Why Going to The Gym is Like Being on Another Planet
I have a love/hate relationship with going to the gym. I love being toned. I love fitting into last year’s jeans. I love listening to metal head music while I pick up heavy stuff and put it back down again (I swear people would DIE if they could tune in to my headphones and see what inspires me to do bicep curls). I love wearing cute Lorna Jane gym clothes. And I especially love it when it’s over. I like to get it over and done with first thing in the morning so I can just get on with the rest of my day much like I used to eat the worst thing on my plate first when I was a kid so I could enjoy what was left.
I hate getting out of bed knowing I should go to the gym. I hate the drive there knowing this is going to suck. I hate the fact that the biggest and toughest guys that go to the gym load up the machines with hundreds of kilos of weights and WALK AWAY. A serious fitness regime could actually consist of just walking around the place and putting away all the things that have been left not put away. I hate smelling bodies that have clearly not had a shower and/or been wearing the same gym gear for three weeks solid and they are training right next to me. I hate how much cute Lorna Jane gym clothes cost. I hate that people think they can hog several machines at once because they are doing their own personal circuit. There is currently a guy I have nicknamed Peacock because he struts around like (well, a peacock) from machine to machine and I groan when it’s leg day and the one and only leg press has 400kgs loaded up on it because hey, he might come back to that again in 20 minutes and the glares he shoots me when I dare to unload it so I can use it…..
And then there is just the full-on weirdness that comes with being in that environment. You are suddenly in an alien world where there are mirrors everywhere and people are supposed to stare at themselves unabashedly at all times to see how ripped they’re getting and people are in skimpy clothes and they are making strange grunting noises while staring at themselves in the mirror. And because there’s mirrors everywhere, not only can you see yourself but you can see everyone else at the same time. And you don’t want to be caught staring but there are some seriously weird things I just can’t look away from.
Yesterday the guy on the bench next to me had short shorts on. Like REALLY short. Too short. They could not have been any shorter. In fact, I’m not sure he had underwear on they were so short. And he lay on that bench with his legs spread and I did not DARE look over in case there was escapage from his shorts. He also had on a singlet that was like a g-string at the back which, I don’t know but I find kind of creepy. There is no need for anyone to see that much of your body at the gym. Take that to the beach. And he was not just a grunter. He was like, a yeller. UUUHHHHHOOOIIIII every time he made any movement with any dumbbell and I could hear it over Demons Speeding by Rob Zombie screaming in my ears at full volume. He was making me jump. Then he would drop the weights so the floor shuddered and the mirrors shook like he just couldn’t hold them for one millisecond longer. But then…then he got up and walked across to another machine and he hiked up those short shorts to be even…shorter? Are you showing me your upper-upper-upper thighs? Are you creating some sort of sling for your boy bits? What are you DOING?
And like a traffic accident my eyes kept straying over (and God help me if I got caught looking because then he might think this was a good thing) and he Kept Doing It. Walk to a new machine; lift up shorty shorty short shorts. Ewwwwwww…What is WRONG with you? Would you do that at home? At a BBQ? He will forever now be known to me as shorts guy.
Then there is ballet guy. He has a hoodie that says “Train or Die” so I was kind of expecting great things from him. Tough things. Heavy, heavy lifting. So I was taken aback when he started doing ballet dancer type warm up stretches while pointing his toes (well clearly dancers go to the gym too but his hoodie says Train Or DIE). And then he positioned a barbell on his shoulders and stood bracing himself, taking deep breaths and psyching himself up to squat for at least a minute before he went down. It would have been impressive if there had’ve been any actual weights on it. Train or Die. Hmm.
And there’s Look-at-me-Girl and you can’t not look at her. Every guy in the gym has strained neck muscles from watching her and every woman in there hates her. Because her body is perfection. Well, perfection if you like long, flowing hair, full lips, perfectly sculpted brows, razor sharp cheekbones, huge boobs, and perfectly toned EVERYTHING. And she also has short shorts but they’re also tight short shorts and she gets down on all fours and does leg raises KNOWING that every guy is breaking his neck watching her with smug satisfaction and the whole time I’m thinking yeah well, wait til she gives birth. Three times. Yeah! Then what? Yeah!
I have days when I am head-strong and full of determination and I try my absolute hardest and feel super proud of myself for the effort I put in and then there were days like today when I had zero energy or motivation and I keep a close eye on the clock for when an hour is up hoping that no one is secretly looking at me saying to themselves, why is that chick even HERE?
And the fact we even go to the gym, HAVE to go to the gym, that there’s hundreds of gyms everywhere would be so ridiculous to our ancestors who got fit from kneading bread dough, stoking up fires, chopping wood, washing clothes by hand, sewing and gardening and walking everywhere and fell into bed exhausted every night. Seriously, they must look down at us working our desk jobs before we pack up, change into lycra and pay money to walk up pretend stairs and jog on a pretend road and pick up things and put them back down again and shake with laughter.
Now excuse me while I go pay for a massage from all the sore muscles I paid for at the gym.