The 10 Worst Things About Going to the Gym

I’ve made a conscious effort to get back in the gym, and I’ve been going for quite some time now (the past 2 days). Most blogs and websites seem to talk about how great the gym is and all of the wonderful things you can do there. They have you believing that you are going to see sunshine and rainbows as soon as you step foot inside. Now listen, this post is not to discourage you from joining a gym or exercising. I am merely here to inform you of all the awful things you might encounter, so that when you arrive you will be prepared and it won’t seem so bad. You’re welcome.

  1. It’s New Year’s Resolution Time. Everyone and their cousin has signed up for a gym membership as a New Year’s Resolution. Last night I went around 5pm (take my word for it… don’t do that). The place was absolutely packed! It’s like they put up a sign saying “Free Food Inside.” Not to mention, there was NO parking, so I had to park my car waaaay far away at the other side of the lot. And who likes walking 50 yards into the place that they are going to work out in? Nobody. I am reassured of that each night by the people who wait in their car for a front row spot to open up.
  2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the sweatiest of them all? Okay, seriously? Why do gyms think its okay to line the walls with mirrors? I get it, it’s so you can check yourself out while you’re getting all swole and what not (I personally feel awkward watching myself work out. You do you though). All that ends up happening is accidentally locking awkward eyes with someone across the room while I’m about to die on some sort of cardio contraption.
  3. The Dreaded Treadmill. I love to run. I’ve done a couple of half marathons in my day, and it’s generally my go-to exercise. But the treadmill? It’s the worst. For those of you who are outdoor runners, you know what I’m talking about. Two miles on the treadmill seems like an eternity and a half. And now they put these little TV’s attached to each one? Oh sure, let me watch this little screen that is a foot in front of my face while I’m jogging. Every time I get dizzy and have to look away for fear of falling off and dying.
  4. Beef Cakes. There are so many jacked people at the gym who disgust you and make you feel bad about yourself at the same time. What do they do, spend 18 hours a day lifting weights? And boy do they love the mirrors. You always seem them standing right in front of the wall doing curls as if they were in front of an audience at body-building competition. It’s just you in the mirror brah, just you. Take it down a notch or ten.
  5. Rated R Locker Rooms. I don’t get why everyone thinks it’s okay to just stand around buck naked in the locker room chatting with all your retirement home friends. It’s always the umm, how should I say this… “aged ladies.” Sure, they are comfortable with their bodies, as they’ve lived with them for many decades. But I’m not. Use a towel!
  6. Really Attractive. Good thing I’m not going to the gym to find a love connection. Why is it that guys can pull off the sweaty, just-worked-out look? When I get done at the gym, I look like a hot disheveled mess! My face at the end of it is some weird, blotchy, flushed combination of looking like I just got sunburned and then immediately turned really pale. I don’t get why the boys aren’t flocking towards me when I get done.
  7. Chatty Kathy’s. Don’t talk to me when I’m working out. Especially if I don’t know you. End of story. I barely have enough breath to get through the stairmaster let alone talk to you about your pet cat and all those newspapers you collect.
  8. Music Selection. I find it absolutely necessary to have music on when I’m working out. Don’t get me started on getting to the gym and realizing you forgot your headphones. You might as well just turn around and leave. The worst is when your iPod is on shuffle. You are at the peak of your workout, super into it, when all of a sudden the song changes from Eminem to Adele or something. Not okay.
  9. Not Knowing How to Use the Weights. I am fairly familiar with most weight machines and their functions. Most of them are pretty self explanatory as there is only one possible way to contort your body to make it work. But I won’t lie when I say I’ve gotten a little over-confident before and walked up to a complex looking machine, thinking oh I can figure out how to use this. Wrong. I usually just stand by it for a minute, taking sips of my water, adjusting my iPod, while secretly scanning the machine for some sort of picture of how to use it. With no luck, I just do some awkward stretch and then walk away like I never intended to use it in the first place.
  10. False Expectations. Advertisements or pictures (like the one below) make the gym seem like a very happy place. No one smiles like that when they are working out! If these two were on the elliptical next to me I think I would be seriously creeped out. Just saying.

