A few years into my fitness career I had a woman who would show up every single Monday evening to my cycling class with a towel, water bottle and magazine. She would spend the entire hour flipping through her US Weekly unless we stood out of the saddle. I spent a year wondering why on earth does she keep coming back.
I taught that time slot for a couple years and when I left it She showed up to class at our other gym location about two weeks later for my 6:30am class.
Speechless, it made me realize that everyone who walks into the gym has their own little purpose. They might not express it all the time, but don't be quick to judge their purpose for being there.
I got into an argument with someone here in India over the same topic, after hearing them complain about a guy in the gym who is there for hours and "doesn't do a whole lot of anything". He found it incredibly annoying for the guy to be there and wanted to tell him to leave.
When I said he had a bit of gym rage and that he was being too judgemental about the guy and what his workout was about. With a response to something like, "He's just doing a few reps here and there and taking selfies. He's just in my way." I asked, "Do you know his story? Do you have any idea what that man is going through in his life? Have some compassion will you! For all you know, he could be going through a hard break up, a death. He might live in an abusive household and this is his only escape to be away from that environment. This could be his only safe he has; the place he feels most comfortable. He may have been through a major transformation and this is what he does to help him feel good about himself. Try not to be so quick to judge people and try to understand their situation."
You never know what they might be going through, living with COMPASSION toward all others makes this world a more understanding place to be.