Two important things to know before we start:
1. I am a pretty confident person.
2. I have played sports and/or participated in some form of physical activity on a consistent basis throughout my entire life.
That being said, every ounce of confidence I have leaves my body as soon as I enter the gym. You’d think as someone with knowledge of exercise and an average physical ability I’d be able to operate as a normal human in Planet Fitness, but I cannot.
Among the people lifting heavy weights in their cool outfits, I feel inevitably out of place. I want to wear my “mom shoes” (you know what I’m talking about, the typical black base model Nikes) and a tee shirt I got from soccer in 2010 and hide on the treadmill furthest from…well, everything.
There are a few different Planet Fitness employees I see on a rotation throughout the week, but only one looks up from his phone and says “hi” when I check into the gym. He wore a full costume on Halloween, and the other employees with their “too cool for this job” attitudes probably aren’t his best friends. But he always says “hi” to every single person who walks through the door. When he greets me, I feel about a thousand percent less nervous. Suddenly, I’m not out of place because someone is clearly happy to see me there.
I bet that guy doesn’t think his job is all that important. He probably assumes he doesn’t touch many lives behind the front desk, but I’ll say this: because he’s good at his job (probably better than he realizes he is), my day is infinitely better.
It doesn’t matter if you’re working your first job or you’re some Big Cheese CEO. The space you occupy in this world is not too small to affect someone’s life. The little things you do matter, and they matter even more if you choose to make those little things kind things.