About a year ago I decided to go to the gym. I worked long hours in an office and trained Muay Thai so I could only go to the nearby 24/7 gym late at night.
I went every second day to do StrongLifts and for the most part it was just me and this one massive dude working out. When I say massive, I mean like half a foot taller than me and biceps bigger than my head. So it goes without saying that my skinny ass felt self conscious lifting tiny weights while this guy was lifting three times my body weight without breaking a sweat. He never did anything other than just existing to make me feel self conscious, but we continued like that, sticking to ourselves and lifting in silence for a while.
One day I had a particularly shitty day at work and just didn't feel like going to the gym. But then it occurred to me that while I stayed at home feeling sorry for myself, this fucker would be in the gym getting even bigger than me. In a weird way I felt like by staying home I would be letting him down. And so I went again that night, and I never missed another workout.
One night I squatted 2 plates (100 kg) for the first time. I felt like a fucking beast. To my surprise, the massive guy appeared behind me, with a big grin on his face and a handshake. From then on I had a gym bro. He was a swimming coach, and turned out to not be as intimidating as I thought and actually really friendly - giving me advice when I asked, and encouragement when I switched to doing PPL everyday (because of course he went everyday).
He recently had a newborn girl, so he and his wife bought a house outside the city and he's moving away. We worked out together for the last time and after the workout I thanked him, and let him know how he inspired me to keep chasing gains. He just nodded, smiled and said "Well I guess you'll have to hold down the fort now."
This long winded post goes out to all the gym bros out there. Even the ones who claim to be anti social or hate interacting with other people in the gym. You never know who you're inspiring just by showing up.