I've heard the phrase "content with mediocrity" before and it hit me one day what that means.

I was driving towards Philly, looking out the window at the billboards, and an advertisement for Planet Fitness popped out at me.

"No more Gymtimidation!" It said.

No more gymtimidation... They made up the word to sound cute, but a fire burned inside me.

Why do people go to the gym?

Some go to stay in shape. Some go to change their shape to something that's not round. Some go to build their body into a lean machine.

Those are the three main types of people who attend a gym. All looking to either improve themselves or maintain improvement.

What’s Gymtimidation? The only idea I had was the fear of being around people who are much better than you at your goal, thus you’re intimidated.


So viewing someone who is successful at what you want to achieve intimidates you? Shouldn’t it inspire you? Give you a role model to look up to?

The fact that the ad is up gave me a thought.

People want to hear it. Or at least the ad companies think so. We get so many messages telling us it’s okay not to try. To put in minimal effort. To not care about the outcome. “Overweight? worry about it, gain more weight, eat more crappy food, we’ll blame it on your metabolism and create XXXXX sixe jeans to fit your lower half in. (I speak only to those who are overweight due to bad habits, not to those who have legitimate genetic issues.)

And as a society we are trained to diagnose ourselves with ailments, “oh he’s so OCD,” “oh he’s a narcissist.” Our language has been medicalized.

Striving to be your best, you bring on the wrath of all those who blame others for their own shortcomings, and by daring to not accept mediocrity and to work towards being awesome, you stand out.

As Homer said, “you are what you repeatedly do.” And if you repeatedly choose to give into the “gymtimidation” of those more accomplished than you, instead of befriending them and learning from them, you run the risk of staying in the rut made for yourself.

Unchain yourself. Dare to be amazing, and repeatedly do it.