Photo by Teresita Lozano
I’m giving away a big secret by telling you this- but I’m not always listening to music even though I always have headphones on. I listen to enough music as a fitness instructor, so sometimes I like silent focus at the gym. I also like to wear a baseball cap, because it keeps me focused in my zone while I workout. You see this gym is my sanctuary. It’s where I go to be unseen, be selfish and get my personal sweat, not where I go to meet people or men like you.
The other day, you and your “bro” (as you called him), where on the bench-press that wasn’t too far from my incline bench. You were maybe 6-7 feet from me. I was the blonde girl wearing neon pink and headphones. I was doing an advanced shoulder scheme and I had to take 2-minute breaks between sets for recovery. I was in-between sets when your friend said to you, “That girl in pink is hot!” You said, “Yeah bro, but she looks like a total b*tch. She’s here all the time and always looks like that.”
Dude at the gym, I heard you. My headphones were on my head but I still heard you. You don’t know me at all but you assumed by my stoic expression that I’m a b*tch!
I look around and see men working out hard, grunting, putting up plates and snarling in the mirror with flexed muscles; yet, no one is telling them they “should smile more.” In fact, the hustle, the intensity and the concentration on their faces earns them respect. I deserve the same respect! My furrowed brow and beads of sweat on my skin should be enough. If I don’t look approachable, it’s because I don’t want to be approached. I’ve been going to this gym for over 10+ years and in that time I’ve heard the worst gym pick up lines, been gawked at in my LuLus, told inappropriately that I have “great form” and one guy even asked if he could take a photo of me for his “photography class.” (By the way, the guy didn’t have a real camera, just his iPhone 7.) I’m tired of being approached at the gym. So I wear my headphones religiously and keep my eyes on my workout. You don’t know me, but if you did know me, you would know that getting stronger and staying fit is more than a hobby to me- fitness is my lifeblood! I take it seriously and my workout face shows that.
For the record, I am hot! But, what’s hot isn’t my face or my body. My determination is hot. My work ethic is hot. My drive, my passion and my discipline’s hot. The fire in my belly and the unbreakable strength in my soul is hot.
But yeah, I have RBF when I workout. I’m also a NASTY woman and proud of it!