What is it like for a girl to live in a gym?

Before I tore my MCL, I traveled and trained Muay Thai full time. I preferred living in the gym to make sure I attend all training sessions. Never mind that I lived with 15 other men or so. Training in the most beautiful island locations, I was beyond certain I would fall into laziness if I lived elsewhere.

Removing the extra step of getting my ass into the gym made training smoother. All I needed to do was grab my gear, get out of my door, and go downstairs to train – sometimes walking, other times half-crawling. It does not matter how, as long as I make it, I feel good. Post-training, I just have to do everything in reverse, hop in the communal shower, eat, and be back in my room until the next training bell. Simple.

Of course, there is no perfect setup. Some people are plain shocked when they learn I live in the gym with the equivalent of an entire football team including substitutes. I really do not mind. We are all there to train, we all have our individual rooms, and because the gym is small, we are like family. Fighters usually have a lot of respect for each other.

The boys I trained with were nice people. They were from everywhere across the globe. Some of the best people I know I met through training. We were the same, travelers interested in fitness and martial arts, in testing the limits of what our minds and bodies can do. We were all away from family and friends and the comforts we were used to. For the meantime, we had each other.

Living in a gym does not afford anyone much privacy though. The rooms are above the training area, small and Spartan, without air-conditioning or private toilet and bath. Everything is made of bamboo.

This means, if my neighbor turns to his side at night, I know. If he has a guest, I know. If they are doing things, I know. I do not know how this sounds to you, but this is a minor inconvenience for me. When you tell them to keep it down, they usually do.

Training is twice every day, which is good because I can squeeze in other activities that I enjoy like dragonboat paddling, yoga, or having food with beautiful new friends from the islands.

Every time training starts, the trainers blast loud music. Even if I did not feel like training, I always end up dragging myself downstairs because there is no comfort in my room anyway.

Almost always, I will be the only girl in the gym, the smallest and lightest, but everyone treated me fairly. I wish I can tell you they go easy on me, but they do not.

We train six days a week, four hours a day, and on Saturday night, everyone goes out. I never liked to party, but I go with them, if only to carry drunk and dead bodies back to the gym before the morning breaks. Sometimes I hold buckets for them to throw up on, other times I just have to make sure they end up on the correct room. It is a hit and miss.

Living in a gym is light-years away from glamour and several steps from comfortable. It has taught me a lot though. It showed me that I really do not need much to survive, that I can get along with people regardless of gender, age, race, skill, and intelligence, that I am capable of living well on a backpack, and that I can kick ass if I worked hard enough.

It has been a while since I stepped into a gym, much more live in one, but I cannot wait for the day when it happens again. I do not know how I would feel post-MCL injury, but I will make sure I will have fun. This kind of Muay Thai lifestyle is sure not for everyone, but this girl likes it.

45 thoughts on “What is it like for a girl to live in a gym?

  1. How exciting 💖 i didn’t know that these kinds of training gyms exist. I’m glad you were able to recover from your injury and is still living your best life. So inspiring 💖

    Like

    1. Thank you. Training is like play for me, keeps me occupied, gives me focus, and I feel good about eating everything! The last bit makes it all worth it. I have to admit most times I overestimate the working out and underestimate the eating. If you are curious at all on what it is like, you should give it a go, say for a week? A fitness holiday is such a unique experience, and you will be incredibly popular because you make nice food. Actually, once a week, we have a group meal at the gym. We take turns cooking. Just simple food. I made tomato pasta, some people cooked burgers. It is a good way to hang out and just share nice things. As if we needed to be even closer. Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Training is fun for me. It does not feel like work and all the aches or inconveniences that come with it are worth it. The lifestyle is healthy and it helped me vent. I am continuously working on communication, and around this time, I was not very good, and I needed to hit things to get the stress out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacquie. Yes, the environment is family-like, unlike in bigger gyms that I have trained at where it is more commercial. I am sure you know this distinction, too. I have treasured friends that I met from this gym and there is just nothing like sharing this experience. No privacy means we really get close to each other, sometimes too close. Haha! But it is all good. Thank you for visiting and welcome to our blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, living in Japan must have been nice. Ramen everyday is my idea of heaven. Where in Japan? Boracay is one of my favorite places to train. I have not returned since it was closed and I heard the vibe of the island is different now. Markus and I have always talked about visiting again but the pandemic has caught us. What were you up to in Boracay before?

      Like

      1. I was just travelling for a couple of weeks in the phillipines and happened upon it. Great surprise. Made some friends there and went back for another visit a few months later.
        As for Japan I was a couple of hours south of Nayoga, on the Kii peninsular. Orange growing country, pretty rural but great.
        How developed is Boracay these days? Have big hotels gone up yet?

