• Category: Blog
  • Published Dated: January 5, 2016
  • Writen by:






I woke up early, early this morning to hit up the gym in our hotel. From our tenth floor abode, up, up, up, I took the stairs to my destination on the eighteenth floor where the spacious gym at the top of this Washington, D.C. high-rise awaited me. Beautiful. There it was, first thing in the morning, and it was almost all mine, all mine. This was going to be a great start to the day.

Good news! It wasn’t busy. There was one other early bird there when I arrived, clearly a dedicated gym-goer. Right away I observed some things about my workout neighbor. His was a dominant gym personality, racing to the drinking fountain, here and there and everywhere. He grabbed plates and weights from machines all around and it didn’t take long to observe that he clearly owned the place.

My thoughts, “Good for him. He’s in the zone.” But then, that awkward feeling that I was somehow imposing on his groove . . .

I mused over the strangeness of gym space and the certain unspoken rules about personal space in exercise facilities. And the mirror, it was definitely his too. I almost felt like asking, “Can we share the mirror,” but I failed to ask for fear that he might just have grunted and I wouldn’t know how to interpret. It’s easy to tell when people are not in the mood for conversation. No eye contact, just hurry-scurry here and there.

I went . . . over there . . . away to the other side of . . . well, where I wouldn’t get run over.

Truth be told, and I think this is a common theme, even after having lifted weights since high school, I still get a weird vibe from guys when I hit up the weight floor, this area generally being dominated by men. But then, wait, women are often guilty of the no eye contact, this is my mirror, my space, my zone guise as well. Good for you if you have confidence on the gym floor. Can’t we be friends, or something non-threatening?

It’s funny right? Undoubtedly, awkward is a mental thing. Most folks are friendly and willing to share, but there’s still something about space and mirrors.

  • How do you feel on the free weight floor?
  • How do you like sharing the mirror?
  • Is it threatening to be near another person lifting heavier weights or doing something apparently novel or new to you?

I will continue to respect gym-goers of all personalities, come as they may. One thing is for certain on that note, however. A piece of the mirror is mine and I’m going to soak up the motivation that comes from challenging myself to go lower in push-ups, core sets, and squats, with proper form. I’m going to continue to take pride in seeing how hard I am working, sweaty and strong in my body. I love looking in the mirror and feeling good about what I see, and I’m okay to share that shiny piece of reflective surface. On the other hand, I know when to stay out of the way.

All the best!


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