While I was partaking in my regular workout at 24 Hour Fitness, I began to take notice to the environment in which I was surrounded: a large gym, open ALL day EVERYDAY for workout fanatics , workout regulars, those who sporadically workout, the young or old, swimmers, yoga goers, cyclers, basketballers etc! As I was observing the workout community to which I am a part of, it dawned on me that the gym is a radically individualistic, public place. From the men huffing and puffing in the weights section, to each person on their own machine, to the multiple televisions in which many people are engrossed in; there is minimal, to no conversation taking place. Granted, it is difficult to converse while simultaneously partaking in a rigorous workout, but at the gym, it’s each to his own, with each person who passes by, it is extremely rare to receive a courteous smile, much less a glance of eye contact. Maasik and Solomon referred to this behavior as “privatizing the public sphere” actions that “effectively deny the existence of all other people who occupy the same public space” (485). The community of a gym is contradictory in itself, but I was also an act of contradiction, as I processed all of this information while walking on the stair master, in my own little world: just me and my ipod in my “singular auditory realm” (486).
Maasik, Sonia & Solomon, Jack. “American Paradox: Culture and Contradiction in the U.S.A.” Signs of Life in the U.S.A. (2009): 477-486. Print.