One of my hobbies is putting together garage gyms (no surprise). I got it from my Dad. On all the big gift-giving days (Christmas, birthdays) he would reveal his latest gift. He had a thing about gifts being activity based. Once it was a ping-pong table, another time it was a ball-feeding system for batting practice. My favorite was when the climbing rope went into the upstairs.
I loved the theme of work ethic, self-discipline, AND it internalized the concept of training skills to improve overall performance.
Equipment won’t hold you accountable. It doesn’t mind when you skip a workout and it’s more than happy to act as a hanger for your clothes instead. When it comes down to it, it’s too easy to ghost equipment!
Consider the alternative…
Yesterday six people showed up at 6am to deadlift heavy, row at high intensity, and just in general throw down. They are probably not naturally “morning people”. It’s dark, rainy, and some of them refuse to even look at the Weekly WODs email. But they were there for themselves, for others, for me, for the habit, for the variety, and a whole bunch of other reasons that equipment just doesn’t give you. They set PRs and they moved at intensities unknown to most of the world at 6am.
AND afterwards when I personally was a little chilled and tired, I stayed for my personal training session. I wouldn’t have stayed for the equipment, and while the ski-erg is nice and shiny, there’s nothing about it that encourages me to focus up. But the coach showed up for me. There’s no special videos, no designer LCD gadgetry. Just a person getting up early who wants you to succeed.
We come in because of the accountability. We keep coming back because we leave feeling better than when we came in. We do it enough, and we become a community of folks who make real movement towards health and then onward towards elite health (fitness).
We’ve all been guilty of optimistically buying a tool in hopes that it will lead to such an identity or community. But tools or equipment are rarely preventing any of us from doing the work that needs to be done. We are responsible.