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.