To The Muscle Head
Where do I start? First off, if you’re offended by being called a muscle-head, get over it. You probably worked your butt off to earn that moniker. I was a “muscle-head” at one time and I was damn proud of what I had accomplished. And you should be proud, too. Being heavily muscled is a unique experience that most people will never experience. Being able to perform feats of strength is fun. I used to love putting 12 45-pound plates on the bar, feel the bar bow as I walked out from the squat rack and have the gym stop as I popped out a set of 8 or 10 reps. One of the highlights of my lifting was squatting in Gold’s Gym – Venice and having Tom Platz stop to watch me squat. Tom was one of my heroes. To have him watch me squat was very cool.
Being big you have a special responsibility. You are a very visible example of your pastime. People associate your behavior, good or bad, with everyone who shares your hobby. If there is a chess player who is rude, the public doesn’t condemn all chess players. If there is a bridge player who gets in a fight in a bar, they don’t assume all bridge players are barroom brawlers. Nevertheless, weight lifters do get lumped together because of how easy it is to identify them by their hobby. You serve as an unelected ambassador for all muscle-heads.
I expect you to set a positive example in my club. You know that being big and being a jerk are not synonymous. You know it is easy to intimidate people, even without trying. People are often intimidated by your size. So be nice. Go out of your way to be nice. Make sure that people know that you are nice. Be the first to stick out your hand in friendship. Help others learn how to do exercises more correctly. Be the muscle-head that people talk about in a positive way.
Recognize that you are a guest of all the “regular members” of any gym where you workout. Recognize that your membership dues do not cover the expense of the vast array of equipment to which you have access. You need those regular members to help pay for your toys.
I will give you fair warning that if you act in a way that I have to choose between you and a “regular member”, I will be asking you to leave. I take that position because I know that if you leave, you’ll go somewhere else to workout. However, if you scare away a “regular member” a couple of things could happen. They may leave and give up on exercising – forever. They may become one of the people who say, “I tried working out and it isn’t for me”. In that case, they will never experience the benefits of fitness. And they will die sooner because of that. As a gym family, we will have lost a good member and we got stuck with the jerk of the bunch.
Don’t allow yourself to become the member that drives other members away. If you truly want to be a “big” person, let it show through your actions. Being nice, you will inspire others to want to be like you. A lot of people want to look up to athletes, but too many athletes disappoint. Don’t let yourself be one of them.