Staring out into the sea of anguished and tired faces has got me thinking, heart racing, and feet attempting to compensate, I start to absentmindedly observe and analyze the individuals around me. All so different of course, but I there is one notable likeness among them- the hurt and the past in their faces.
The pain that is distinguishable in public situations such as the gym is a uniting factor. Inside, silently cheering these people on to do one more rep or to keep going hard, and in turn, it motivates me to do better.
Scientifically speaking, this would classify as a mutually beneficial relationship.
It's a group situation in which you can see results, feel the benefits, and inspires motivation to continue participating in this activity.
As for those relatively "pain-less" people, I see them as a detriment to progress. Causing no real stirring of thoughts or emotions, it would be a waste of time to get lost in something so inspirational. Like the people lazily lifting the 2lb dumbbells or those who mindlessly meander on the treadmill, these people in my mind, are not sources of strength or inspiration and therefore, must be avoided at all costs as not to slip into their mediocre ways. They are a metaphor for the meaningless distractions and disturbances in our lives.
As Scott Alexander put it, "All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy."
The gym is a strange and wonderful place. The analogies and truths it holds as a metaphor for life could not be more influential.
The gym a place where you gain strength from the strong and you disregard the rest. I carry this motto with me through most things, either you go full-in or you might as well not try. After all, what do you have to lose?
It is just one example of a social situation that holds proof that something that makes you uncomfortable or something that has hurt you in the past, can actually help mould you into a better version of yourself.