Going to the gym can be a grueling experience for anybody — but, for a few select individuals, the exertion goes beyond the physical.
If you are a socially awkward individual who has found themselves in the position of exercising in front of other human beings, there is a pretty decent chance that you were horrified. It’s embarrassing enough having to be sweaty in front of other people, let alone run, or lift or — God forbid — squat.
Here are just a few things anyone who is a tad socially anxious has definitely done at the gym. I say “just a few” because there are honestly too many to compile into a list …
1. Assume everyone is staring at you and judging you for being a spazzy runner.
How do people manage to look graceful or cool or at least adept when they run? Was this a part of gym class that they just didn’t ever teach you? These other bitches are gracefully loping along like gazelles, and you look like a troll who is lumbering away from a horde of angry peasants. Everyone, please look the f*ck away.
2. Give that one girl with the perfect ass the ol’ stink-eye.
If you are already physically perfect, you should really be banned from the gym. I mean, it’s just RUDE and INSENSITIVE to the other gym patrons to be forced to constantly remind themselves of their inability to mold their stubborn bodies into anything more than “moderately acceptable.”
3. Panic whenever someone starts waiting on you to finish with a machine.
Oh god, oh god. Someone is waiting on you while you exercise, and you haven’t felt this much stage fright since your kindergarten play about the food pyramid. There is no way you can complete any sort of exercise with someone actively waiting on you, so you concede the machine and go hide in the bathroom for twenty minutes.
4. Avoid using any other machines because you honestly have no idea how they work.
Look, you could ask one of the friendly staff members to help you figure out how the hell these contraptions work. However, that would require conversing with a stranger, and that is just totally out of the question. You would rather suffer in silence than ask anyone a question about anything, ever. As a result, you usually just stick to the thing that most resembles a bicycle (since you know how those work).
5. Actively avoid looking at yourself in the mirror.
Ugh! No! You came to the gym to improve yourself, not sink deeper into your self-loathing! Why are there huge, full-length mirrors here?? Everyone should just be blind-folded!
6. Walk into the weight room and then walk right back out because there are only dudes in there.
Sure, it’d be great to have some really stellar biceps. But, if that means enduring the pointed gazes of a bunch of sweaty dudes who are completing their bench-presses while you attempt to lift a 10-pound dumbbell, forget it.
7. Obsess over your choice of exercise wear and wonder if you’ve severely miscalculated this whole thing.
An oversized, sweaty T-shirt seemed like a good choice — initially. Such an ensemble is no-nonsense, and indicates that you’re ready to get down to work. But, then you saw all these chicks in their matching Lululemon activewear and realized “Oh, just kidding, I am an actual monster.” You find yourself considering ridiculous purchases to look good while you work out, such as $50 yoga pants (DON’T DO IT).
8. Realize that you make a weird face when you exercise and then wonder if anyone else noticed your weird face.
Is THAT why all these mirrors are here? To remind you to stop making such idiotic faces when you exert any physical effort? Cool, just checking.
9. Try to hide the weird sweat ring that’s slowly forming on your butt.
This is where that oversized T-shirt might actually turn out to be your unsung hero. Sure, it looks nasty — but at least you have an enormous swath of fabric to hide your very visible butt-sweat ring. Silver lining!
10. Pretend to walk on the treadmill when you’re honestly just catching up on Chopped.
Sure, you could go to the gym to stay healthy and get physically fit … but you could also just go to the gym in order to catch up on your favorite guilty-pleasure programming, complete with terrible closed captioning. Who’s to say which one is the more noble motivation??
Now, go home and have a snack. You’ve earned it.