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These are just a few of the terrible things in relation to the gym. There are a ton more where that came from, but I don’t want to discourage you from working out. If all else fails, just steal all the treadmils and do this:

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“Fear is what stops you… courages is what keeps you going.” -Unknown

Why Hello There…

Okay so I know I have thousands of followers who have been desperately waiting for my next post (AKA my Grandma). I haven’t written in quite some time and I don’t know why. I think about posting all the time so that has to count for something right? Naturally, I was just waiting for the beginning of the year to start my resolution of writing every day. That’s just a lame excuse. I suck, I know. However, I really am going to make a valiant effort in writing every week. Even if they are just little motivational tips I pick up along the way.

So what’s new with me? Well, I moved back to Reno from sunny Southern California just recently. I had written before about scoring a dream job right out of college. I worked hard to get where I was, working for an ESPN College Basketball tournament. I learned more than I could ever imagine, and met some incredible people (See Me with Mike Brown below… I still respect the guy even though he didn’t quite get my Lakers a lot of tallies in the ‘W’ column).

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I also learned that sometimes companies really, really suck. I went from working at a place that cared so much about me, to working for people who put me in the worst of situations and couldn’t even pay me on time (or at all for that matter). It opened my eyes to the brutal reality of the business world. I questioned every aspect of what I was doing. Sure, I had a really cool job which from the outside seemed glamorous. In reality, I was working two other jobs to make ends meet and running myself into the ground. I talked about it like I loved it, and I worked my ass off so that only those closest to me knew how I really felt. Then my job ended, the tournament was over. My choices were to stay with the company and go to another event, find another opportunity in LA (or elsewhere) , or just go back to Reno. Well, I decided that I would rather live in the fiery core of the earth than live in LA. Seriously. At the same time, I didn’t like the thought of “going back” to Reno. I felt like I was giving up, like I was failing. What would I tell people when I got there? I had just been doing my dream job and now I’m going home to do who knows what. And honestly it took me this long to even find the courage to write it down for the fear that people might judge my actions or make me feel like I was giving up. But it came to the point where I just had to decide what to do.

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So I did it. I came back to Reno. Sure, it was a decision I had to make financially (that whole not being paid thing really threw a wrench into living the So Cal life), but in reality it was something I wanted to do for me. I realized that I need to stop doing things for other people and start doing things for myself. I need to find out what I want in life, and then go for it. All I’ve ever wanted is to do something remarkable, and I will, but I’m going to do it on my terms now. The only person I have to prove anything to is myself.

So here it is. I’m on a new journey in life and I’m sure I’ll be posting way more often. Make sure to describe and follow me on twitter @NelsonKati for all my latest updates.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”  ~ Dr. Seuss

How to Make Yourself Competitive

The single most important trait one can have in a changing economy is the ability to be adaptable. That’s what will put you ahead of the others. All too often we hear people excusing others, “Oh, they are just stuck in their old ways.” Well move over traditionalists, you better clear the path for the modern thinkers.

Let’s face it… The world is changing. I watched this speech by Gary Vaynerchuk recently and it really opened my eyes. It is a long one, but I highly recommend it.

I can remember when Facebook first came out. I was NOT having it. Perfectly content with my MySpace account, I wanted nothing to do with this new social media approach. It looked different, it was confusing, and I didn’t want to take the time to learn it. Finally when I entered college, I gave in. EVERYBODY was doing it (that makes it cool right?).

There are a lot of things we do because other people are doing it. Facebook was one of the many things I said I’d never do, but then gave in because others were doing it (wearing skinny jeans and drinking Starbucks coffee are on that list as well). Since then, I’ve realized the benefit of jumping on trends before they become the norm. I’m not talking about fashion here, unless you’re a fashion entrepreneur, then you can relate this to skinny jeans all you want.

What if we had the ability to see what would be popular in a matter of weeks, months, or even years? Well, we do! Although it’s not full proof, we have the technology to see what people are talking about in real time. With the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and all the other social media sites, we can see what people like, at the instant they like it or talk about it.

If we want to grow in society, we have to be forward thinking. The other day, I heard someone talking about how Facebook finally forced them to have the new “timeline” profile. Welcome to 2012, lady. I hated the idea of the timeline at first, it was weird. At the same time, I knew that Facebook was heading in this direction and that eventually everyone would have this profile. So I voluntarily got the new profile while it was still an option, and I adapted to it. Sure, I could have waited until now when Facebook forced me to have it, but then I’d be behind the curve. Everyone would already be used to it, while I was still learning it.

