FloJo. I have never been an endurance athlete; the longest I would ever need to be working full out would be a 1 minutes 30 second floor routine, or the 5 second sprint down the vault runway. I get bored very easily and need something to keep me going. I wouldnt say I am competitive, but I will definately go for longer if I think someone is watching. I walk up to cardio machines, survey the runners/ellipticalers/bikers and find the sweatiest, fittest looking one. I hop on the machine next to them, if it is available,  peek over, make a mental note of how long they have been going, smile sheepishly when they give me the stink eye after inevitably catching me looking, and  start peddaling/running/ellipticalling. My pride keeps me from getting off before they do. I can’t start after them and quit before them. That’s ludacris.
 
2. I stretch and do floor work next to Olive Oil and Cisco Morris. I dont know if anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest knows who Cisco is so here is a sampling.

cisco.jpg

Imagine that face with a mild speech impediment and a love for ferns.

I actually met him once when I got lost in the U-District and had to stop at a Starb’s for directions. He gardens on TV. I garden and Im not on TV. I’m bitter. Anyway: the stretching area is next to the main walkway and is always lined with old men in tiny shorts doing their junk-exposing stretches or “pilates” and younger women doing abs and stability ball work because they dont want to “bulk up.” Stretching is relaxing, and for some reason my affect screams, PLEASE TALK TO ME OLD MEN, I AM JUST LIKE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER, so a conversation is almost always struck up, despite the i-pod in my ear. Stretching should take a while, 10-30 seconds per stretch, so the conversation helps pass the time so I get in a nice good stretching session. And no other time in the real world can you just get up and walk away from someone you were talking to without being “rude” or “verbally abusive” or “not a good friend.” I have a short attention span. A real friend would know that.
 
3. I lift weights next to know-it-all men with no testicles. Everytime I walk into the free weight room at the gym, it gets about 8 times louder. Men sniff female, and the sounds of hurling weights, grunting and tendons tearing away from bone fill the air. I cant make fun of them too bad because thats the exact reason I go back there, everyone starts showing off. Not many women go into the free weight room because it is full of juiced up guys with awful form, gawking. I make it my personal mission to show them that little girls can lift weights, too. It helps me keep proper form and lift more challeneging weights to really stick it to ’em. Show off? Maybe, but it keeps me in there longer and atleast I keep quiet about it.
 
Whatever motivates you to work out harder/better/faster/stronger (Daft Punk reference anyone? If you say anything about Kanye West I will hunt you down) harness it and use it. Just dont tell people what it is because then they will think you are full of yourself, like all of you think I am right now. But, hey, I get my workout in everyday. 
 

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20 responses

1 04 2008
Robin

Nice, Kelly. Hey, whatever works, right? But for your sake I hope you don’t end up next to a marathoner-in-training who got stuck inside for a long run on the treadmill 2 minutes in. 🙂

1 04 2008
bikergurl125

Hehe I can relate to all of the above but especially the weight room thing! Do you get the guys who stare at you because they don’t think you can lift that weight? I have huge skater legs, so I get that all the time and it makes me work that much harder 😛

1 04 2008
eliza

Ahh.. I LOVE all your reasoning!

I ALWAYS try to work out next to the fittest girl or guy at my gym. Theres a hot teacher I used to have in highschool who is RIPPED and such a babe and I always beat him on the elliptical “with arms” 🙂 It makes me feel so good.

Also, I am trying to explain to my friends how cellulite never goes away. I am right, correct??

2 04 2008
chandra

We all do things for our own selfish and superficial reasons, not everyone will admit it though! I always try to get a treadmill where I can A. See the hot trainers working and B. know they can see me too which makes me push myself more. It’s all about the hotties…

You know what I love in the free weight room? The guys with HUGE arms and chicken legs… seriously – lay off the arms and do a little leg work guys! I admittedly have a weird obsession with checking out people’s calves, so any guy with huge arms and small calves turns me off. LOL.

2 04 2008
Kelly T.

ha! i have a thing for calves too. weird. and forearms. nothing specific but i know it when i see it.

2 04 2008
Marie

Check out this website, it’s pretty amazing and Renee is really funny.

http://skwigg.com/

Nice blog, I like your ideas and sense of humo(u)r.

2 04 2008
MizFit

seeing the other women “my age” at the gym who look better than I do.

yeah

I said it 🙂

M.