        Like

        1. Boracay surprised me then, too. The last time I was there was in 2017. Incredibly commercial. Then they closed the island for rehab and I have no clue what it looks like now. I heard there has been a lot of construction, including new big hotels and casinos aimed at Chinese tourists. Your Japan home sounds lovely. Rural is nice – calm and quiet. Do you prefer rural or city?

          Like

  2. Super interesting post! This lifestyle, despite the lack of comfort and privacy, seems so rewarding and the way you describe it, I almost want to try it, though I don’t think I could do it for a very long time! Thanks for sharing your story, and I hope you recover soon 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It is rewarding: you meet good people, live on a beautiful island, see just how strong your mind and body can be, and lose a few kilos along the way. It is such a unique experience and you definitely do not have to do it long to enjoy it. A week living in a gym will give you new perspectives. My injury has healed, I could not walk for six months, but now I am okay.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Anne. Now you do! Many people go on fitness holidays and they do some version of what I did: pick an island destination with a gym and have fun training and meeting new people. I suppose it is a unique way of traveling. I can recommend it to your children and grandsons. A big adventure, you could say.

      Like

        1. There are no gyms where we live now. Maybe gyms are open in the cities. I honestly do not follow up anymore because this lockdown business is so stressful. Mainly, I train at home, which is great because I have no excuse not to do it.

          Like

            1. Because it is. It ate the entire year and I would not be surprised if it does the same to parts of next year. Did you have a normal Halloween or? I mean, the last pandemic did last a year an a half. Who is to say when this one ends?

              Like

              1. The only child who comes to our door trick or treating is Logan. Lily’s parents took Logan and Lily to a corn maze and bonfire, and they were too late getting home to come. Shawn said Logan will come over in his costume this afternoon. That’s fine with us. It will give the boy another chance to show off his costume.

                Like

                  1. Logan didn’t come, after all. He and his parents went to visit his much older sister and her two sons for the day. They were too late getting home for him to come over. I’ll probably write about it if he comes in his costume.

                    Like

  3. Must have been an interesting experience and a great learning opportunity for you. I’ve never heard of the concept but from your conclusion, I admire the lessons learned.

    Like

    1. For normal travelers, this will fall under a fitness holiday, which is not a bad idea actually, very unique and while others return with a beer belly from vacation you can come back ripped or at least several kilos lighter. Not bad at all, right? Thank you for sharing your thoughts and welcome to our blog, Kevin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Can be a change from the standard vacations. Has a nice ring to it to. Fitness vacation😏

        Your story is admirable, change of career and designing your packages. I can only imagine the freedom and peace that you enjoy in your new lifestyle. Thank you

        Like

        1. It is fun, and it changes the mind and body for the better. I suppose it is an opportunity to find your edge and rediscover your strength, not just physically but from the inside. And thank you, we continuously work on self-determination and living with intention. It allows us to live a life we are in love with every day. Much of this blog is dedicated to sharing what it took for us to get here.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Huh. I’ve never heard of anyone living in a gym. I avoid them on principle, but I like your conclusions about what you learned from living in one. We all find our own ways in life

    Like

    1. Thank you. This is a fitness holiday kind of thing for most people. The gyms are in beautiful islands and it creates a unique vacation experience. I enjoyed it a lot back then. Training muay thai gave me focus and also helped me relax. Is that an odd thing to say?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting, Micah. I went through a stage when I taught spinning in a gym. I taught 10 hours a week and cycled on weekends. Our gyms don’t offer live in facilities or, at that time in my life, I probably would have lived there too. I also did two hours of weight training a week with a personal trainer. I also sustained injuries and now I mainly walk.

    Like

    1. Really impressed. You had an active lifestyle, and still do! Living in the gym just makes it easy. It never hurts that it is on an island paradise. It is also fun to get to know people this way. Most fighters stay longer, like a month or so, and this opens opportunities for good friendships to develop.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Micah, what a wonderful story, you should have a whole bunch of kids following you! I am too old to do what you did but think that you are an inspiration!

    Like

      1. If they turn out like you guys (I’m just reading your answers in This Weeks Episode of the M+M Show) I think their parents will want to come over to your place so they can join in too! Okay, maybe they won’t do the Muay Thai but they might want to do many of the other things you do, yoga, meditation and so on. Reading your blog, I sometimes wish I was younger 😂

        Like

        1. Well, we do thriving life retreats on how to be your own person and create a life you love. Everyone is welcome. I think there are plenty of nice things we can do together like drinking tea, taking walks, cooking and baking, and having good conversation. But actually, we are always impressed when we meet people on our travels or retreats who continue to grow regardless of age. The oldest participant to our retreat is 70.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: