Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The gym as a refuge

In a typical gym, you have a lot of stimulation: bright lights, loud music, people talking loudly over the music and background noise, instructors yelling. A lot of people love this. The noise and the music and the energy get them amped up and help them go harder. Which is always good, right? Always go as hard as you can, right?

I question the value of this approach in our training and in our lives. The amp-yourself-up-to-go-hard approach to life can take a big toll on you. There is certainly a place for high energy, fun team or max effort days, and stimulation can help you do your best in a competition. But most of us already live a life that is full of stimulation (fluorescent lights late into the night, loud TV, traffic, constant communication and conversation, stress at work, stress at home). Where is the time for quiet, for calm reflection, for shutting out the world and finding a refuge? Do we really need more stimulation day after day in the gym?

We try to do things a little differently at our gym. Music is usually in the background, not blasting, and sometimes there is no music. Our classes are small so you can have conversations with each other and the coaches, rather than getting barked at like you are back in junior high gym class. We want the gym to be a place where you can come to get away from the overstimulation the rest of the world throws at you. Most days, that just means coming in and putting in the work, focusing on your movements without going all crazy. Sometimes you do need dig down for a deeper effort, but we hope that you can do that with a quiet inner intensity rather than a roaring, nerve-jangling aggression.

The more you can be at peace in your training, the more sustainable and rejuvenating it will be. Come in with a sense of optimism, willingness to learn, and a calm focus, and hopefully you will find refuge among the iron and rubber and chalk.

Reminder: the introduction to rowing program has started. We have a special guest, Metta Gilbert, who is a former rower and rowing coach who will be joining Kevin during the Tuesday class. This is a really great opportunity that you don't want to miss out on.


Workout
Row 5 x 2:00
Rest while partner rows or rest 2:00
Recovery Workout
Row 5 x 2:00 at 18 strokes/minute
Rest at least 2:00