3 Reasons Why Working Out At School Is Mildly Uncomfortable

3 Reasons Why Working Out At School Is Mildly Uncomfortable

Questioning why your skin crawls at the gym? This might be why.
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Although it may not look like it, I really do enjoy physical activity, because I really REALLY enjoy eating. So I try to balance things out. I work out while at home (over summer and winter breaks) and while at school because like I said before, BALANCE. BUT ALAS, I began to see noticeable changes in my body in very drastic ways. I spent my winter break at home and as I entered the first week of February (just a couple days before I had to go back to school) I looked into the mirror and saw Dwayne the Rock Johnson looking back at me.

I was literally ripped. I had stretch marks around my biceps from rapid muscle growth. I could not understand how this had happened so suddenly in the span of just two months. So you can say I had high hopes for my summer ~bod~ since I expected to get progressively more #shredded over the spring semester. Welp, things went south. Recently, I flexed in the mirror and nothing. moved. in. the. slightest. I had lost all of my muscle and gained a good amount of fat, you can say I was confused. It wasn’t like I had more time to work out at home than I did at school. While home, I worked two jobs from 5:30 am to 6 pm, so my workdays were even longer than my school days. Also, since I now had a kitchen at school, I was cooking meals for myself just as I did at home. Nothing added up.

It wasn’t until recently, while I was at the gym and aggressively rushed through my workout that I realized what caused my Dwayne the Rock Johnson bod to fade. I WAS AGGRESSIVELY RUSHING. I took a step back and questioned why I was doing this and sure enough, over the course of just three workouts, I was able to trace back the cause of my untoned bod. And I don’t want to blame this on anyone because, in the end, it is me who is cutting workouts short or rushing through things out of sheer and utter discomfort, but sometimes, people make it a little too hard (out here for a pimp).

1. The men in the basement of the gym think that they are all Hulk Hogan

I think this has happened to me upward of 6 billion times. And each time it causes me so much discomfort; I want to rip my skin off. This is how it usually plays out. I’m at the squat rack, doing my thang, lifting a plate onto the bar, when Brad sees me from across the room. He assumes that since I have boobs, I must clearly be struggling. Brad stops whatever he is doing and sprints over so that he can TAKE THE PLATE from my hand and slide it onto the bar. He then asks if I’m ok, because clearly the plate was attacking me and his assistance was needed. I say I’m fine and expect him to leave. He doesn’t leave. Instead, he watches me squat, says I should sit back further when squatting, and then shows me his form. Not knowing what to do, I thank him and begin to take the plates off after literally doing only ten reps. Then I sprint up the stairs because HELP, thus concluding my workout.

Don’t worry; there are about ten different variations of this I can think back to, all ending with me cutting my workout short and retreating out of anger/confusion. My gym at home is filled with dads, palate moms, preteen high school wrestlers who are downing supplements in hopes of getting #large, and of course some kids I went to high school with that I just pretend to not see. And no one has ever critiqued me. I think it’s just a college boy thing, to assume that your workout is holier than thou. And they may think they’re helping, but in reality, they are only helping my flab grow progressively larger as I retreat from the gym.

2. The school's weightlifting team uses the gym and since they all look and lift like Olympic athletes

Imagine. You’re dancing on a stage by yourself just for the hell of it, and Beyoncé comes out of nowhere asking if she could borrow the stage so she can rehearse for her concert. That is literally what happens to me in the gym except for a member of the weightlifting team is Beyoncé and the stage is any type of weight, machine, rack, bench etc. I happen to be using at the moment. You don’t just say no to Beyoncé, you don't make her wait, especially since she actually has a valid reason to be using the stage, so I don’t say no to a 200 lb. slab of pure muscle that is asking me to use a bench. I get up mid-set and literally sprint to wipe it off for them and re-rack my weights. To be honest, I’d even bring them a snack if they asked me, that’s how intimidated I am by them.

3. Every girl is clad in LuLu Lemon and looks like a Sports Illustrated Model while I wear my ex-boyfriend's soccer jerseys and resemble Danny Devito.


This one is solely confidence based but honestly, can you blame me? I never knew that workout clothes were a thing before coming to college. At home, I wear a pair of leggings and any ratty t-shirt I don’t mind sweating in. And I still do that here because 1. I have no money and 2. I’d rather spend my money elsewhere. So imagine how fearful I was (and evidently still am) working out next to perfect girls in perfect, skintight workout gear? Don’t get me wrong, I know this is completely on me because I should have enough confidence to do my own thang and not care but sometimes, especially when you’re not having the best day, it all gets in your head. And that’s when I stop doing my squats because I feel inferior and pack it in for the day and speed walk home so I feel like I did some form of physical activity.

These three reasons, combined with the fact that I am top 10 one of the most awkward people to walk this planet, have transformed my old Channing Tatum circa 2012 bod into my current Channing Tatum circa 2014 bod. So I ask you all to collectively pray 4 cha girl as I embark on my journey to fitness since I go home for summer in literally 32 days. We need a miracle people, and for my sake, a completely empty gym.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.

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I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.

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