I admit that I still keep my eyes down at the gym. I’ve been going to this gym for a year and certainly know the ropes, but I slink around and hope to not be noticed. My gym is awesome. I love the staff. The facility is beautiful. There is a lot to choose from. It’s concierge level. I’m also kind of a VIP. Most of the staff knows me. The other day I got waved through, with a guest, without having to go through hoops. But, my gym is also a place for pretty people, Olympians, trophy wives, serious athletes. There aren’t a whole lot of people like me.
Maybe I look like a gym beginner, but I’m not. Despite what it might look like from the outside perspective, I’m a work in progress. I don’t need to advertise any of this, so I just keep my head down, do my thing, give everyone their space and hope no one notices me.
Most of the time they don’t notice me. If they do, it falls in to a couple of categories.
Category: HELPFUL CREEPY GUY. You’ve probably seen this guy. He approaches new women and offers his help. Maybe he tells you when he works out and offers to be your gym buddy. Maybe he gives you immediate advice. But he takes a little too much interest in you.
Category: YOUR FAT IS CONTAGIOUS. This can be male or female. If you work out too near them, they move. They give you a dirty look before they do. I met this guy at my first gym. I called his Mr. America and he was bad ass. He was also beside me on the day I fell off the stationary bike (true story). He didn’t move immediately, but any other time he saw me, he made sure to stay away.
Category: THE MOTIVATOR. This person tries to show you that, hey, they’ve noticed you. Good job. Not that they’ve seen you do anything. I actually had someone stop and tell me “I’m glad to see you here.” Uh, thanks, it’s good to see you, too? I realize that this is positive, but it feels like I’ve attracted unnecessary attention for nothing at all.
Last week, I had a new, different sort of encounter. I was doing my upper body circuit, trying to navigate the busy weight area. And I got an honest compliment about something I was doing. A lady, who later told me she was a Barre instructor, told me that I had perfect form in my push up. That was pretty cool. It was praise I felt like I earned. Of course it also made me paranoid when I did my next set, in case my form wasn’t as good!
Negative comments impact me harder than positive ones lift me up. This is something I have to work on. In a perfect situation, those would be inverse. In general, I’m trying to be more gracious about compliments. I was raised to beware of pride and vanity. Add that to my other issues, it can be a mine field. I smile and thank people, resisting the urge to point out the negativity, even if it exists in my head.