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Red Deer Reality Rant #6 - Gym Bawl

Hello there fellow Red Deerians! Temperatures are rising and spring is well underway. It puts me in a mood to get out and get some exercise. Red Deer has a plethora of options in that department. Don’t worry, I am in no way a health nut, and this is not a fitness blog telling you what to do. I am not athletic but I would like to trim down, increase my stamina and strength and be a bit healthier, I think most of us do. Like I said, there’s a lot of ways to get some exercise in this city.

There’s the Waskasoo trail system for scenic walking, running and biking and Red Deer has put into place some outdoor gyms in several areas around the city. I have yet to see anyone using the one downtown by the McDonald’s although I can see why people might not want to, but that’s a story for another day. Today I would like to talk about recreation centres, specifically the public indoor gyms, and gym culture.

Red Deer has several very nice facilities. Michener Aquatic Centre, G.H Dawe Community Centre, Collicutt Centre, and the downtown Red Deer Recreation Centre are the largest facilities and there are more activity centres in Red Deer in each area of town. I have a pass and use the facilities at the recreation centre downtown mostly. There’s an indoor and an outdoor pool, and I like to use the small gym which contains adequate equipment for my workout plan.

Downtown Red Deer Outdoor Gym Beside Primary Care Network Building

I choose to use the downtown centre because the location is convenient for me and it is not as busy as other centres. Going to Collicutt centre is very intimidating when you are in less than excellent physical shape, and gym culture can be judgemental at times. Which brings me to my rant for today. Going to the gym, I put my earphones in and do my best to focus on my workout. I am not adverse to having polite conversation (emphasis on polite) but mostly I just want to focus on the exercises and training I am doing.

Some people go to the gym it seems to show off in front of the other people working out there. If you that’s what floats your boat, sure, why not? Some people take selfies and post on social media, I say go for it, just leave me out of the picture! The main thing I want, and feel that all gym patrons deserve, is respect for the other people working out there. When you see someone whose fitness level is low, like me, please do not try to offer advice or any kind of criticism.

If I am working out, I am doing my best, and even if I don’t look as great as an Instagram influencer, it’s not anyone else’s business. I’m trying. And I just want to workout as much as I can until I hightail it out of there because it’s difficult for an introvert like I am to even exist out in public. The gym can be an intimidating place, and I feel very self conscious being there. I realize that people in general are naturally judgemental about appearances, but please do keep those thoughts to yourself.

Also, it is very important to not criticize someone else’s workout. If someone is working out and they are not injuring themselves, or doing their workout so incorrectly that it’s a hazard to themselves or others, just let them be. They are likely doing their best and may not be at the same fitness level as you are. They may be struggling to complete their set and might look a little clumsy like me when they are doing abdominal crunches.

Toxic gym culture may be the reason a lot of people don’t want to go to the gym. For those of us who go, we are trying at least to get fit, and healthier, possibly trim down, or build muscle. It’s a very personal thing, it’s different for everyone. Please just be respectful, and if you want to have a conversation, any kind of small talk will do, just be mindful of how you yourself like to be treated, and keep your unkind comments and unsolicited advice to yourself.


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