Hanging the picture.
Almost a year ago my family and I moved house. Our new house has concrete internal walls as well as external, solid, but not the easiest to hang pictures, etc. on. Of course we had things we wanted mounted on the walls, heaters, brackets etc. So it was off to the hardware store to get some things.
I needed a couple of new drill bits, wall plugs, screws. I already had the drill, a hammer, the screwdrivers, extension cords, pencil, measuring tape, spirit level (I think you get the picture). I then had to read up on how to use the stud finder I had bought, it checks for electrical wires as well, and so I went about putting some things up on the walls.
I measured, I marked, I made sure it was level. I drilled holes, I hammered plugs in, I screwed the things to the walls. And now we have brackets, pictures and frames up on the walls, it feels and looks like we wanted it to.
Now about this point you are probably thinking “Jim, you usually talk fitness, not DIY around the house, where are you going with this???” I will swing it around for you soon enough, just bear with me.
Now I had a goal, mount frames, pictures, mounts and brackets. And that was achieved. But there were tools and steps along the way. If I didn’t have a spirit level, drill or screwdriver I could not have completed my goal. Even if I had just a hammer, the job couldn’t be completed. My goal of putting things on the wall had a lot of steps in between to get to the end point, and it required tools.
This is how I view gym memberships to commercial gyms when you have a goal of wanting to get fit. They are a hammer when you are trying to hang the picture. The gym membership is just a tool for you to getting fit. If you take one out and pay for it what happens then? If you have just bought the minimum membership package for about $10 or $15 a week you are simply hiring the tools. If someone doesn’t show you how to use those tools how will you reach your goal? Is the gym membership the only tool you will need? For some yes, but that is about 1% of the population. There is more to it, as with the picture.
There is knowledge. Are you up to speed on many of the current regimes out there? Are you an expert in correct body movement? Do you know what the funny looking machine in the corner of the gym is for? Or will you be one of the slews of internet videos of people using things incorrectly? It isn’t easy to ask for help but if you do you will find that the results come faster than they would have before. I have seen people try to go it alone and then resort to internet chat rooms for advice on how to move forward.
Then there is accountability. Who will make sure you use that gym membership? When it is 5:30am and the alarm goes off and the fire has gone out, it is drizzly and dark outside, will you still make it to the gym? Or will you pull the covers back up and go to sleep for another half hour? The bargain basement gym membership that only cost about $15 per week won’t be enough on its own to help you out of bed and to the gym. You need a coach, or a team of people that will ask you, ‘why weren’t you here this morning?’
Then there is community. A group of people celebrating g your small victories because you just managed a new PR (that’s personal record) on a lift or a workout in general. Not as much fun plodding away on a treadmill with Sunrise telling you the woes of the world while you try to drown it out with your headphones in. A good community will help to build you up and keep you positive throughout your workout experience.
So the next time you think about getting fit and healthy think, do I need just a cheap hammer for this job? Or am I going to need more tools and knowledge that will help me reach my goals and a community that will not forget about me along the way?
Pretty sure it is the latter 😉