Alongside my love for all things business, retail and tech I also have a passion for health and fitness and since leaving university I have been teaching fitness and yoga classes.
I am a qualified fitness trainer and yoga teacher. I love it but more importantly I love the connection it brings.
This post isn’t about me, it’s a shout-out to the men that come to my classes. Actually, it’s is a shout-out to all the men that go to any group fitness classes.
Gentlemen I salute you!
A wee story ….
Last week, Tuesday, Fitness First Mosman, Body Pump 5.30pm
Warm-up track over, I press play on my iPhone (track 2 squat track - DOA, FooFighters – it’s a killer track), and I turn up the volume (In my head I really want someone to shout “THIS IS SPARTAAAAA”), I turn to the class and it hits me - there are around 15 men in the class. WOW 15 GUYS! To put it in perspective, there are around 35 women which is significantly higher, you may be thinking that’s a lot of women but from my perspective that is a lot of men and they are here to work hard. I can see it in their eyes and I can feel the energy in the room.
That moment sparked my intention for this post.
Over the past 12 months I have noticed a fairly consistent ratio of men to women in my classes and I have got to say……. RESPECT fellas!
Here are some of the reasons these guys deserve a high-five.
1. They see women as worthy opponents
Why shouldn’t men be in classes? We spend so much time talking about equality and this, in my opinion, this is a small step towards what all feminists are on about. Classes are not for girls, they are really challenging and they also unite people in a world that is becoming more and more disconnected.
2. They respect and see how strong women can be
These men come to classes, they work hard, sweat, keep going, even when they see women around them lifting heavier weights, running faster, pushing their limits….This actually inspires and challenges them to keep coming back.
3. They go against the Status Quo
Spin it any way you want but there is still a majority opinion that classes are for girls and men should be in the weights room working chest and biceps. I want to put this to the ladies out there. If you want equality in the workplace then make sure your taking note of your unconscious bias and they way they show up. Encourage men too!
The men that walk into classes go out of their comfort zone and for that I love them.
Maybe, just maybe, this is a small step towards putting men and women on an even playing field in society.
4. They see the results
I still get a WTF moment when I talk to people and they insinuate that classes are lame, too easy, for women. It's crazy that this stigma is still present.
The men that come to classes usually end up as committed regulars! Why you ask? They do it because it works, they get motivated and share positive energy (most of the time).
"without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"
To the group fitness men of the world, please keep doing what you’re doing, you are helping, even if just a wee bit, make a positive shift in the world.
Laura Doonin is GM of ecommerce at Pharmacy for Less, and a business-loving yogi. We talk to her about the role of health and mindfulness in the next issue of The Symes Report