Thursday, February 27, 2014

On the Muscle.

Welcome to the gun show, suckers.
Yesterday I was at the gym in the free weight area. I sort of hate working out in the free weight area because it's all big burly dudes … and me. I try to be as inconspicuous as possible and not make any eye contact with anyone, but still, I'm uncomfortable.

Fortunately, I usually get one of the benches on the end of the row. Yesterday was no different. I picked the bench on the end. I selected a couple of sets of weights and put them by the bench. I commenced doing my sets. I stand to do the bicep curls, lateral raises, shoulder presses, etc. I sit on the bench while I do the triceps extensions, bench presses, etc. I do push ups, squats and lunges on the floor next to the bench. I repeat this three times. You get the drift.

In no way am I any different than the long row of big guys doing their exercises next to and on their benches. And mind you, mixed among the big guys are also empty benches. So there I was, completely minding my own business, trying to get my three sets out of the way so I could get the hell out of the free weight area as fast as humanly possible because I'm not entirely comfortable there.

And then some dude walks up to me.

"Are you using this bench?" he points at the bench that I am standing next to, on top of which rest my weights and my warm-up jacket.

"Yes," I say and smile. He gives me a disgusted look.

"I mean, are you using it for anything other than putting your weights on?" he is snide and looks at me as if I'm some addle-minded chick who doesn't know what I'm doing. What the hell, I think. Can't he see how ripped I am?

"I'm doing presses on it!" I say and smile, even though inside I feel like ripping into to him. He gives me another disgusted look and then marches off to another area of the gym. I have no idea why he's so pissed and I have no idea why he asked me of all the people in the long row of benches. Was it because I was the only woman? And why didn't he simply go to one of the empty benches?

I continue doing my exercises, but while I do, I feel myself getting madder and madder. I feel regret at covering up my anger with false joviality and friendliness. I mean, I couldn't even be curt and short with this guy. I covered it up with a smile and a friendly tone of voice. I suddenly realize that I am angry at myself.

I'm mad at myself for being mad in the first place. Why do I have such big emotions over such small stuff? And then I get mad at myself for faking being pleasant and nice to this guy when clearly he's an asshole.

So I'm torn.

Should I have put this guy in his place and shown him that it's not nice to pick on the only girl? Should I have pointed out that there were other empty benches for him to use? Should I have not felt offended to be singled out like that in the first place?

I mean, maybe he's writing his own blog post right now about how some dumb chick wasn't even using her bench other than to put her weights on it and it was so rude of her not to let him use it. Maybe he didn't want to work amongst the big burly guys either?

I know there's always another side to things, another perspective. But I'm still pissed.

I asked my therapist about it and she pointed out that it's not a problem that I have these emotions. It's a problem that these emotions feel so big and that I feel the need to conceal them. So in that regard, this little incident is useful. It reminds me that I still have some work to do on Big Emotions.

I'm not a Buddha quite yet. At least not at the gym.

26 comments:

  1. Holy shit, nice guns indeed! I hate lifting weights. They are sooooo heavy!

    Isn't it odd how little incidents like this can get under your skin so easily? This is when I think of Will's Twinkle Toes story and brush stuff off like your weight room guy since clearly he has some weird issue to work out. You don't. His problem. Not yours.

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    1. That's my first CBC (Cross Blog Comment) since Myspace!

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    2. Now I need a 'like' button for your CBC call out.











      No pants.

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    3. I seriously love you both. Mandy should join us and the 3 of us can "whoop it up". :o)

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  3. Amen! (or however they say it in Buddhism) I would have been offended too if only because of how sexist it sounded. You should have lifted the weight and flexed that gun and said, "do I not look like I work out?" What a di##!

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    1. LOL @ "however they say it in Buddhism."

      :-D

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  4. You should have put your fingers to your neck and said "...And there goes my target heart rate. Dammit, now I have to start all over again. Looks like I'll be here another 20 minutes."

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  5. Next time this happens to me, I'm going to be armed with so many witty comebacks!

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  6. What a prick! At least when I am at the gym, the guys that approach me are friendly. To the point of hitting on me. Hahaha I'm not looking, but ok then.

    And I look around to find I am the ONLY woman in the weight section. The rest are all on the elliptical, bikes and treadmills and they stay there. The one guy kept helping me set up the machines. Problem was he kept setting the weights at a minimum. Thanks, but I can handle a bit more than that. LOL.

