Friday, April 27, 2012

Do I Smell?

Today while walking on the treadmill I was compelled to look over my shoulder, which is when I saw a 6-foot tall, 50ish-year-old, white man wearing short blue shorts, a t-shirt, and white knee-high socks. He was staring at the wall, hands on hips. There was nothing on the wall.

Can you see him?

I'm not sure what made me turn around. It was kind of like that feeling where you know someone's watching you and you look up and someone is actually watching you. But this guy was all about the wall, so I'm not sure what it was that made me turn. Maybe the socks. Like a "oh hell no!" beacon, they called to me. They pushed through Maroon 5 pumping in my ears to drown out the grunting dude three machines down.

(You can hear this guy running from across the gym; he breathes hard, grunts, wails, and repeats the same chant over and over--a "you can do it" chant in a language I don't understand. I've made the mistake of stepping onto the machine beside his in the past. He's quiet at first, but fifteen minutes in and I'm looking around for the source of all that noise to find it right next to me. By this point I'm usually a good clip into my workout and don't feel like moving machines. I often feel like reaching over and decrease his speed a few notches. Nothing should be that taxing or that loud.)

Anyway, his sock pushed through the din of the gym and grabbed my subconscious. I was so shocked that anyone would pull their socks that high. I mean, if you're cold, wear pants.

I then realized, quite shamefully, that they were some kind of compression sock and therefore forgivable. But it made me think about other strange outfits at the gym. The most startling: full winter wear. Several guys wear thick sweat pants (likely over long johns), gloves, knit caps, and sweatshirts with hoods. They then do cardio and sweat through all the layers. I don't really understand this method. Gym rats out there who might be reading this... is that really beneficial? Do they think that the more they sweat the more calories they burn, because I'm not sure it works that way. Sweat doesn't always equal calories burned, right? That getup just seems like the perfect choice for a person who wants to experience heat stroke or dehydration. And it's the PERFECT way to marinate the funk.

Some of these people are straight up funky, men and women alike.

I was approaching this one dude on my way to the ladies gym and I could smell him about 8 feet away. That's quite the funk bubble.

Now, I know that most people don't smell like roses while they work out. Sweat has a distinct odor to it, unfortunately. But... when your funk starts to impede into my personal bubble, we have a problem. I am so absolutely horrified about making anyone around me uncomfortable with any aspect of myself, I don't know how others can go to the gym already smelling nasty.

If I'm on a machine and there's no one around me and I get a whiff of smelliness... my thought process goes a little like this:

Funky, loud guy at the gym.
Whoa, did someone fart?
...Did I fart?
What is that SMELL!?!
Where is it coming from? 
Oh god, is it me? 
 (discretely sniffs myself) 
It's me!!!
(peddles faster in effort to speed up the time that I have left and then realize the machine doesn't work that way.)
Okay, so as long as no one gets on that machine next to you, you're fine. 
Wait, the smell is gone now. 
Maybe it wasn't me.
I gotta wash these pants!

Basically, I try to be considerate of anyone and everyone, but  I worry that I'm inadvertently polluting the air. I'm sweating more these days, which I think means I'm becoming more fit? I don't know where I heard that fit people sweat more than unfit. Is that true? Now that I type it, it sounds a bit backwards. I don't want to be the smelly girl at the gym. I also don't want to dress in knee-highs, sweat suits, or other strange things.

The other day I saw a girl wearing what looked like a red and black trash bag jacket.

If I ever wear a trash bag to the gym, please slap me and tell me that cotton works just fine. Also, if I ever buy matchy-matchy workout clothes (pink shoes, pink shirt, black pants with a pink stripe, pink iPod shuffle, and pink hair bands, etc), please put me in check. And if I ever do start putting makeup on my semi-man face, please make sure I wipe it off before working out. There's no reason to wear full makeup at the gym.

I wonder if I smell. I could be the major of Funky Town and not even know it. I think Sister would tell me.... she better.


M.J. Fifield said...

Other people is the biggest reason why I won't work out in a gym. =)

Tanya said...

The gym certainly brings in a lot of characters!

Jammi said...

Pretty sure the sweating is to drop weight not calories. I think the theory is that when you lose a lot of sweat you're dropping water weight or something.

Kristina said...

Observing people at the gym is one of my favorite things to do :) It makes the time pass faster, right? I'm kind of glad people are odd... though when they're odd smelling, that's a little awkward for everyone. I have to admit I think I might be one of those people who would annoy you, though. If I go to the gym after work/school, I don't wash my make-up off...

Tanya said...

I think it's to drop water weight too, but it seems pointless when you drink Gatorade and water while doing it. Kristina, I love people watching. The people who wear makeup don't necessarily bother me to be honest. I just couldn't do it. Well, I take that back, I don't understand them putting on makeup before. Do you reapply? It's okay if you do...

Kristina said...

Ha! After I go to the gym, I shower (and wash my make-up off then) and go home. The reason I don't wash it off beforehand is because I end up looking like a raccoon with smeared eyeliner/mascara that somehow won't come off my face unless I shower :)But I don't apply make-up before going to the gym in the morning, definitely not!


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