Don’t take it personally

Today I was at the gym, doing my circuit, sweating and grunting up a storm.

I was about half-way into my routine when a trainer at the gym I train at came up and offered to correct my form.

It’s not like I was doing crazy weights or anything, just some kettlebell swings.

Apparently, my back was hyper-extending past the point of full position, and he said I could experience low back pain because of this.

Now, I know there are people who hate being told what to do at the gym. Hate it.

There are even videos on the internet of ‘those guys’ telling people how to do things properly.

But, I wasn’t offended.

He was right.

I think we all need to step back a bit and calm the ego down. Big time.

Sometimes I feel like telling people at the gym how to correctly do things, but that’s not my job. Not yet, anyways. How dare I let my ego interfere with someone else’s journey at the gym? Unless they are in a position where they could really hurt themselves, I’m not going to step in. And you know what, I’m not even going to judge them. Because I was there at one point. You were there at one point. You have to start somewhere. You get better as you go. It all comes with time as your muscles develop. If you’d like to do it faster, consider a personal trainer.

But it’s not even at the gym that your ego needs to stay in check. Try your workplace. Your relationships. Talking with strangers. We all have something to learn from one another. We are all connected. We’re all human.

The sense of entitlement and pride seems to blind us from the love and patience we should be exchanging with one another. Even if someone’s opinion doesn’t match yours, doesn’t make you right. Listen with understanding, and use the information if necessary, or discard it. Don’t retort with immediate disgust and contempt toward that person. What they can offer you might be worth the weight in gold someday.

As a referee, we are coached and supervised on a regular basis. We are taught from the beginning to accept what the supervisor says. Maybe even try it in a game or two to see if it works. Even though there’s a rule book for hockey, the game is incredibly grey. Good referees can talk their way out of a penalty. Good linesmen make bad referees look great, and vice-versa. As the old adage goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I believe because of this coaching and listening, I have achieved a great level of officiating in my life. How dare I be so dogmatic in the way I do my thing?

It’s the ‘cut & paste’ routine that you need to get out of your mind. Grabbing a workout routine from the internet to ‘get big guns’ won’t necessarily work for you. Swallowing a handful of supplements won’t make you look like Arnold. Obviously you need to experiment to see what works for you, but don’t get so fixated on the idea that you have to do something ‘this way’ or ‘that way’. There are several ways that will work.

It is ego that seems to cause such pain and negativity in this world. But you can discover something new and fulfilling about yourself if you’re just willing to listen. Smile and nod and say thank you. Reassuring that person that they have given you something valuable can go a long way to creating and solidifying meaningful relationships.

I can be a better husband if I just listen and reaffirm my wife’s feelings every now and again.

I can be a better employee if I just accept new suggestions into how to do things.

Most importantly, I can be a better person if I just stop letting my ego control me.

Thank you Jarod, the personal trainer at my gym. You just made my day.

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Overweight and unhappy, I needed a change. Fitness, Philosophy and love is all you need.

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