    Nice guns there Mandy. Way to Flaunt 'Em!

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  7. First, I am SO JEALOUS OF YOUR GUNS!!! I want some. I lift puny weights and pretend they're heavier and then I flex in my kitchen window while I do dishes. I do not have guns yet. BUT I WILL.

    Second, I went on a cruise that had a gym and a bunch of weight machines I didn't know how to use, so it made sense that I force my husband to go with me to use them the first day, he had to clue me in. But it did not make sense I forced him to go with me every time after that. Everyone was very nice, but big burly sweaty dudes are intimidating yo, and I was very self conscious. Having him with me made me feel much better. It was a new experience for me in the exercise realm as I usually feel right at home with a side of 'holy shit I've never seen someone so excited to sweat' coming from the people surrounding me.

    I honestly don't know what I'd do in your situation. Half the reason I'm working out all the time is so I can shot put my husband across the room, (Not that I will, I just want the ability.) so it'd be a little awkward to make him come shelter me from the scary dudes.

    What an asshole by the way. How flexible are you? I say a windmill kick to the head would straighten him right out. Not very buddhist though. Bummer.

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    1. I mostly use 10 or 12-lb weights so it doesn't take much weight to build guns!

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    2. Rule of thumb if you want to bulk up- heavier weights & more reps. If you just want to tone everything up- lighter weights, more reps. I hope this helps.

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    3. I want to look like I can shot put my husband across the room. Some might say this is an unattainable goal, it's mine nonetheless.

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    4. I'm back to drool over your sexy arm muscles. I'm still enthusiastically lifting, perhaps it's your diet that makes your buffness occur? Please share a blow by blow of lets say a week in the life of your food consumption.....GO.
      *sigh*
      Or just lecture me of all body's differences. *whines* I just wanna be buff!!!

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  8. You don't even owe him the effort to stay mad at him. Some guys are just assholes and he's clearly one of them. I'm guessing he wanted to say something to you, because you're good-looking and female, and he couldn't come up with anything intelligent, so he ended up making you hate him. I have a friend like that. He's single, of course. He'll try to speak to an attractive female and end up saying something that makes us all go "what the hell is wrong with you?!" Of course, this guy might just be an asshole without an excuse. I remember a big steroid using dick at a gym I used to go to. He loved to pull shit on people who asked him if he was using something. It didn't matter what it was. He'd say 'no' and as soon as you reached for it he'd scream at you that he WAS using it, but not in the way you asked. Like when I asked him if he was using the squat rack he smiled and said "no." And when I stepped up to squat he screamed "I'm using the fucking PLATFORM its on. GET OFF!" And then he and all his steroid friends laughed. He did that all the time. That was his personality - mega asshole. Perhaps you met his younger brother? Either way, people like you. You're not an asshole. And him, I'm guessing he can't get a date. I understand being mad still. Lord knows I hold a grudge. But you're giving him your time and energy and peace of mind, and it sounds to me like he's not worth any of that.

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    1. True true. More mad at myself for being mad. If that makes any sense.

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  9. What an ass. A gym's weight room is full of more smart-aleck people per square inch than any place on planet earth!

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  10. Roid rage. Clearly his dick must be shrinking if he feels the need to pick on a woman.

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    1. Is there a thumbs up keystroke I can use to reply to this?

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  11. Serendipity, blog hopping and landing here. First, nice toned arms, I'm envious and maybe a little motivated. Second, last night I had a similar crappy exchange with a guy with an attitude. I was nice, but smoldering, because he was unprofessional and dragging me into his baggage, when I as his customer should not have been. So before I left I called him on it, and you know what I learned? That all I did was upset myself more, because he was more annoying in the followup conversation where I tried to explain that he should be more professional with his customers and I got nowhere, but more aggrivated and I let it ruin my night. Why, why why? I'm guessing years of therapy won't answer that for me, but I do know that I'm happy to know I'm not alone in this phenomenon. And I do believe that often, men are dicks to women because they can be, or because they have superiority issues or mommy issues or something, but it never fails to unnerve and rattle me when it happens. And my lizard brain told me last night to not let it go, and my morning after brain wishes I had. What a lose lose that turned out to be. Thanks for letting me share. And for making me at least think about the weights :)

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