A few years ago, there was an incident that happened in a gym that I used to go which I will never forget for the rest of my life. This incident taught me how to always stay humble and to never forget the struggles that I went through, where I came from and to always be kind to others.
I was a member of this well-known gym (I’ll keep the name a secret) for about a year. It had branches in the big cities in Malaysia, as well as a few other countries around the world like Melbourne in Australia, London in the UK, etc and their facilities are world-class.
The branch that I went to often even had an indoor salt-water swimming pool.
Needless to say, they also offered personalised fitness classes and personal training for those who are willing to pay extra.
And the personal trainers (PT) were all well versed in their field of fitness and health. Not to mention, having the body that their clients are paying them to help them achieve the same results.
Let me tell you what happened.
I was benching (there were 3 benches in the weights area) on the bench that was the furthest away, located near the windows. There was a PT with his client working out on the bench next to mine.
I’ve seen this PT around very often. He’s tall, good looking and has the body of a Hollywood action star. Ripped, 6-pack abs, muscles — you know, the type that girls go weak over.
However, I can’t say the same about this attitude.
Despite having a body that many guys would love to have, he was arrogant, snobbish and most of the time, rude. He knew he had something a lot of other guys wanted and that got to his head.
Anyway, after about 15 minutes, this guy came up and started doing some presses on the bench. He used lightweight dumbbells and did about 2 sets before he left.
He was fat — more like really overweight — and was sweating all over. His sweat was literally dripping from his shirt.
But you could see that he was trying.
After he left, I overheard the PT and his client talk about that guy. Well, more like make fun of the guy. The PT was saying how that guy would probably stay the same because of how fat he was, probably comes to the gym, works out for 20 minutes and goes home to snack on junk food.
His client laughed at how light the dumbbells were that he used for his presses and bragged about how he was using the much heavier ones.
They continued to make fun of the guy for a good 5 minutes and laughed about it.
Shortly after that, the guy came back again. He wasn’t done the first time around.
He tried for heavier dumbbells this time.
Obviously not used to it, he asked the PT if he could help spot him for one set while the PT and his client were resting in between sets.
Instead of helping the guy like how a PT should, he insulted the guy by saying that the dumbbells the guy was using were so light, his grandma could do it without a spotter and scoffed at him.
His client? He just snickered and rolled his eyes. Then they both continued their work out.
In the end, I helped spot him for the 3 sets that he did.
He thanked me and we got to talking for a bit.
His doctor had advised him to lose weight or risk having serious health complications in the future. He was sick of being fat and being made fun of so he decided to do something about it.
Upon hearing that, I encouraged him to keep going and to not give up.
I also told him that he will encounter days where he will feel discouraged and won’t feel like doing anything but he should remember why he’s doing it in the first place. And most importantly, to be consistent and give himself every chance to succeed.
He smiled, we shook hands and he went on his way.
I didn’t see him again after that.
But about a year later, I saw him again and guess what?
He lost so much weight, he was almost unrecognizable. He completely turned his life around.
He saw me and came over to say hi. I told him that he looked amazing and congratulated him. I also asked him where he had been. He said he started going to a different branch that had nicer PTs and he even hired one and went to work — hard.
His success in reaching his fitness goals motivated him so much that he was training to be a PT himself.
He said that his PT helped him so much that he wanted to help others who are just like him, in need of a change.
He didn’t know it, but those words gave me motivation.
That incident in the gym all those years ago left me with really valuable lessons that I will bring with me for the rest of my life. What that PT and his client said and did, what this guy ended up achieving, it taught me these things:
- Always stay humble, regardless of how successful you are
- Never forget your background and where you came from, the struggles that you went through, even after you’ve overcome them
- Always extend a helping hand to those in need of them
- Never make fun or belittle those who are giving it their all to change their lives, even it seems small to you
- Be as supportive as you can be, because it can go a very long way, for the person you’re giving it to and to you as well
- If you don’t give up, you’ll be able to achieve all you want to achieve and more
I’m still quite some ways off from where I want to be in terms of my fitness and health. But this guy has always reminded me that if I give it my all and be really serious about it, I can achieve it.
And that’s what I am hoping to achieve this year.
No, not hope. It’s what I will achieve this year. Not just to get close to my fitness goals but to actually achieve all that I want to achieve.
This is my year and the year for anyone willing to put in the effort and time.
And once I do get there, I know that I won’t forget where I started and to help others as much as I can.