Friday, January 28, 2011

Questions of Etiquette, or, Go Away, I'm Sweaty

Last night I was working out and in between exercises, I noticed this woman working out beside me. She was intense - working out with weights 3, 4, 5 times heavier than mine, doing all kinds of different exercises. She had an AMAZING body. Fitness Magazine model body. I wanted to ask her how she got started, if she was a trainer, how she knew how to do all of these things.

But the gym is a weird place. It's public, but we do things there that we would never, ever do in any other public venue. Like sweat. Or wear sweatpants. Or if you're a certain breed of gym-dude, grunt loudly and spit in the water fountain (WTF?).

It's not really cool for me to interrupt someone during the middle of their workout and get all chatty up in their business. On one hand, I think she might be really flattered - but on the other hand - I'd be saying, leave me alone, I'm clearly very busy.

And while we're on the topic, what is it with dudes thinking that the gym is a perfectly appropriate place to pick up women? Am I bothered by this because I'm generally Captain Frumpalot while I'm working out and couldn't attract that type of attention if my life depended on it? Somehow, I doubt it - after all, I'm not in the market for unsolicited romantic attention, I'm sort of full up in that department.

And furthermore, I'm too busy watching what not to wear doing intense cardio to care what I look like. I'm not there to impress, I'm there to sweat.

I had three sessions with a trainer. She is super attractive, French, and very very nice. And every single time we worked out, some random dude approached her and gave her his number, or asked her out.

Dudes. Not cool. The woman is at work, and very busy, and not to mention...her clients (those people you just stepped in front of and/or pushed out of the way) are paying her over a dollar a minute for her time.

What's the verdict? Am I just a really-uncool Fussbudget, out of touch with how things work now that the dowry cheque has been cashedI'm happily engaged? Should I ask that girl how she became so incredibly ripped and wise to the ways of the barbells?


Deb said...

It's pretty tacky, but I guess some people just take whatever chance they can get.

I think it would be okay to ask the other person about their routine if they're taking a break or you catch them in the locker room, but I think you were right not to interrupt in the middle of her workout.

Lady Churl said...

I probably wouldn't shy away from saying something nice "on the floor" -- errybuddy likes to hear a compliment, no? And maybe you could put in a little "if you have a moment later, I'd love to hear how you got started". No harm, no foul, hardly an interruption to her set!

Sophia Petrillo said...

Eww, I think that's gross. I chalk it up to the gym being the weird liminal space of which you speak. Oh, and also to growdy kinda sexist guys being growdy and kinda sexist. Sexist because they are, as you point out, in her place of work. In an office setting this kind of monkey business would be pretty unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

And that is the reason why I go to a women only gym. I go to the gym to workout, not to be hit on. (Especially 'cause I'm married!)

As for the lady, if you saw her in the change room or while she isn't busy pumping iron, that's the time I would ask. I know for me, if someone started talking to me while I was doing something intense, I lose concentration and count, which annoys me greatly.

Meg said...

I haven't seen her since, but I am on the lookout. If I see her stretching or in the change room (in a non-naked situation) I am going to ask her how she got started.