Community Membership Scenario Narrative Essay by Nicky

An account of this writer's foray into the gym environment.
# 150092 | 1,153 words | 0 sources | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 25, 2012 in Psychology (Social) , Sport (General)

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The writer describes how as a new gym member, he had to learn the technical proficiency with the equipment and the accepted methods of fitness training. The writer also details how he had to pick up the social fluency in the terminology and etiquette associated with the gym activities.

Joining the Community
Vocabulary, Practices, and Proficiencies
Shared Values and Controversies

From the Paper:

"The first day in a gym did more to reinforce my initial apprehension than it did to lessen it. That was mainly because the process getting started required a consultation with a membership representative and signing up for an initial two-week trial membership. We sat in a small office adjacent to areas where those who were already part of the community worked out together. The fact that the office walls were circular and glass made me feel as though I were in a display case labeled "Gym Newbies" instead of sitting in a membership sales office. Even worse than the display case experience was the gym tour that followed that ensured that any gym regulars who had not noticed me in the newbie case would catch the newbie on tour.
"With any hope of trying to blend in as much as possible and keep a low profile at first lost, I finally managed to get changed and situate myself on an elliptical machine somewhat inconspicuously. Luckily, the row of elliptical machines overlooked the main gym area, letting me be the outside observer. I noticed immediately that even though most of the people working out were involved in their own individual exercises, there was still a definite rhythm to the room. Some people seemed to be oblivious to what was going on around them on one level, working on their own and listening to headphones; others worked out in pairs, talking the whole time. On another level, even the solitary exercisers seemed to have an awareness of a certain flow to the gym, occasionally taking their headphones down momentarily to say something to someone before resuming their solitary exercises."

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