The gym is the only place where it’s not embarrassing for employees to know your name. And even then, sometimes it’s a little much when you just want to work out in sweaty, ugly anonymity. Especially when you know you’re going to be on the spin bike, red-faced and pouring sweat from places you didn’t even realize had sweat glands.
At least you have proof you worked out, I say to myself as I stare into the locker room mirror, admiring how the redness of my face complements my green workout shirt.
The gym is a place rife with people who have different intentions for working out. I guess you could take a stab at most people’s motivation for being at the gym – being healthy. But the more I go to the gym, the more I realize people are there for a wide range of reasons.
For many, I suspect, there is a certain amount of peacocking going on and THAT is the main purpose of their trip to the gym. Sure, they have “real workout” days but on their peacocking days, they’re at the gym to look good.
Oh yeah, I see you there subtly flexing your muscles for maximum definition when you walk by that girl. Oh, and I see you lady in booty shorts casually trying to make eye contact with the ripped bro.
Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that – the gym is a good way to find another fitness freak who understands proper squatting form. But these people are on the extreme side of people who go to the gym – just to look good.
Some people (the peacocking people, mainly) put on makeup and spend inordinate amounts of time ascertaining which Nikes they should wear with their spandex capris and mesh top paired with a bright, strappy sports bra underneath that which is more for visual aesthetics than strapping down boobs.
Which is all very well and good because I am a firm believer of LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD.
However, I like to think there is a happy medium between doing your hair in a way that is practical and cute but is also functional. Likewise, there’s a way to look cute but not feel pressured to look cute.
Confession: I have been that high maintenance gym person. I have worked out with a cat eye adorning my lids (but only because I came from work, not because I did it for the gym). But generally, I at least care a little bit about how I look because it’s motivating for me to work out in something I feel good in.
If I’m being totally honest, I eventually want to get to the IDGAF stage of horribly worn college alumni clothes and ratty shorts. Because I shouldn’t care. I’m there to exercise not be a thirst trap. (Somewhere in my head a little voice says, “BUT WHY NOT BOTH?”)
I admire the people who just get in and out of the gym without a hesitant moment of self-conscious posturing. I want to be that person and have that sort of confidence. Until then, I will go halfway in and kinda sorta match things but generally just wear obnoxious colors and call it a day.