Discourse Community Memoir Thesis

Pages: 4 (1200 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports

¶ … Community Membership

I have always had an interest in sports and fitness but I had never joined a gym until last year. To outsiders, the gym can be somewhat intimidating, which is one of the reasons that the slogan "No Judgments" of the Crunch Gym fitness club chain appealed to me. Still, for a person walking into a gym from the street, it can be uncomfortable to walk into a facility that seems to cater to a tight-nit group of regulars who have a well-established routine, a common lingo, and who are very likely to recognize a complete novice immediately. As a new gym member, I realized that there were at least two aspects of knowledge and expertise that I would have to acquire to become comfortable in the gym environment: (1) technical proficiency with the equipment and methods of fitness training, and (2) social fluency in the terminology and etiquette associated with the activity.

Joining the Community:

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The first day in a gym did more to reinforce my initial apprehension than it did to lessen it. That was mainly because the process getting started required a consultation with a membership representative and signing up for an initial two-week trial membership. We sat in a small office adjacent to areas where those who were already part of the community worked out together. The fact that the office walls were circular and glass made me feel as though I were in a display case labeled "Gym Newbies" instead of sitting in a membership sales office. Even worse than the display case experience was the gym tour that followed that ensured that any gym regulars who had not noticed me in the newbie case would catch the newbie on tour.

TOPIC: Thesis on Discourse Community Memoir Assignment

With any hope of trying to blend in as much as possible and keep a low profile at first lost, I finally managed to get changed and situate myself on an elliptical machine somewhat inconspicuously. Luckily, the row of elliptical machines overlooked the main gym area, letting me be the outside observer. I noticed immediately that even though most of the people working out were involved in their own individual exercises, there was still a definite rhythm to the room. Some people seemed to be oblivious to what was going on around them on one level, working on their own and listening to headphones; others worked out in pairs, talking the whole time. On another level, even the solitary exercisers seemed to have an awareness of a certain flow to the gym, occasionally taking their headphones down momentarily to say something to someone before resuming their solitary exercises.

I realized that there had to be a lot to learn about communicating in the gym environment by the way that nobody ever seemed to get in anybody else's way even though so many people were involved in so many different specific exercises and activities. Some of the most obvious examples included the manner in which people working in the two free weight areas had to be aware of what was happening on the sunning track because part of the track ran between the two workout areas. It was much harder for me to understand more subtle situations, such as where groups of three or four people shared a piece of equipment without much apparent discussion. Sometimes, the individuals sharing the equipment adjusted it differently and used it in a completely different way, requiring the individuals to adapt it to their particular needs alternately. On other occasions, small groups of individuals took regular turns in the same relative order on successive different… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Discourse Community Memoir."  Essaytown.com.  September 4, 2009.  Accessed July 27, 2021.