Monday, May 17, 2010

Do You Have To Be A Narcissist To Be A Gymmer

nar·cis·sism - inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity

Of course, the word gymmer doesn't exist. I am just using it here loosely as a person who goes to the gym regularly. Since I have been going to the gym for what, close to 5 years I realise that my theory has been developing subconsciously all this time. I remember when I started going to the gym. I was in Bombay at that time and I really missed playing some kind of sport. Talwalkars was quite close-by and I decided to join and go regularly. It was not too big but the way they had arranged the layout and the huge mirrors that they had put up made me feel good. As usual, people were milling around in front of the mirror making grotesque faces while pumping iron or hitching up their clothes to study their arms, stomachs and other body parts. I quietly sniggered to myself and thought to myself "I would be different. No ogling myself in the mirrors, I would quietly work-out and leave asap." I remained my modest self for sometime because my routine became quite erratic after I moved to Chennai.

I had transferred my membership to the Chennai Talwalkars and I didn't like the place. After this, I moved to Fitness One which was quite close to my place. Lots of space with plenty of cardio machines and a separate weights training area - Wow. Even then, it took me sometime to get into a routine and then I was transferred again. History repeated itself, I was not happy with FOne and I moved to Talwalkars. I was lucky to get a good trainer here and I started working out pretty regularly. It was at this time my behaviour started changing. I caught myself looking more frequently in the mirror and saying - "Hmmm, my biceps are looking nice" or "Hey I do look muscular in this T-shirt". The amazing thing was nobody else was saying anything about these changes (damn, I was not getting my moneys' worth). On the good side, people had stopped saying that I was too thin and once in a blue moon someone would say - Hey have you put on weight?

Then I started spending more time in front of the mirror at home. I won't get into the details but a lot of flexing and tough looks were happening. I would also catch my sister or parents when they were around and subject them to questions like is my body looking better or ask them to hit me on my chest or biceps!! Being the youngest does have some privileges :) Anyway coming to the main point of the story, I caught myself checking out said self in the mirror. I felt a bit guilty and saddened by the fact that I had become one of Them. Then I was like - Why not, you know. Things have definitely improved over the last couple of years. And then BAM I was like if things keep improving, would I spend more and more time in front of the mirror? I looked around and realised that the people who were spending more time in front of the mirror were people who were more fit/toned/bulked. Don't get me wrong, when you do any kind of exercise, you need to have a mirror to ensure that your posture and movements are correct. However there is a certain kind of look which you can only make out only if you are a regular. Enough said - there is nothing like a 'better' body. As long as you are feeling healthy and are comfortable, everything is fine. It definitely justifies staring in the mirror. Just remember what happened in the legend of Narcissus and don't turn into a flower.

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