Are you FIT? Perhaps you enjoy working out to DVDs in your living room, or are a regular in Zumba class. Maybe you consider yourself hardcore doing 4 road races a month or CrossFit. Others are Weekend Warriors mixing it up between flag football games, yoga retreats and Color Runs. Whatever the case, if you’re deaf or hard of hearing and you work out to some degree, you know there’s funny stuff that sometimes happens in the process of keeping fit. These quirky pitfalls (or maybe I should say potholes) that we encounter in our fitness regimen due to auditory habits of hearing people, or simple visual necessities are pretty routine to us. No big deal, it comes with the territory. We’re tough, man! It’s a small price to pay to be well mentally and physically. We’ve got endorphins flowing and it’s worth a giggle, so here they are, Deaf Fitness Pitfalls:
1. You crane your neck to follow fitness DVDs. Captions/subtitles are pretty standard for the new fitness DVDs out nowadays, but understanding “annnd stretch your neck over to the left” isn’t going to change the fact that the TV is on the right, nor do they turn the captions upside down when you are bent over.
3. While running, you embrace silence and laugh at hearing folk who use earbuds/ipods that jump out of their skin when you run by them.
4. Your favorite gym is the one that automatically sets up the captions on the TVs.
5. Free fitness videos from the internet are strictly “monkey see monkey do”. If they are captioned, many of the automatic captioned videos can have you splitting brain cells trying to understand. Examples:
6. You know not to engage in conversation on the treadmill while running. You’re experienced enough to know that signed or spoken conversation may lead to bad news here. It doesn’t matter if you sign or read lips, anything that makes you turn your head is risky business. Just like deaf pancakes/popcorn: eye on the ball. Proceed with caution.
8. You sometimes end up doing extra reps in a class or when following a DVD. See #1 on neck-craning. Too heavily focused on your plank, they may have finished up and moved on.
9. When at the gym, you find yourself suddenly stranded, the only one left in the room. Missed the free smoothie announcement again!! (My husband is convinced this happens. Anyone?)
10. You’re doing free weights and didn’t hear the guy behind you asking if you can “spot” him. When you turn around you’re getting a dirty look and/or in less zen gym environments perhaps “the bird”. (Another hubs-contribution)
Bonus: When finishing a race you know to KEEP IT MOVING (AKA: Get Out of the Way). Hearing people know this too, the reason being to keep the blood circulating so you don’t faint. But the additional reason is to make sure no one messes up your victory dance and/or “selfie”. Nothing like stopping too long to bask in the glow of your accomplishment and getting plowed over by the runner behind you trying to best their PR. That’ll take you down a notch.
Snarky musings aside, Deaf people can do anything. Hearing people too, actually. When you set your mind and heart to do something better for your health, your body will follow. Like my Deafness, my fitness journey has been lifelong (these tips came from the warpath!). I’d encourage everyone to reach for something that gets you moving and thriving. I am also a Beachbody coach, if you’re interested in working with this chica on your fitness dreams, please click here.
Namaste, people. Rock on.