Exercising is pretty much the most narcissistic thing we can do. People exercise to look better, be healthier, live longer. It does nothing for anyone else, all value is for the individual and the individual alone. I think that’s great, but it also makes the gym a strangely shameful and concurrently prideful place to be depending on one’s self esteem. Personally, I feel like I shouldn’t even be permitted on gymnasium premises on the basis of “Who am I kidding?” As if my weakling booty doesn’t belong in the gym among the Lululemon army.
Save from the space between a particularly jacked man and his own reflection while lifting weights, the vainest area of a gym is the locker room. The preening that takes place before and after a workout says a lot about what kind of people are at your gym. There are exercisers psyching themselves up for a workout or congratulating themselves after a job well done on the gym floor or nervous gremlins anxiously having flashbacks to middle school gym class. I’m in that last class of people.
The locker room is when I’m at my most meek. It’s such a strangely competitive environment. The camaraderie people feel while sweating and grunting together out in the gym goes right out the window when competing for mirror space in the lockers. You’re just trying to get in and out of there, but some people seem to be aggressively interested in making it a weird.
Here are 10 effed up thoughts I have every single time I’m in a locker room:
- Good morning to you, stranger’s bare breasts.
- This should be a judgment free zone, but I just unapologetically checked out this woman’s naked derriere.
- I’m not leering sexually, yet I cannot help but look. Is this what being a man feels like?
- This might not be the best place to tweeze out your hairs, lady.
- Is that judgmental of me? I’m not judging her body or anything.
- Focus, just change.
- What order and I going to do this in? Do I get full naked or replace each garment once I have removed one?
- Well, everyone in here is just full blown naked. Am I the only person here who is ashamed of her body?
- You’re not in middle school anymore–everything is going to be ok.
- I know that no one is looking at me, but that doesn’t mean they can’t see me. I wish I were invisible.
So, I’m a full grown woman who can’t change in a locker room without getting stressed out. Someone tell me I’m not alone.
Image via NBC’s Freaks And Geeks