Sunday, January 10, 2016

Attitude is Everything: Finding Humor in All Things

I had two resolutions for 2015: pay (better) attention and laugh more often. My sense was that one could lead to the other. I'm happy to report that my resolution proved to be true. Funny things happen all the time, and quite often we are the source of it. Human nature is worth observing—we are wacky, intense, and at times totally nuts. We are also loving, kind, generous and spirited. No wonder my aunt loves to people watch. We all simply need to notice what's going on around us. 

And that's exactly what a group known as Dude Perfect has done. As written on Wikipedia, this
"sports entertainment group who got their start on YouTube. Most known for their trick shots, they are also involved in comedy with their "Stereotypes" series, in which they poke fun at common stereotypes, mostly in the sports world."
For me, their "golf stereotypes" video was the source of laughter that bordered on tears that got 2015 off to a great start. My recent favorite is gym stereotypes. If you are invested in any of the endeavors they stereotype, you can't help but laugh because they have found truth in the human race.

My gym is no exception. I know when I hit the sixth floor the Olympic Club in downtown San Francisco for a one-hour workout, I will have 15 minutes of chatter, banter, trash talk, teasing and questions. I encounter 80% of the stereotypes Dude Perfect portrays. One that they might want to add—or at least modify—is "Mr. attitude really is everything and mine is one that must change." Here's why...

Earlier this week a friend and I were lifting together, standing in a space that was blocking no one. It was crowded. I know the time of day and the incessant rain outside contributed to that, but so does the time of year. What gym isn't crowded in the month of January?

In the middle of my set, I was nearly run down by a man who stormed out of the basketball gym and through the weight room. He looked around in total disgust and said "I don't know where all these people are the rest of the year!" As he stormed to the water cooler on the other side of the gym, all were left to pick up the scent of his alpha male spray.

We heard him alright. I had to laugh at how strongly this member sought to claim his territorial rights. Less than five minutes later, two men engaged in lifting at two adjacent machines said for others to hear, "you can always tell when it's a new year, can't you?!"

My friend looked at me and said "I read something about this recently. We've got it all wrong. What we should be saying is: It's great to see you here or glad the new year has brought you back. Instead we make people feel like they don't belong or make them feel very unwelcomeI looked at her with eyes wide open. She's right—you working out at the gym or not, doesn't make me any more or less fit or strong. My athletic goals for 2016 are not contingent upon whether or not you show up at the gym. 

Furthermore, rather than feeling threatened or annoyed by people who are seeking to make a change, we should be a community that encourages one another. That costs nothing.

Realistically speaking, it may be to everyone's benefit to change our mindset. We win as a society when public health sores, as opposes to declines. The fewer people dependent on the system and remaining healthy, means the more productive and successful we can all be!

So notice those around you. Encourage them and make them feel welcome. Make them laugh or find humor in them. And live the words of Coach Lou Holtz “Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.”

Photo Credit
Apple a Day!

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