2 04 2008
Amalia

Hi Kelly!
I have a question for you. I have about 45 minutes between the time when my gym opens and when I need to start getting ready for work. Usually I do about 30-35 mins of cardio, then do one or two strength training exercises (today I did 3 sets of lunges and one set of squats). Is there any benefit to doing just one or two strength training exercises? Or is it more beneficial to consolidate all my strength training into one day (and skip cardio that day?)
Thanks so much, love the blog!!!

2 04 2008
Kelly T.

Every little bit of movement counts. of course there is a benefit, if you are doing the exercises, no matter when, where or what exercises you did before or after it, you will get the benefits. and you can do cardio on your strength training days, too. Thats perfectly fine.

2 04 2008
Kelly T.

I reread that and for some reason it sounded rude. So, sorry, I guess?

2 04 2008
Gena

I do the cardio thing too. Sometimes a little competition (even if you’re the only one competing) can be a really great motivator to get in a little extra effort!

And thank you so much for referencing Daft Punk. Can I tell you how annoying it is to have people accolade his new music as so original and fresh? ‘Cause, you know, that song’s been around a good long while!

2 04 2008
LisaR

Have I told you lately I LOVE this blog?! hahahaha it cracks me up!

Yea…I am one of those people who tries and sneak a peak at the runner next to me to see how fast or how long they have been running to see if I’m better than them! I don’t go out of my way to run next to a super fit person b/c I have a specific treadmill I like to run on (creature of habit!) But when somebody is on the treadmill next to mine and I’ve started running after them I CANNOT stop until they stop. Usually, they stop running after a while and after i’m getting huge side cramps (which sucks big time) I then wait AT LEAST 30 sec-1 min before I can start slowing down. haha I def use those people as motivation to keep going!

I also have a thing for calves! When I first met my husband and when we were dating I HAD to approve of his calves to continue to “like” him. Not totally true but it was a big deal to me back then partly b/c I’ve never been a huge fan on my non-exsistant claf muscle and I didn’t want our future kids to have my chicken legs! haha HOWEVER, I have been focusing on building my leg muscle over the past year or so and just last night I was super pleased to how my claves “bulked up”!! Kind of like one of those “AHHA” proud moments!

2 04 2008
apollocreed

I like Kanye.

Also, I agree, every time a woman comes in – suddenly the fat dudes suck their guts in and everyone dives for heavier weights.

Not me though…

I’m not fat!

2 04 2008
Kelly T.

mizfit- impossible. there can not be such women.

Gena- i know, its my favorite running song. Try benny benassi’s satisfaction. thats a good one, too.

LisaR- thanks! warm up a bit, that will help with the side cramps (i explained it in an earlier post, were you absent that day, miss?) and good for you! isnt it exciting the way you can reshape your body with exercise?

apollocreed- good to know its not all in my head. that would have blown it for me big time.
kanye is a grade A douche bag, which makes me want to have hate sex with him. on top of a pile of money. but only if he wears his urkle glasses.

2 04 2008
Liz

Hey Kelly,

Any tips for stretching the hip flexors and strengthening the hamstrings and gluteals? People keep telling me that tight hip flexors contribute to my knee problems.

As for motivation, I love taking group exercise classes for that very reason! I always push myself harder than I do when working out on my own.

3 04 2008
Heather

I love this post! haha I definitely push myself when someone is working out next to me. I at least have to be going as hard as them, and basically am the same way as you! it’s funny, and no, I don’t think you’re full of yourself!

3 04 2008
arielle

I always look at the time/incline/calories burned on other people’s cardio machines. I also sit next to the best person in spinning, and make sure I’m pedaling as fast as the girl in front of me. If not faster.

People at the gym think I’m weird.

3 04 2008
Kelsey

I love it! I’m live in W. Seattle and I went to Seattle U when Cisco was in charge of the landscaping there, so I’ve since him up close and personal, too – what is that accent, anyway?

I go to the gym at my work and more that once I’ve been stuck on a treadmill next to my triathelete boss- you better believe I didn’t get off the treadmill before he did!

3 04 2008
Kelly T.

I dont think its an accent, i think hes mildly retarded.

I cant tell from the typo, do you still live in west seattle?

3 04 2008
Kelsey

Yeah, sorry about the dumb typos. Yep – I currently live in W. Seattle. I love it! I grew up in Colorado but came to Seattle for college and never left!

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