Attitude Adjustment

attitudeI had to check myself before I wrecked myself the other day.

It was the first Saturday of the New Year and I went to the gym in late morning. And, to no surprise, it was packed.

And, unfortunately also no surprise, I immediately became a brat about it.

As I walked in and looked at the crowds of people on the machines and on the equipment, I got testy. I kept thinking somehow they were in my way. I felt so self-righteous that this gym was my gym. And that they were in my way. And how dare they even consider slightly inconveniencing me.

In short, I was a little biatch about it.

But halfway through my workout (when the endorphins started kicking in and I was calmer than before), I realized I was the one with the problem. Here are a bunch of people who, sure, don’t really know what they’re doing yet at the gym. But you’ve got to start somewhere. They were not at all getting in my way. It’s not like I go there with a really clear training plan of certain exercises I have to hit and certain goals that have to be attained. Usually I go with a body group that I’m going to focus on for the day. And then I look around and see what’s available.

These people weren’t my enemies. They were my new friends.

Sure, many of them may not stick around past February. But some of them will. Some of these people will have made it their New Years Resolution to get in shape and go to the gym all the time, and this will be the very exciting start of that journey for them. These are more people I now have something in common with. New people with whom I can talk working out with. New people who can complain about the lazy people who don’t return their free weights with.

It’s so easy to think you’re entitled to something. So much of our world today makes you believe you are entitled to whatever you want in the exact circumstances you want it and exactly when you want it. IWWIWWIWI, I believe is what it’s called (I Want What I Want When I Want It). I wanted to have the gym completely quiet and to myself. I wanted to be able to choose any time and go without any convenience to me. I wanted to have access to all the equipment I could possibly want for my workout at any given time even if I wasn’t using it or didn’t end up needing it.

Entitlement is gross.

I’m not proud of my attitude that day. But I am glad to be reminded that it’s so easy to fall back into a negative mindset. It’s easy to forget that other people are not your enemy. I live in Los Angeles…like millions of other people. If I start getting frustrated at crowds or traffic or whatever, I’ll never be satisfied in this city. Or any city. In fact, if I start wanting everything in my environment to be exactly how I want it without any distractions, I might as well move to a tiny hermit shack in Montana and hide from the world.

I’m not proud to say that I’ve considered this at times.

Then I remember, I love people. I love LA. I love being out of my comfort zone and having shared experiences and the excitement of a crowd. The only reason there’s even a gym close to me is because there are lots of other people who are members. I don’t keep it alive on my tiny membership fee alone. If there weren’t lots of people who belonged, I’d have to go somewhere else.

We need each other.

So I have to wait an extra few minutes for the leg press machine in January because some girl is doing 20 sets of 10 lbs. Whatever. No big deal. She’s gotta start somewhere. And I’m not going anywhere. So I’ll wait.

And I’ll be sure to check myself before I wreck myself.

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Social woman beginning to enjoy hermit lifestyle

All her life, Grace Hull grew up loving to be around people. Gregarious and social by nature, she has always relished in big city lifestyles and being part of a larger community. Throughout her teenage and college years, she retained numerous friends from all walks of life, and often made new friends with complete strangers.

Lately, however, Hull has found herself more withdrawn from society. Though she spends a lot of time in her work with other people, she seems to truly enjoy moments away from the hulabaloo of city life. In fact, she has become almost hermetic in her social habits. And claims to enjoy it.

“I still see people almost every day or so,” Hull explains, “it’s just, when I don’t have to see or talk to anybody…I really like sitting by myself and reading a book or watching a movie.” Though this may seem relatively normal to any other person, Hull’s strange schedule makes her choices for solitary time atypical. Often, after a long work week of late nights and often some weekends, she loves to spend Friday or Saturday sitting in her studio apartment and not talking to anyone.

Though embarrassed to admit it, Hull has even been known to ignore incoming phone calls from friends or family who want to talk.

“I don’t think it will go much further than just spending a couple nights a week alone,” Hull claims. “But, as the weather gets nicer, I have been toying with the idea of wandering around in the forest alone and away from humanity. Maybe even growing a beard. Who knows.”

Hull’s case is not incredibly unique. Many twenty-something females who are burnt out on a load of responsibility and expectations of being extremely social find themselves sitting alone in their apartments, staring out the window, and humming lullaby’s while rocking back and forth.

With so many women of previous generations pioneering careers and breaking glass ceilings for them everywhere, young women only see one final frontier that has been untouched yet by the female gender. And that is hermit-ing.

Hermit’s life decisions reaffirmed by flu outbreak

As swine flu continues to dominate much of the world’s attention, one man is elated by the pandemic. Jeremy is a hermit who has been living on the outskirts of society for over forty years. He chose to pursue a hermit-lifestyle during the tumultuous 60s, when many people were struggling to find meaning in the chaos that consumed the country.

Jeremy claims he was on a hallucinatory drug binge for months before he finally realized he could no longer separate reality from drug-laced fantasy, and decided to become a hermit. He agreed to this interview only if the reporter remained ten feet away and they spoke through a tin can phone he created just for the interview. He insisted on keeping his personal space.

Jeremy, now 67 and has long since forgotten his last name, admits that on occasion he has questioned his lifestyle choice. He even claims that in his weaker moments, he considered revisiting and rejoining mainstream society.

That was all before the first case of the H1N1 virus came along. Now that the virus has been claimed as an emergency and people are contracting it left and right in major cities and rural areas alike, Jeremy is once again happy with his decision to stay out of it all. By not coming in contact with any humans at all, he gets to keep away the worry of contracting the disease and simultaneously greatly reduces his odds of contracting it.

Jeremy believes that if the epidemic remains at the levels it is, especially with the media over-coverage and indecision about what the right tactic should be (whether to vaccinate and risk being sick from the vaccination or to leave yourself open to possibly contracting the virus), is only helping his cause. He believes there will be at least a handful of people this year who will turn to the hermit lifestyle.

He makes it clear, however, that those hermits should stay away from his territory.

Whether or not Jeremy will return to society anytime before he dies is unclear. He says it is unlikely. He used to see stories of happiness and great medical breakthroughs and financial stability and advancements in humanity when he would sneak around a rural area and check in on the world through the television. Now, the stories are more and more inundated with reasons to not leave your home because you could be hurt or killed or somehow inconvenienced.

For Jeremy, this is just a reminder that he made the correct decision 40 years ago.