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Photo by Brett Jackson on Unsplash

Escapism and Gym as an Introvert

How my approach to gym has changed from the day I first stepped into one

I’ve always gone to the gym since young and somehow the motivation to stay fit has kept me going back time and again. Often people have asked me how do I find the energy to keep it going.

I asked myself that too.

I guess for me, going to the gym was driven by my will to improve myself and get better than what I am now. Growth is never ending after all, we can only keep getting better from here. And since training in the gym is something that I feel I have full control over, a part of me loves going back because of the positive growth I see in the improvements of my physique, and the confidence I get as a result.

Even though my childhood insecurities from getting teased no longer haunts me, there is still a constant struggle to better myself. The feeling that I will never be good enough. Not so much in a negative way, but the constant endeavor to better my physique was always an inner battle for me.

But after all these years, I honestly believe what truly makes me enjoy my time in the gym is the peace and quiet I get to have for myself while I am there alone.

No socializing with people. No connection to the outside world. Just me to myself.

A good 11 years have passed since I first stepped into the intimidating place of a gymnasium, and today it has become not so much about my physique but more about time to reflect and be with myself. My personal getaway. Kind of an escape from the hustle and bustle. Perhaps it was due to the transition from teenage into adulthood, and the need to get away from stresses of work and people. As a result these sources of energy drain have pushed me to re-energize myself through solitude.

It is said that introverts require time being alone to regain energy before they can expend these stored energy when they return to social situations.

Today I no longer follow the masculine desires of taking protein shakes and following fad workouts to achieve the “golden era” physique. I do it for myself and to attain my own happiness. Perhaps this has got to do with my introversion and need for my own space and time alone, to recuperate the “energy” from having been around people.

Gym has become a place of meditation and self-reflection. I would even call it a place of religious experience, a temple to my soul. Going to the gym alone for the 1 to 2 hours each time is something I look forward to and never was there a need to have someone else around to motivate me.

To me, physique goals are no longer the main attraction and since I am pretty much fixed on the habitual routines that I have found most comfortable for me over the years, it has become an instinctive effort each time I step back into the gym. I no longer fret over what exercise I should be doing next or how many sets and reps are necessary. It all comes easily by gut feel now.

Right now it all boils down to wellness and good health. Being muscular just comes as a by-product, it shouldn’t be the main goal after all. We should not chase for the constant approval from others to tell us, “Great physique, you look bigger than before!”, but the satisfaction should come from within us.

Sure, the feeling sucks when someone mentions to me “You look like you lost weight” as they do not understand the effort I have put in at the gym. And this could be the reason why many guys out there turn to steroids to chase the high from the validation given by their peers.

The “gymmer” identity that we have earned for ourselves should not define us just because we go to the gym routinely. My life definitely has more to talk about than just what I do at the gym.

With this peace of mind in the gym, I feel better than ever being in touch with my own physique and mindfulness. The gym is no longer so much of an escape, but it has become a place where I call home.

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Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Crossfitter. Dog Daddy. LGBTQ. Singaporean. 27 years old. Journaling some insights of my life while cherishing life in solitude. Writing is my catharsis.

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