A desperate young man contacted me with a plea for help in resolving his situation at the American Community Support Association of New Delhi (see his message below). While I’m not associated with the club, I do have contact with individuals who are. On occasion, I’ll get a message from someone with a situation related to that and other American clubs around the world. I’m always happy to help whenever I can. Usually, I can reach out to the General Manager of the club or the post’s CLO, and, let me tell you, they are always helpful. This time, however, reaching out to the General Manager or the CLO would not resolve this young man’s problem.
The problem is that the young man who contacted me, and anyone else his age and younger, are not permitted to access and use the gym without adult supervision. As someone who is an active runner and weightlifter, I can relate to this young man’s problem. Personally, I need to go to the gym – probably because my wife bakes like a pastry chef.
If we don’t allow our youth to develop healthy life styles early in their lives, they are less likely to develop them as they become adults. Besides, what message are we sending to our children when we want them to be involved in physical fitness, but only when it is convenient for us (us adults) to do so? Nothing, in life, is ever going to be perfectly convenient for everyone at the same time.
Now, on one hand, I realize that there are liability issues involved in allowing just anyone access to the gym at any point in time. On the other hand, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to allow a parent or legal guardian to give permission to the gym and accept responsibility for these young individuals?
If the release of liability isn’t enough, why don’t have training classes for these young individuals? After their training, they could take a test that requires basic knowledge of the equipment, its use, safety guidelines, and simple gym etiquette. If they pass, they gain access to the gym.
What do you think? Can we make this happen soon at ACSA?