We try to play nice with the bros getting their pump in. We ask them politely to stop their grunting-while-bench pressing routine for a minute while we squeeze between them and the mirror and get the five-lb. dumbbells. See, we've got some core work to do, but we have no intention of halting our insecure and sassy runner thoughts.
What are all these contraptions?1 of 14
To our left, a large rack with barbells. To our right, large ropes, a boxing bag and some antiquated machine where one apparently squeezes their legs together from spread eagle.
Am I doing this right?2 of 14
Okay, so you've settled into a station, grabbed a few pieces of equipment and set up shop next to a fan. You begin a strange combination you think you saw an American Ninja Warrior contestant do on his Instagram account. One rep in, you look up and catch a glimpse of yourself in the large walls of mirrors. Oh dear, you think. That doesn't look right. You try the move again. It's a squat into overhead press that you're making look like a curtsy into spaghetti-arm overhead wave. Hmph. Maybe it's time to find the cardio equipment.
Are people looking at me?3 of 14
People are looking at me. Don't look back. Just look into the mirror, into your own eyes, deep into your tortured soul.
Wow, for working out inside, those muscle-y people are really tan.4 of 14
It's called a fake bake, honey, and the sun did not help.
I'm paying for this?5 of 14
As you load yourself onto the nearest treadmill, you remind yourself that you have to get your money's worth. The little voice inside your head whispers, running (outside) is free.
I'm going to beat the person next to me.6 of 14
You're chugging along on the treadmill, logging some easy miles and the next thing you know, your eyes wander to your neighbor's screen. 6.5MPH?! I can run faster than that, you think. Before you know it, the two of you are dialing up the pace. Or maybe he's not. But you certainly are.
I've only run for seven minutes?!7 of 14
Wait, did we enter an alternate universe where time slows down?
OMG, what is that smell?8 of 14
Is that body odor? The aftermath of a burrito lunch coming from the man on the stair climber? Is it you? Is it me?
Is everyone staring at my weird sweat stains?9 of 14
Back sweat? Boob sweat? Streaks down your stomach? We know you're petrified by the puddle you just left on the hamstring curl machine.
It is so hot in here.10 of 14
Unless a marathoner owns your gym, it's likely the thermostat is kept at 65 to 70 degrees. That's perfect for lounging, but when you're slogging through a treadmill run, 70 degrees is about as comfortable as inner thigh chafing.
AM I FOLLOWING THE RULES? LOOK, I'M FOLLOWING THE RULES.11 of 14
Whether it's a 30-minute limit on cardio machines (sayonara, long run) or the need to wipe down equipment after each use, those posted signs telling you what to do loom overhead. If you're like the rest of us type-A, do-good runners, you're likely scrubbing the sweat off your equipment, reorganizing the weight rack and making sure everyone knows it. Good job. Just don't fall into the trap of policing the rest of the gym-goers.
Getting that post-run selfie is gonna be a lot harder.12 of 14
What's the best part about an outdoor run? Capturing the perfect sunrise/sunset/panoramic vista, of course. But le sigh, at the gym, there is no filter that covers up locker room lighting.
Okay, this isn't the worst. I could get used to this.13 of 14
At some point, you'll look around and really start to appreciate the convenience of the gym. Especially if it's 10 below and windy outside. After all, the cooking channel is on, water and fuel are within reach and a bathroom is nearby.
But then you check the treadmill display again, and you've only run for 10 minutes. The burrito-fart smell wafts overheard, your arms hurt from the three presses you completed and you just know everyone is looking at you. Yeah, the trails are calling.