I joined my company's gym about four years ago and while I have enjoyed the facility (it's clean, the staff is friendly, the equipment is taken care of), there are many reasons that I don't particularly enjoy working out next to the people I work with.
First of all, I get to share with my colleagues, some of whom I'll probably be begging for a promotion from someday, how I look au naturale. And then I get to see their horrified reactions when I'm there, wearing spandex, with no makeup on and my hair pulled back.
I've also noticed that for some people, the gym is where they feel the most effective, and at the top of their game. That's great if you don't know them. But if you work with them, it's pretty maddening. There she is, dominating the StairMaster, bench pressing their weight plus more, shouting out, "Look at how fast I'm going!" or "Look at all the weight I'm lifting!" All I can think to myself is, "I wish she'd save some of that energy for work. We could use it."
When I've been a member at non-work gyms, I've remained anonymous to most of the other members. So if I skipped a few days, no one notices, and if they did, no one ever said anything to me about it. But at a workplace gym, if I miss a few days, my co-workers do notice, and they speak up.
"Stephanie, are you sick? I haven't seen you at the gym lately," they'll ask.
Clearly I'm not sick because I'm here at work, but thanks for making me feel bad about the fact that I'm a lazy fat ass.
Despite all of these cons, two very large pros for the workplace gym are the price and the convenience. If it weren't for these, I'd take my workouts elsewhere.
Elsewhere to a gym where I don't have to share a locker room with those whose paychecks get signed by the same person who signs mine. I could write a book about the anatomy of a workplace locker room. And I unfortunately do mean anatomy. As in, "I may dress conservatively at the office, but in here, I'm going to let it all hang out." And I do mean all of it.
This baffles me.
I would rather stand in line for half an hour outside the single dressing room than dare cruise naked in front of the people that I work with. I don't understand why this doesn't bother other people.
Am I the weird one? Am I too modest? Is it weird that I don't want to be completely naked in front of my co-workers or any strangers for that matter?
I mean, I get it if, because you're already there and just want to get changed that you might do so out in the open standing in front of your locker in a nice, controlled way. Absolutely. Go right ahead.
But walking around completely in the buff so that everyone can see how much you have or have not worked out is a little much. For any locker room. But especially a workplace locker room.
On Day 109, I had just finished my workout and was walking back to my locker to start getting ready for work, when out of nowhere, a large woman, completely naked turned from where she was standing and walked towards me, her large chest leading the way. The entire experience happened so fast. There was nothing I could do. Nowhere for me to go. I was trapped.And Day 109's thing I've never done before: make physical contact with a co-worker's chest.
I should clarify that this is the only time I've ever made contact with any woman's breasts before.
For the record, I do not know this woman. I do not know what department she works in. I couldn't even look her in the eye, so honestly, I probably wouldn't know her if I saw her. But thanks to her body confidence, the image of her large naked body coming towards me in the locker room will forever be burned into my brain.
I bowed my head, tried to keep walking while repeating Rain Man-style, "Oh I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," but this wasn't my fault! She didn't even say anything, just kept on walking, likely to share herself with the rest of the locker room.
I was mortified at first. I'm sure my face was eight shades of red as I retrieved my bag to head to the showers. Then I started thinking about it while getting ready and I thought it was hilarious. And then I was mad. Not really mad, but frustrated.
Cover up, already. This a gym, not a nudist colony.
Having moved on from being completely mortified, I told Justin and Mo at work what happened. And then I complained that I didn't know what I was going to write about for the blog.
"You touch a woman's chest in the gym and you're not going to write about that?!" they exclaimed.
"I can't write about that," I said, "I don't want to write about that. And I didn't exactly touch them, I ran into them."
"Well have you ever done it before?"
They had a point. This was my first time. And no, there are no pictures, dirt bags.