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It’s Settled: Interview With the Gym Tryer

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You may be aware of the demographic at Harriton known as “Gym Tryers.” We all know what it means to be a gym tryer, and frankly most of us have been caught in the act of gym trying before. I myself am somewhat of a gym tryer. Concerned about my future, I contacted a member of the Harriton class of 2001 who was known as a gym tryer. I conducted an interview in an undisclosed location and I had the privilege to hear many stories that had never been shared before. He however asked to remain anonymous in this interview:

I started off by asking about his experience as a Harriton gym tryer. He told me that dodgeball was his favorite sport, though he always enjoyed a good game of Tchoukball. “Mr. Papsin was my role model, so since 6th grade I wanted to put in as much effort as I could in positively everything I did.”

However, his efforts became a disadvantage and it backfired on him in 2006 in his first office position. “So, I was in the office,” he said, “and I saw one of my coworkers handing a cup of coffee to the boss. Something came over me; I don’t know what it was, but I before I knew it, the coffee was on the ground and I was shouting “INTERCEPTION!”

I asked what had sparked this incident, and he responded, “I don’t know! I just had this sensation sweep over me. It was like a euphoria that drove me to display my athletic talents in an inappropriate time and place. I saw our boss about to get the coffee and I just thought, I must stop this or we’ll lose the game! I don’t even know what game we were going to lose; I just knew it was important!” Luckily, his boss was a former gym tryer as well and understood the situation.

However, his hyper competitive spirit broke through in an unfortunate way a few months later.
He explained, “I was getting ready for bed a few weeks ago when my wife jokingly threw a pillow at me because she wanted to sleep and I was being slow. Soon, a small joking pillow fight ensued. Of course it was all meant to be fun, and no harm was meant. I went to hit her again but this time there was no joke. She now has a concussion. Of course I had no intention of hurting her, it was all cute and flirty, until I got into the heat of the moment. I just felt like it was becoming a competition and if I didn’t go hard I would have to go home.”
He continued, “I feel like I need to win at everything! Even things I’m not supposed to win at! Like Jumping or Waving! And Yelling! I need to WIN AT YELLING.”
“But don’t you think that’s irrational?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he responded, “It seems rational to me. Here’s another example. So a few years ago I started working for a pharmaceutical company as a researcher. I was working on a project I’ve been involved with for a while and I noticed my co-worker Jim was taking pipettes from the wrong box. His box was on the other side of the room, and I knew it didn’t make much of a difference, but rules were rules.”

I asked how this made him feel. He replied, “I felt like he was getting an unfair advantage because I was following the rules and getting pipettes from the other side of the room. So I told him so. He told me to ‘Chill Out.’ That snapped something in me, and I just lost it. I felt like I was being reasonable, following the rules, keeping everything fair. Then he told ME to chill, and it just made me so furious that someone could not care about the rules like I do.”

He concluded the interview saying, “I love competition. It drives me to do better, and so it gets out of hand sometimes. So what? Still… I hope my wife will talk to me again.”

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School
It’s Settled: Interview With the Gym Tryer