T Nation

Family Issues With Gym

Hey T-nation folks, I’m a 15year old who loves strongman and powerlifting.
Recently I’ve been having some issues with the family and the gym and need some outside advice. Ever since I started lifting weights its become a therapeutic session, I have terrible anxiety and anger issues so I love having an outlet like this. I don’t really have any other outlets for stress and anger so the gym is an important piece in my life currently.
I love the hell out of my parents and have never snapped at them once because it would crush my mom… then my dad would crush me. It seems as of recent now that I have my schedule in tact (I’m hitting all my workouts, I’m getting my shit together in school and I’m getting better at time management) they have been making me feel horrible about going to the gym.
The entire ride up to my gym (my mom usually takes me) she is guilt tripping me about how selfish I am for going to the gym and how it affects the entire day completely because she isn’t prepared for me to go that day. So usually after the 15min+ ride I feel like a selfish sad sack of shit. I don’t know how to tell my parents that and I need help thinking of a way to tell them that the gym is my happy place and that it really hurts me deeply that they tell me things like that.

Please give advice, Brett

Buy a bicycle. Ride it to the gym.


Tell her you are an introvert and you need alone time at the gym to recharge your batteries. It’s how you recharge and no matter what you can’t change that. Maybe try writing it in a genuine letter.

Train at school/other gym?

Is it a strongman/powerlifting/hardcore type gym -if so usually pretty good sense of community and you prbably can work out a lift with other lifters


Ur mum gives you shit about being selfish and your response seems to involve a lot of me me me lol.

Ur mum isn’t giving you shit for no reason I hope lol she might be like passive aggressively telling you something. Like stick to a consistently weekly schedule and tell her before time or that you’ll need to get some alternate transportation to the gym sometimes. Might be that they don’t actually like you going to the gym but that’s a stretch.

Your parent may well not understand why gym really means or does for you but don’t lead with that fuck sake. I dunno ur circumstances but I’m pretty sure your parents are busting their arses so you can go have your therapy and put food on the table so you can make some gains.

Don’t go with “You don’t understand me and what the gym means to me. You are making me feel bad and shit. I need this.”

Go with something like “I’ve noticed this. What’s the problem? How can I help or what can I do?” Finish with what benefits the gym has for you if the opportunity arises. They should have your best interest at heart anyways so it’ll be alright


Just talk to them. And offer something in return. Like help around the house etc.
You’ll be fine . They care about you. If they didn’t they’d stop taking you to the Gym!

As a dad that has had to do the run-around for a teenager for years, I know where she is coming from, especially if she’s working, organising dinner and everyone else’s shit too, however, I’d be bloody happy as a pig in shit if my kids wanted to go to the gym and lift, but not everyone has the same mindset.

I reckon the problem is, she’s been running everyone around for years and probably thinks your nearly old enough to get yourself around places, and don’t forget, she’s taking you there, waiting or piss farting about, and wasting time to bring you home too, so maybe try and lift at school or see if your parents will chip in, to help you get some lifting gear for at home to ease the amount of running around time.


Some great advice here. We are all making at least some assumptions since none of us are in your shoes and don’t see the day-to-day, so don’t take offense if you read anything of these as us calling you a snotty kid.

That being said, make sure you are showing some courtesy and appreciation. Instead of ‘I need a ride to the gym’, try ‘mom(or dad), can you please run me to the gym?’. And say thank you. As was said above, if she is doing the running for everyone showing some appreciation will probably make her at least a little more willing to help you out - and that appreciation should extend beyond just when she takes you to the gym. Powerpuff mentioned giving her a hug every now and then, including a long one (6+ seconds) every now and then - I can say from experience with both my wife and mother, wrapping a woman up and giving them a gentle squeeze and holding it longer than normal - you will literally feel some of the tension leave their body. This is also the perfect time to vocalize your appreciation, ‘Mom, I noticed you do a lot not just for me but for the entire family, and I just wanted to say I love you and I appreciate everything you do’. I will caution you, however, to NOT ask for something immediately afterward - unless your mom is a complete idiot (doubt it) she will see this as a manipulative act on your part, and most likely become even more resistant to your requests for much of anything. Give her the hug/statement at a completely random time, and then walk away.

I would also echo the person above who said to get a bike or try and arrange for other transportation as much as possible. Nothing says ‘I understand your burden’ like finding a way to not add to it.


At 15, I think this should be addressed before you worry about gym transport. Are your parents aware of these issues? Are you getting professional help?


Okay lots of amazing advice here and I can’t thank you guys enough.
To address @SkyzykS I have a bike but mom wont let me ride it to gym because gym is in a not good part of town.
To address @carlbm & @anon71262119 I do as much as I can around the house because my mom does bust her ass to keep the house clean and take care of our family.
To address @I_Luc she does run around everywhere and I’ve been saving my money and doing what I can to get equipment for a home gym.
To address @T3hPwnisher They do know about my anxiety and I have been prescribed medicine to help with it. They don’t know so much about my anger issues as they are usually subdued by the gym. I’m not currently seeing any professionals about any of this but I’ll talk to my family about it.
To address @anon71262119 one more time, anxiety and depression do run in my moms side of the family, most everyone on her side has it, I’ve never thought of where my anger comes from but when I try I can’t seem to find where it does come from. Should I try to find out if I have depression?
To everyone else who has chipped in, it is much appreciated and has helped me out a lot


Explain that the exercise is part of the treatment.
Exercise is one of the most powerful treatments for mental health issues.

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Rather than just throw that one at your parents, do a little googling on that topic for research studies - fitness/weight lifting and depression or mental health. But when you have the conversation with your agents about it, definitely explain how much better you feel mentally when you are able to lift versus not - ie, calmer, more relaxed, able to vent aggression on the weights rather than in an unhealthy manner (acting out or whatever).

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serious question: could you not just take a bus to the gym?

No bus where I live

At 15 you should get a 16yr old gym bro…then you can both get jacked & juicy together. Then hit smoothie bar & hit on the cheerleaders after they workout. Total win for everyone :+1::ok_hand:

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Coming from you I’d think you were suggesting that he hop on the bicycle lel

The best thing he could do is start banging a 17yr old cheerleader and make her take his ass to gym


Yessssssss, the hero we need!

If it takes 15 minutes for you to get to the gym that’s an hour of unplanned driving for your mom assuming she goes home after dropping you off. I work full time and have two kids and can tell you an hour of wasted time in an evening can sometimes be kind of a big deal. I’m on board with SkyzykS about the bike.

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There’s always buying a bar and some Olympic weights.

With just that you can have a heck of a workout when you can’t get to the gym.

It also stores nicely.