Gym Rats

Most people have some sort of a relationship with the gym.  They may not go a lot, but they still have that guilty conscience that makes them go. 

My relationship is nonexistent. 

I don’t go to a gym in any form because it is uncomfortable and more than likely unsanitary.  I went to KU’s Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center one time freshman year of college and I have never gone back.  I’m not sure if that decision to avoid it at all costs stems from being surrounded by sorority girls working out in full makeup or from the grunts and moans of weight lifters that gives me scary flashbacks of watching my high school football team lift while blasting ACDC. 

Maybe it’s both and other subconscious elements, but nonetheless, the gym tops the list of my most uncomfortable situations and as such it is the perfect (read: most awful) place to get out of my comfort zone. 

On Feb. 14, I made my way down to the fitness center of my apartment complex to talk with my fellow residents who were less than pleased that I was interrupting their workouts.  I definitely picked a bad day because the number of people trying to sweat away their emotional baggage makes the gym a sad place to be on Valentine’s Day. 

The concerns of those there were typical of most college students: stress from school, problems with their apartments and roommates, and boyfriend/girlfriend troubles.  Visual art did not rank very high on their lists of concerns.  They knew that Lawrence is obviously a town with culture and artistry, but they didn’t feel that art impacted their experience in Lawrence or in life. 

From this experience, what I hope to do is write stories that will make students and others recognize art in unconventional forms and to take notice of what surrounds them in places like Lawrence where almost everything, except the gym, is thing of beauty.


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