Worked Out

24 Apr

It’s possible that as a lady-arm-wrestling-true-storyteller and chronic-social-media-over-sharer I don’t seem like a very private person to you. But if we belong to the same gym you’ve probably guessed the truth about my actual level of inhibited. Which is high.

For example, I am the person hogging a gym shower stall because she’s changing in it. And it’s actually not because I’m self-conscious about my body. It’s because I’m self-conscious about the fact that I can’t put on a sports bra without getting hopelessly tangled in it, arms pinned to my ears, suffocating in spandex. Those grunting noises are not me multi-tasking by lifting weights in the shower—they’re me cussing under my breath and wishing I was double-jointed.

That’s not to say that I’m not self-conscious about my body, or more specifically, about inadvertently putting parts of my body in your face when you weren’t expecting it. Nothing worse than coming around a corner and finding yourself face to bum with a bare-assed stranger bending over her gym bag. Butts to the wall, ladies, please.

I have a friend who categorizes people in gym lockers rooms as “striders or hiders.” Under this rubric I’m definitely a hider. But, it’s not like I’m worried that my middle-aged, post-kid bod doesn’t look like a swimsuit model’s or something. I just like to keep myself to myself. I find run-ins in the gym locker room incredibly awkward in the first place. I’m at the gym to get in the pool or to a class, get through the work-out, and get on with my day. I don’t build in 20 minutes for chitchat, so I’m always trying to tamp down my anxiety about the passage of time if I bump into someone I know. And if that person happens to be topless, directing my gaze appropriately plus trying to wrap up quickly without seeming rude combines to just shut down my mental processes. Apologies if I’ve ever seen you striding towards me, half-waved, averted my gaze, and scuttled the other way. Fight or flight takes over, it’s involuntary.

Maybe my problem is really with the forced intimacy of the gym. You go to some yoga class because you can’t make yourself do yoga on your own, and you’re old and you need to stretch. Then the class is crazy crowded and a person you’ve never laid eyes on before is breathing really loudly about 6 inches from your ear. Really exhaaaaling. And then that person starts to, like, groan and moan because they’re just SO INTO their yoga that they have to verbally manifest their effort. No. No, I don’t believe you. Shut up, loud exerciser. You’re in a public place, and you should not be if you get so lost in your exertions that vocalizations issue forth without your knowledge. And if you’re making all that noise on purpose, why? So we all think you’re a yoga stud? So the teacher looks over at you admiringly? So someone pats you on the back after class for your exceedingly loud hard work? None of that is going to happen. Pipe down, attention hog.

It’s one thing if you’re lifting weights, or putting forth a mighty effort on the spin bike, or doing twenty pull-ups or something, but you should not be killing yourself holding down dog. And even under duress, I’m more of a loud hisser of air, or a high-pitched “WOOO!”-er. I save my involuntary grunting for the privacy of the shower stall. That’s obviously where it belongs.

I know I sound really cranky and intolerant. What can I say? I turned 40 and turned into Andy Rooney. I’ll have ear hair and sky-high eyebrows before you know it. I’m already working the dowager’s hump which is why I keep TRYING to do yoga and then getting tripped up by my sarcastic inner monologue. I get into class all tense from the striders in the locker room and sore and sweaty from getting into my sports bra, and then I’m forced to silently mock the loud exercisers. Namaste my ass. Which is covered up at all times to the best of my ability, you’re welcome.

8 Responses to “Worked Out”

  1. Jenny Robinson April 24, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Love you!

    • amomynous2 April 25, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      Back at you! Hope you had a fun date last night. 🙂

  2. Toni April 26, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    I’m horrible. There is a really smelly man at our workshops who is a very very very loud breather. I feel mega uncomfortable next to him. It’s like having a prank calling sex pest breathing into your ear.

    • amomynous2 April 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      Hahaha, this is so funny! Thanks for reading! 🙂

  3. DC May 2, 2014 at 9:11 am #

    Thank god I only rarely overlapped with you in you in the gym. 🙂 We never would have been friends. I’m everything you hate. Except for maybe the yoga overachiever.

    • Dee May 2, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      I was inadvertently incognito with that last comment. sorry.

      • amomynous2 May 2, 2014 at 11:37 am #

        You were inadvertently incognito in the post, too, “striders and hiders” author!!! XOX

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Smooth and Firm - Already Pretty | Where style meets body image - September 10, 2014

    […] the locker area proudly, unabashedly naked. As my friend Miller puts it, most gym-goers are “striders or hiders.” I’m a hider. Surrounded by […]

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