Gym Culture and Weight Room Attendants

dsc_0013If you checked out the newly renovated fitness center this semester, you would have noticed that, with the new equipment, technology and revamped fitness culture, comes a group of hardy young men and women in blue shirts that are sanitizing, maintaining and caring for the gym environment. I’m one of these ‘weight room attendants’, and this piece of writing does not seek to gain fame or recognition to behold us blue-shirted individuals in all our exemplified glory, but to merely convey the humility and virtues of our duty to the people.

As mentioned in my previous post about insight and exploration, I’m from Australia where fitness and sporting culture is a big deal. I joined forces with BCIT Recreation three months ago because I LOVE the gym. Being a part of the rec team gave me the opportunity to meet great people as well as indulge in what I love to do. Recreation services does not solely exist in the SE16 building either; patrons use the athletics track and the courts adjacent to the northern wall of the building. Due to the convenience of these facilities, as much physical activity is being done outdoors as it is being done indoors. The city of Vancouver is a multicultural hub which offers variations of sporting culture from all over the globe. For example, I partake in soccer: a game that has been so globally defined that I almost immediately bond with those who share my passion for it. To wrap up what I’m trying to say here, this positive and supportive environment are some of the factors that contribute to the atmosphere of the gym itself. As a weight room attendant, I am able to harness all this positive energy and express it through my work.

Working in the gym requires a commitment not only to the culture and essence of fitness, but to the people who are working and striving towards their physical goals. The job as a W.R.A. is simple; enrich the gym environment with compassion and enthusiasm. This initiative ensures that those who are new to gym culture are welcomed, and those who are already in a routine are comfortable and carefree whilst they are training. Like most other service jobs, we attend to inquiries as a flight attendant would attend to a passenger, or a waiter serving a table. We answer questions about fitness components and which machines and equipment would be best to train these components. Furthermore, daily maintenance routine checks are done to ensure there are no faulty parts anywhere and everywhere. No stone is left unturned to ensure the most rewarding experience is provided to those who are utilizing the facilities.

During your school years, especially as a student at BCIT, your mental well-being indirectly characterizes your habitual studiousness. Exercise releases endorphins which improves our mood, regulates stress hormones and ultimately helps us focus on our academic priorities with wild enthusiasm. By providing a hospitable environment, we ultimately provide an opportunity to alleviate stress, therefore helping you feel better to take on the school year. Never underestimate this, and this is my advice to students who need an outlet to focus their stresses and inner aggression. Do not attempt to withhold pent-up energy; instead, express it through fitness and  allow yourself to turn negative energy into something productive.

Mark Sarmiento, Business Student and Academic Writer

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