My wife and I joined a health club a few years ago, and it was a very good decision since it provides us opportunities to be more active and stay healthier. We used the club a lot, quite a few times each week actually. One thing I started doing, not long after we joined, is to participate in “Group Fitness” classes. One advantage of taking these classes, no matter they are cardio, Yoga, weight training, or other special classes such as Insanity, is to help us become more committed to exercise since there are set schedules to follow and defined length of time to do all the jumping, twisting, lifting, sweating, … without quitting (it is kind of embarrassing to walkout in the middle of a class, isn't it?) Discipline is the key to exercise, right? And taking these classes definitely helps us becoming more discipline.
Another thing I learned from taking these classes is that most people have their favorite spots in the classroom. I guess it is understandable if one takes the same class week after week at the same time on the same day, one will feel very comfortable occupying the same spot in the classroom to do the exercises. We are all creature of habits! What surprises me is that people become very “territorial” about “their spots!” When there are new people in the class, unknowingly taking the spots of regulars’, the atmosphere become “tense” and funny looks and cold stares are exchanged. For the most parts, that is the extent of hostility until recently, an instance of “invasion of my spot” escalated into verbal confrontation and throwing of exercise equipment between two people, Wow! Really? Over a spot to exercise? I though we suppose to exercise to release the stress and not to be stressed by coming to an exercise class witnessing people fighting over a spot.
We are all territorial in many ways. We don’t like people telling us what to do or how to do things; we want to tell them to mind their own business and don’t get into our space. We know what we are doing, we like the way we are, and the way we handle things are perfect! If my “spot” is a PLC programming expert, who are you, a new comer to the project, going to tell me a better way to program? I am in my comfort zone, and how dare you to disturb my comfort? I have been doing servo applications for 20 years, and you are taking my spot on the project team? Seriously? Cold shoulders are the least you deserve, we murmured in our minds. Hopefully we don’t see any “throwing of PLC equipment at each other” in these situations, but purposely not cooperating with others or sabotaging the progress of the overall project is just as bad, if not worse than the actual verbal and physical confrontations. All companies preach team work, but team work will not be real if we are so rigidly protecting a “spot” or “position” and not willing to have any flexibility.
It is almost the time for me to go to my exercise class, and I am going to go early to make sure I get my spot. However, if someone takes my spot, I will do my best to enjoy the class and move to a different spot … with a smile and not a grudge.