5 Reasons Going To The Gym Is Weird

About a year ago, I started going to the gym. Upon first stepping into the place, I felt like I was boarding an alien spacecraft full of dangerous machinery and strange, mystical creatures. A year later, I’m a tad bit more comfy — I still feel like I’m in a spacecraft, but at least this time I know where the bathroom is. I’ve come to realize that some things about the gym will never stop being weird, no matter how many times a week I show up. These things are:

1. Being out in public looking the opposite of your best

I’m hardly one of those girls who refuses to run to the grocery store without 18 pounds of eye shadow on, but I do like to look like I didn’t just narrowly survive a flood. Unfortunately, this is exactly what my appearance would suggest while I work out, which makes impressing anyone completely out of the question. I would like to meet a couple whose romance budded in the midst of exercise equipment, and then I would like to hurt them — clearly, they both have enough money to maintain a constant stream of flattering, fashionable gym wear, know exactly what to do with their hair in any and every situation throughout the day, and were born without pores. They have, like Rihanna, found love in a hopeless place.

2. Locker rooms

If you can get past the palpable awkwardness at hand, locker rooms can really provide a great learning experience. I mean, people have tattoos in weird spots. They really do. And boy, do ladies handle body hair differently! Not to mention the diverse shapes and sizes we all come in! We are all just such unique, snowflakey beings. Let’s sit in a circle and talk about it after we’ve all showered and maybe put on some undergarments.

3. Everyone grunting in what appears to be immense pain and/or pleasure

Either way, it’s like, get a room.

4. Seeing the same people but never acknowledging one another

Putting time in at the gym sometimes feels like going to a family Christmas party or attending a high school reunion — in addition to feeling sweaty, uncomfortable, and desperately wishing to be elsewhere, you only very vaguely know the people in your company. While trying to fight off crippling boredom on the elliptical, my train of thought looks something like this: Oh, ripped girl with the butterfly back-tat got a new haircut. Looks good. Much better than that long bob she’s had for the past year. Not good for her bone structure. She does have a nice face shape, though. Kind of an elegant, pointed chin WAIT WHAT I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS PERSON WHERE AM I?!?

5. Men having spiritual awakenings while lifting weights

For whatever reason, oversized, bulky men seem to think it’s normal to treat lifting like it’s a religious ceremony. When they approach the weight rack, it’s as if nothing else in the room exists besides God, their rugged souls, and their sculpted forearms. Unfortunately, they seem to have overlooked the fact that I’m there too, ya big dummies. My upper body muscles would love a little attention, but standing next to one of these men sounds a lot like barging into church late in my pajamas, so I usually just keep my distance. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

More From Thought Catalog

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherls Caity Sherlock

    i met my last boyfriend at my gym, and have been on dates with a few guys from my current and past gym. I see it as, if they ask me out while i’m sweating like a whore in church, then i can’t wait for them to see me clean and presentable.

  • http://gravatar.com/scenefromahat scenefromahat

    this is hilarious because i’m going to the gym for the first time today after work, taking advantage of the free gym membership i get. today will be interesting.

  • yoo

    Grunting helps.

    Every path that involves self discipline and hard work can lead to some form of spiritual awakening. Ask any monk that meditates for 10 hours a day.

    Lifting heavy weights is dangerous hence it can be quite scary and mentally challenging even for a big guy, you need to psyche yourself up.

    You do realise the big guys are going to be very knowledgeable? Big does not equal dumb, They could give you some great tips and advice. No need to resort to petty name calling.

    There really is no need to keep your distance, when ever I see a woman hitting the weights I have nothing but respect.

    You seem to have quite the chip on your shoulder.

    • Rick

      omg lol

    • Michaelwg

      “You do realise the big guys are going to be very knowledgeable”
      Or, ya know, their parents were big.

      • http://www.facebook.com/abubakr.hussain AbuBakr Hussain

        I agree with yoo, except for the chip on the shoulder part. People who have very good physique do tend to be very knowledgeable about the gym.. and diet. It takes so much effort to get to where they are.. this is one of the reasons my jaw drops when someone advises me not to become ‘big’, like some competitive bodybuilder. It’s like some people think by running 100m one time, they can get as good as Usain Bolt.. it takes so much more effort and dedication than that.. eating 6 clean meals a day for instance.. is hard.. really hard.. having tasty healthy meals in our environment is hard.. lowfat doesn’t equal good.. lowfat tends to mean added sugar.. so that gives u an idea. anyway i digress.

        back to the article – i know so many people at the gym now. it’s awkward, i don’t talk to any of them.. but we all recognise each other.. and then i find myself getting annoyed without meaning to, when newbs do stuff like use 2 benches at the same time, or not put away weights. i’m becoming one of ‘those’ guys =(

      • yoo

        I’m not sure what’s so funny about my comments?
        I should of used the word ‘Strong’ instead of big as I agree genetics can play a part.
        I’m not a big guy but I like going to the gym and lifting weights, it’s fun and it makes me feel great though I can understand why people don’t like going, your loss really.

    • Bryan

      Yeah, ex bodybuilder here, shit’s painful. Psyching yourself up is necessary so you don’t drop a really heavy weight on your chest because your not fully focused on what you’re doing.

  • Michael Koh

    this strangely motivated me to go running

  • Michaelwg

    Unless you’ve seen older men in the locker rooms wedging their ass cheeks around the hand dryer (why was it so low on the wall!? why!) to dry their assholes post-shower, we are not on the same level of “weird”

  • heronkady

    I would love to go to the gym
    Saving Thousands of People Hundreds of Dollars a month. Join the club today. Just click -> http://www.saversclub.us

  • Michele

    LOVE number 3. I was at the gym a few weeks ago and I swear to God this woman sounded like she was having violent sex on the elliptical a few down from mine. So awkward.

  • lt

    i always have to keep my distance from the weights too. i’m intimidated and embarrassed. also i hate those dumb bitches who have pounds of makeup on their face while working out. you’re working out, for god’s sake!

  • Abigail

    This is my gym experience. And why am I the only one who’s bright red after the elliptical?

  • Haych

    Hilarious. Especially the part about always seeing the same people. There is nothing worse than when that person or one of your awkward distant gym friends takes your perfectly professional gym friendship to a scary and disappointing place by making conversation. This leads to a new obligatory friend and a potential change in gym schedule to avoid this person if the relationship progresses too far. Please look elsewhere for new friends, I’m at the gym to work out not socialize..

  • https://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/20-things-overachievers-like/ 20 Things Overachievers Like | Thought Catalog

    […] Working out. There’s a difference between going to the gym because it’s nice to feel healthy and to be attractive and all that and going because […]

  • https://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/5-things-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night/ 5 Things That Will Keep You Up At Night | Thought Catalog

    […] GOING TO, LIKE, OWN A HOUSE? OR FIND LOVE? I should work on that tomorrow. Or, at the very least, join a gym. OMG, wait, the gym. That reminds me. I am so […]

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2013/01/5-things-that-will-keep-you-up-at-night-2/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] GOING TO, LIKE, OWN A HOUSE? OR FIND LOVE? I should work on that tomorrow. Or, at the very least, join a gym. OMG, wait, the gym. That reminds me. I am so […]

blog comments powered by Disqus