I work at a high end luxury gym in NYC. It’s a breeding ground for models, actors, athletes and the who’s who of NYC. My office is made of pure glass and just happens to be facing every piece of cardio equipment in the entire club. Day after day I see the same few girls (and by girls, I mean outrageously thin beautiful models) come in and spend hours upon hours wasting away via stepper machines , treadmills , and of course, the elliptical. I’m not exaggerating. I’ve seen girls stay on the machine for close to 4 hours. It’s almost as if you can see their muscle tissue evaporating into thin air as they climb this invisible mountain to nowhere.
Truth be told, this behavior outraged me. While observing them, I would have all the normal thoughts any extremely average size girl who’s constantly trying to lose10-15 pounds would have. These thoughts include but definitely aren’t limited to:
- Those girls look gross!
- They are killing their bodies!
- I look better than that because I’m healthy and they aren’t.
- I’d rather be fat than spend 3 hours on that horrible machine.
- When they turn like 45 they’re going to be fat and have all these health problems!
- I guarantee nobody can stand to be around them because they’re so hungry and miserable!
- No way that any guy finds them attractive, they look like 13-year-old boys ewwww!
I would have these thoughts daily as I watched them waste their precious youth on those machines.
But this past Sunday, out of the blue, one of them – let’s call her Tatiana- came into my office and talked to me. She wasn’t American. She was stunning. However, I could see she was exhausted. I actually felt a bit sorry for her. It was obvious that she could use a hug or a burger or possibly both simultaneously.
But any feeling of empathy I had for Tatiana quickly wore off when I found out why she came into my office. She wanted to suspend her gym membership for a month because she was jet-setting off to Europe for a runway show/fashion shoot/mystical adventure/what the fuck your life is awesome.
This chick was living the dream and I was processing her paperwork. Unlike me, Tatiana was wasting away for a goal, for a purpose, determined to do whatever it took to succeed at her dream! She was wasting away to live an extraordinary life that only a select few people will ever experience! And here I was just wasting away to sit in an office, click a few buttons, and suspend her god damn gym membership while she was being whisked away via private jet, lathered in worldwide praise, and of course bottomless pits of designer clothes.
I suspended her membership per her request and as soon as she left my office, my mind went into philosophical overdrive. This girl was doing something extraordinary. I didn’t have to understand it or even support it to appreciate it. So now when I look out my office window at Tatiana I don’t see a girl climbing an invisible mountain to nowhere. I see a girl fighting inch by inch to achieve her dreams.
“Don’t be afraid to die on the treadmill. Others may be stronger than me, or smarter than me, but no one will ever beat me. They will either get off first or I’m going to die on the treadmill.” – Will Smith