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Intentional Living – Why I’m living in a gym.


A few nights ago, I was sitting on the couch after completing a challenging upper body workout staring at the pile of gym equipment currently placed in front of my TV. Glancing to the left into our open plan living space there was more equipment. Right now, we effectively have a personal training studio in our living space.

I turned to my husband, who actually is a professional personal trainer, and said. “It’s taking a long time to reach my fitness goals. We’ll be living with this equipment in the lounge for months.” In classic, deadpan personal trainer style he answered with something that chilled me to the bone and provided me with a moment of epiphany at the same time. “Months? Don’t you mean forever? This is a lifestyle change.”

In that moment I realised that I needed to reconsider things in a different light. What I was looking at was not gym equipment clutter but actually physical proof that we were living our priorities.

Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists often says when asked about establishing priorities that your priorities are what you actually do rather than what you say they are. I’ve been reflecting on this lately and acting on it by making health and fitness a priority in my activities rather than just in my mind.

The reality is that right now my evenings and my husband’s (he does mornings as well) are taken up with a lot of exercise. This is most definitely a priority for us. Every day contains some kind of weights and or cardio routine. For now at least it’s much more practical to have our equipment readily accessible rather than keeping it stored away and getting it out every day from a spare room or garage. When I look at things in terms of my priorities living in a gym right now is a pretty practical solution.

The whole thing is making me reassess my idea of what a living space should be when priorities are the focus. I’ve even started wondering if the decrepit three seater couch in our lounge is adding enough value to our life since the floor space underneath it would be a great place for the barbells and the adjustable step. Since this is our downsized house, there’s not a lot of spare space to play with so deciding what goes where really does need to reflect our priorities.

Late last year I posted about how intentional living is sometimes a lot like hard work. In that post I talked about not having really accepted at that point that fitness as a daily part of my life would be a long term thing. My husband’s offhand comment has made it hit home that there will be no end to my exercise regime. It may ease off slightly when I’ve reached my current goals but will never again be nothing. This combined with my husband’s need for gym equipment for his job effectively means that it’s quite likely that there will always be a reasonable amount of gear somewhere on our property.

It’s fairly early days for us and our pile of gym equipment. Over time we will work through what is needed and what is not. We will find the best place to keep it when we’re not using it and the decrepit couch may or may not be replaced when it can no longer be sat on. As minimalists we do also think about what adds value when it comes to gym equipment and I think that if we didn’t also have a business that demands the level of equipment we have we would definitely be more focused on achieving our fitness gains with less.

Even with that in mind I do think it’s kind of cool situation to be in. Because of our particular circumstances and my husband’s career I have access to everything I need to reach my fitness goals without leaving the house. So in my case why go to the gym when you can live in one!

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