The Gym Rat’s Ugly Truth

25 Nov

I tried to to sweaty-glam in this selfie. Really, I was just stinky.

There are a lot of people who don’t like working out. I’m one of them. But if you look at fitness ads, all of the women seem focused, yet happy about their current situations. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re achieving their goals with determination and barely breaking a sweat. You want to be that person, don’t you?

Have you ever watched women’s professional sports? None of them are happy. Serena Williams is the queen of the death glare. She grunts like she’s in labor. The only time she smiles during a tennis match seems to be after she’s demolished her competition.

You have to sweat. You end up smelling. Your clothes stick to your body. There’s nothing attractive about working out. Yet, there are all of these boutique fitness-wear shops (I’m looking at you, Lululemon) to try to make women feel attractive when they’re sweating like they’ve been in the desert sun all day.

Some women use this fancy wardrobe as a stepping stone to impart pretty-girl instincts in the gym. There’s the woman who comes in only a sports bra and teeny-tiny running shorts to only do a 15-minute walk on the treadmill. There’s also the woman who wears a full face for her low-resistance turn on the stationary bike.

I’ve never used the gym as a place to pick up potential mates. For the most part, it’s because I look a hot, dirty mess when I work out. If I’m paying $40-$50 a month to use the facilities, dammit I’m gonna actually use them. This means sweat stains in places you didn’t know sweat existed. This means hair either in a pony or, in my natural case, pulled up into a fro. I can’t wear sweatpants because my legs get hot. Yes, my legs get hot! Did you know your legs sweat? Because I didn’t until I started working out regularly.

I must—repeat must—have a towel nearby at all times in the gym (on a run, the open air keeps me from sweating into my eyeballs). I drip like I’ve just come in from a downpour. And, like most people, I recycle my workout clothes. There’s an old Sinbad joke where he talks about the two piles of laundry college kids have: dirty and funky.

(Joke begins at 4:20 mark)

Gym clothes are the same way. I will wear my dirty, stained gym clothes for days…until they start smelling. The gym can kind of be like elementary school, and no one wants to hang out with the kid that smells.

If you’re like me and don’t wash your gym clothes every day (don’t judge me), funky comes around a lot more often than you’d like. When you’re running in the open air, being funky doesn’t attack you as hard as it does in the enclosed gym. And let’s not forget that you have to take those sweaty, sticky clothes home.

When working out before work, you have to carry your gym bag with you all day. Make use of those extra shopping bags from the grocery store. You can hide the funk until you can get those clothes home to hang dry. And, please, for the love of all that is holy, let them hang dry. Nobody likes to be around the gym rat with funky, moldy clothes.

Added bonus: Gemma Correll did a cartoon of what’s advertised as fitness wear and what’s actually worn. Funny stuff.

5 Responses to “The Gym Rat’s Ugly Truth”

  1. Wilfred dyson November 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I still love u stinky

  2. Rosey Dee November 25, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    I’m guilty of wearing the same socks to the gym, but I sweat like a dude. Gotta wash the gym clothes. I used to only have 1 sports bra so I used to air that one out … but things got ugly and I had to buy a couple more! #boobsweat


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