We can apply this same scenario to the business world. Employers want adaptability. I have always said there is only so much we can learn by reading a textbook, but the ability to be creative and forward thinking is a skillset that will put you ahead. It is a gamble trying to anticipate what will be the trend in the future, but risk often equals reward.

“If life is moving slowly… Run faster!” ~Jordan D. Ulmer

10 Steps to Becoming the Worst Traveler Possible

As I stated in my previous couple of blogs, I just spent 6 days in Washington DC. It inspired me to write a blog about traveling, since everyone seems to do it at least once in their lifetime. Whether you are going for a business trip, taking a road trip with friends for the weekend, or even visiting another country, there are things you need to know.

I have traveled quite a bit in recent years, including a semester abroad last spring in Alicante, Spain (Check out my Spain blog here). You always have to be wary of who you decide to take trips with, in order to make them the least painful possible. I have been fortunate enough to have some great travel buddies, who have made my trips quite enjoyable!

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Rome, Italy
Alicante, Spain

Seeing as I have had the greatest travelers by my side, and some not so great ones, I am basically an expert. In order to share my expertise with you fortunate readers, I have devised a list of things you should do if you want to be the most miserable and hated travel buddy ever.

  1. Don’t be open to possibilities. You definitely shouldn’t take the chance to hear what anyone else says about anything. They heard about a great restaurant they really wanted to try while in a new place? Forget it! They want to see a monument they’ve waited their whole life to see? Nope! This is your trip, they are just along for the ride.
  2. Complain as much as possible. OMG how much walking are we going to do? It’s hot out here. This hotel is terrible. I’m hungry. Are we there yet? You get the point. Keep the complaints flowing, only stopping to take short breaths of air, if necessary.
  3. Rain on everybody’s parade. So what, your travel buddy thinks the world’s largest peanut monument (this exists, really) is the coolest thing since sliced bread! Make sure to do everything possible to make him or her think it is the stupidest thing you’ve ever seen, no need to bite your tongue out of politeness.
  4. Don’t pay for anything. Generally on trips people split cab rides or food, take turns, or somehow figure it out to where the cash flow evens out a bit. Splitting costs is for the birds! Just make sure to practice your “I must have forgotten my wallet!” routine.
  5. Bring a screaming baby. That’s everyone’s favorite thing on a plane. If you are a screaming baby, you’re automatically the worst travel buddy in the world. Grow up kid.
  6. Pick fights with everybody you’re traveling with. You like confrontation? Perfect. When you are stuck in close quarters with people for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to take jabs at them. Yell at your travel buddies for everything under the sun (taking too long brushing their teeth, needing to use the restroom, stopping to take a picture, etc.), and always act pissed off and annoyed. Give it that extra oomph by sighing and rolling your eyes every few minutes.
  7. Since you are better than anyone who ever lived, make it known. Pull a Barbara Streisand and make sure to call the hotel (even better, force your travel partner do it) and request rose petals on the toilet seat and 120 designer peach-colored towels. Pinkies out, noses up, you’re a travel princess… act like it.
  8. Be a know-it-all. You’ve never been to London, but your sister’s cousin’s nephew twice removed once shook the hand of the queen’s maid. Therefore, you know everything about London. Who needs a tour guide when you can give your made-up commentary throughout the entire trip? Your friends will love you.
  9. Don’t eat any of the food. A lot of people are picky eaters, but you take the cake for the pickiest. Who cares if you are in a country that doesn’t support eating beef, order it anyways! The looks they give you will be strictly out of love, and if they kick you out of the restaurant it’s only because you are too good for it.
  10. Be that obnoxious ignorant traveler. Culture? What’s that? Make it a point to cause a scene everywhere you go. If you’re in a foreign country, definitely make every attempt to speak as loudly as possible with your oh-so-beautiful American accent. Run into someone who doesn’t speak English, but you’re in their native country? They like it when you yell at them in English because you think they will understand it better that way. Do that.

These are just some of the ways to be absolutely annoying while traveling. Please comment and let me know what your biggest travel pet peeve is so we can add it to the list!

Disclaimer: If you really do any of these things, do yourself and the world a favor… don’t travel! Otherwise you better learn to open up and be willing to try new things. If you stop worrying so much it will make the experience that much better, traveling is a wonderful thing.

 “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck