The Gym is Supposed to be a Place You Go to Meet People

I don’t understand people who can go to the gym and not feel like a complete shit head.

It’s really cool to hate people who aren’t skinny and also really cool to hate people who work out. I’ve internalized both of these and am therefore probably the last person who should join a gym.

I feel like a shit head for going and when I get there I think, look at all these horrible shallow gym people who are all concerned with their appearances and then I feel like a shit head for going there and feeling so hateful toward people who are probably nice.

Some people say oh, I met this really awesome girl or guy at the gym and we’re going camping together. We’re going to another class at another gym together. We’re going kayaking. We’re getting married.

Some people see the gym as a place to meet people. I can’t think of a worse place to meet people. I can’t think of a worse place to meet me.

I feel naked there. I feel like we’re all at our worst, walking around naked and looking at and judging each other’s nakedness. We’re all caught half-dressed and in an embarrassing pose. If you want to know how someone sounds when they’re naked, say Hi to them at the gym.

This should be a reason to love the gym, to see a kind of magic in it; look, we’re all at our worst right now. We’re all at our most human and most animal. We’re all a bunch of muscles and sinews and joints moving together. I bet if you turned an x-ray machine on a row of four people on Stairmasters it would look cool as fuck.

Why don’t I love it?

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One comment

  1. What is so strange to me, and also so sad, is that we relate to who we are through our bodies, as if they mean anything. Body image. Jesus, I can write a disertation on my own. It begins early and for me it began poorly. I didn’t meet the expectations of those who were supposed to love me unconditionally. Thus, I was taught not to love myself and hate the mirror. Soon I hated myself, or what I thought was myself. That hatred grew. I started doing things to my body in retribution. I fantasized about cutting pieces of it away. I hurt me. I hurt other people because of that. The cycle went on for too long. But now Ive come to understand that a body is not a person. I am not a body. I am not my body. My body is a container for something unknowable while living within it. This gets even more complicated, but this is a blog comment so I’ll leave it there. Thanks for sharing your gym experience. I don’t like gyms either. But it’s because I loathe machines.

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