The one thing teachers didn't tell me and my fellow classmates growing up in elementary school is that bullies will still try and ruin your life well into adulthood. A woman who was trying to stick to her New Year's weight loss resolution learned that the hard way when some jerkwads thought it'd be a good idea to film and mock her while she was working out.
I don't know who raised these monsters to make them think it's cool to treat other people like garbage, especially when they're trying to do something productive. I'm a dad with two children, and if I found out they were bullying other kids, I'd count myself as a failure and immediately look for ways to rectify their gross behavior.
Thankfully, the bullies in this case were summarily shut down by a guardian gym angel.
This redditor shared the story of a kind woman from a Facebook group he's a part of, who noticed what was happening to the woman. He relayed her story in the comments section asking for advice on how to stick to an exercise routine and deal with the potentially stressful new environment of a gym.
If you've never worked out before, being around all those banging and clanging weights can be intimidating.
There's lots of gym-bros at the beginning of January who will almost always roll their eyes at the throngs of people whispering, "new year, new me" to themselves as they breathlessly flit about the gym and get in the way of their routines. They see these "newbies" as gumming up the works, taking up parking spots, and generally inconveniencing iron-pumping veterans, thus they think they have a legitimate bone to pick.
But the stranger in reddit user JohnSnow1982's tale isn't one of those bros. Instead, she encouraged the woman after some who was likely feeling like even more of a fish out of water after encountering those bullies.
The kind stranger in the story walked after the woman and found her sitting in the locker room. After speaking with her, she discovered the mocked gym-goer recently lost a parent to health issues related to obesity, and was told by her doctor that she could suffer the same fate if she didn't become more physically active.
As it turns out, the kind stranger in the story had been in a similar situation a year ago. Twelve months later, she was still in the gym and helping out someone in need.
As for the mean gym members who thought it was cool to be a bunch of bullying meanies, they were reported to management and were summarily banned from working out there ever again.
In the words of that weird viral Chinese video meme, karma is a b---h.
The story JohnSnow shared ended up inviting other people's personal tales of exercise motivation, like this excellent story about a man known as "The Beast."
And, because this was a thread dedicated to actual, practical gym tips for those who are starting to work out for the first time, it wasn't just all feel-good stories. Some people served up some decent advice:
Please re-rack your weights. I heard Hitler didn't re-rack his, and, well, look at how he turned out.