After saying good morning to my favorite treadmill on Monday, it struck me that I’ve become part of the regular morning crowd at the gym.
How did THAT happen?
There are about 5 of us who work out in the same area before the sun rises each morning and, having not had regular interaction with adults for almost 3 years now, it feels pretty good to belong somewhere outside of our home again. So when Stair Master Tramp turned her head towards me as I was ramping up the speed on my treadmill that day, I decided to take the plunge and give her a little nod and smile. It was nothing eager or exaggerated – just my polite way of acknowledging someone I’ve made eye contact with every single day for over a week now.
I was shocked when she continued to stare through me like I wasn’t even there.
What a cow!
While I was revving up my treadmill in an attempt to show her who Queen Bee really is, I remembered I have a tendency to fall off of treadmills, dialed it back, and settled on glaring at her toned profile instead.
And then it hit me: gyms are the same as high school.
The more I looked around me, the more obvious it became. All of the same cliques still exist. We’re no better than we once were.
And I’m still trying to fit in.
After more sweat and consideration, the similarities were astounding.
1. The Jocks: Typically men, these people are often found in the weight room grunting and groaning while lifting weights far too heavy for any human being to handle. They are in great shape, drink protein shakes with whey powder, and have a thing for wheat grass. They also have an inability to put their arms down by their sides, and look like they are 50 lbs overweight when they have clothes on.
2. The Beautiful People: These women don’t often show their lovely faces at the gym until the lunch hour or early evening when they can be sure all of the investment bankers and capital markets guys are roaming the floor. They don seemingly unused Lulu Lemon gear and often park themselves on the treadmill right in front of a mirror so they can stare back at their own reflection while they walk at a speed of 1.5* and simultaneously text their friends.
*If you’re not a gym-goer, this is about as fast as a turtle walks.
3. The Goths: These ones always shock me. They are often seen smoking a butt outside the gym, but as soon as they peel their dark clothing from their body, they always amaze me by sporting a very toned (and tattooed) physique. They’re as nice as pie, too.
4. The Preps: Ah, I have a love-hate relationship with these people. They wear beautiful workout attire, are in fabulous shape, and never scrimp on the smiles and “hellos” as they pass through the gym. And if you are unfortunate enough to fall off a treadmill, they will be the first to run over and offer you a helping hand.
5. The Geeks: You’ve gotta love The Geeks. They can’t accessorize to save their life, do everything in their power to fly under the radar, and never deviate from their workout regime. Some even carry around a clip board. But pay attention to these people. They’re the ones who will be totally ripped by the time bikini weather hits.
6. The Cougars: In high school, these people would’ve been referred to as “The Sluts”, but time, booze, and heavy exercise has not been nice to them. They often sound like Marge Simpson, and are unable to control themselves from spontaneously yelling during spin classes. Be afraid, my friend. Be very afraid.
7. The Mean Girls: These snotty women often come in packs of 2 or 3. They’re preferred gym activities include yoga, spin, and zumba and, despite how fun and nice they may appear, they have no interest in befriending you. Trust me.
8. The Non-Comformists: These people go to the gym, workout, and leave without spending an ounce of time worrying what other people are saying, doing, or wearing.
Stair Master Tramp is about 1 year away from graduating from Mean Girl to Cougar.
I like to think I’m a Non-Comformist with Geeky tendencies who sweats like a man.
The Hubs is definitely still a Prep.
What clique do YOU fall into?