Finally got back to the gym-gym yesterday
The Y's also remodeled, and have re-tooled their free weights area. They've now got the modern-style barbell weights, with the rubberized coating, the handles that make them easier to carry, and the interlocking ridges so that the weights are more stable. They're better in every objective way, but I still prefer the old-school ones. The modern ones don't go *clank*, and that takes away some of the fun.
Still, I had more fun working out than I have had in months. I've been reading Elizabeth Bear's reports of the "Valkyrie Project", where she and a friend are working on just becoming badass, and it made me want to start doing deadlifts and bench presses again. I'm not up to where eBear is on either weight, but I think I COULD be with enough work -- when I was at my peak in strength training, I was pretty much where she is now. Of course, she's still going up... I expect that, when I get to where she is now, she'll have gone further. That's okay; I'm not competing with her -- I'm competing with me.
I don't remember who made the comment -- it might have been theferrett -- that there's no reason to feel self-conscious at the gym. A lot of people do -- you go into the gym, and you are afraid that other people will judge you for being out of shape, for doing only five minutes on the elliptical, for lifting only tiny little light weights.
The thing to remember is that anybody who even NOTICES isn't working out in the first place. Everyone who's actually doing stuff is concentrating on that, and is only noticing other people if they're workout buddies, or if they're waiting for the same piece of equipment. The only way it would even be POSSIBLE for someone to judge you would be if you were already working out harder than they were -- it would INHERENTLY mean that you were doing a better job than they were.
I make an exception for actively dangerous things -- other people can, and should, notice if you're doing something that is likely to injure yourself or others. But if you're being reasonably safe and sane, there is no reason for anybody to even consider what your workout is or isn't.
In any case, the only competition that matters is you with yourself. Even if you ARE participating in a race or something, it's important to remember that "last place beats DNF (Did Not Finish) -- and DNF beats DNS (Did Not Start)." And, for that matter, "DNS" beats "not even being on the registration sheet in the first place."