Judging People At The Gym

Life might be different where you live,

But here in Orange County we judge each other when we go to the gym.

I don’t usually admit it,

But I’m as guilty as anyone else.

I suppose Gym-Judgments are either favorable or unfavorable depending on where we sit within our own brains.

For instance,

I LOVE seeing old people at the gym.

I saw a very elderly woman, with a cane, shuffling ever so slowly to the pool for water aerobics the other day.

“You’re absolutely awesome!” I thought to myself.

My admiration grew the longer I watched her.  It was an ORDEAL for her to get from the locker room to the pool.

I find myself constantly (mentally) cheering for the Gym Underdogs.

The middle-aged man with a paunch who glances self-consciously over at the He-Men?

Good for you, buddy!

The woman who is so obese she can barely move without being out of breath?

Positively awesome!

I see a courageous woman where she stands.

I see a woman who is willing to do something difficult to better her health.

Of course, all my judgments aren’t favorable.

(And, I also know they aren’t always accurate.)

The OC woman with the perfect figure, too-tight clothes, and perfect make-up?

Boo!  Hiss!

I’m pretty sure she’s a self-absorbed bitch who’s had endless plastic surgeries.

(This is Orange County after all; perfect bodies in The OC are never 100% real.)

The forty-something man who leers at every passing woman,

All the while “forgetting” he has a receding hairline and is no longer attractive?

Well, I’m smirking at him.

(Not *really* smirking, but definitely smirking in my mind.)

You’re just another middle-aged guy who still thinks he’s as desirable as he was a couple decades ago.

Guess what?

You’re not!

And then, of course, there are Gym Rats.

Gym Rats are the men who spend hours upon hours pumping iron all day.

They swagger around the gym while staring at themselves in every available mirror.

I’m a He-Man!

See me swagger!

Listen to me grunt!

The He-Man has a Gym Rat female counterpart.

She’s the woman who also spends all of her time at the gym.

For her, working out isn’t a means to get healthy.

Instead, the point of life has become working out itself.

Most of these women are hopelessly insecure in love with themselves.

Right or wrong, these are the assumptions I find myself making.

I get judged too.

Yesterday, Baby Face pointed me in the direction of the “free weight” area.

(For those of you who aren’t gym people, the free weight area of the gym is where you find the biggest concentration of He-Men.)

I walked through a sea of sweaty, grunting, muscle-bound, men and grabbed a teeny, tiny, ten pound weight.

I saw one of the He-Men watching me.  I saw him smirk at me when I picked out my “little” weight.

Baby Face gave me a leg exercise to do.  (The weight was supposed to be held in my hands while I did the leg exercise.)

I tried to primarily use my “good” arm to hold the weight, but my injured arm/hand was involved somewhat too.


My bum shoulder made a very loud, unmistakable, popping sound.

My face went white with pain.

I swore.

I took a deep breath.

Baby Face asked if my arm had just dislocated.

“I think the sound you heard was my arm popping back in,” I answered.  “I don’t think it’s been in place for the last ten days or so.”

Baby Face is getting used to my injuries.

He nodded.

“You okay?” he asked.

I took another deep breath and said, “Yes, I’m fine.”

(In reality, it freaks the hell out of me when my arm pops on and off of my body.  It hurts.  The worst part is the psychological horror which stays with me for hours afterward.)

I took another breath.

I began again with the exercise.

That’s when I noticed Smirking-He-Man had turned ghostly white himself.

Apparently, he’s not used to women who have arms popping in and out (off and on?) of their bodies.

I bet he’ll never smirk again when he sees me with my “little” weight.

Not that I care if he does,

Because, after all, I’m judging people (like him) too.

4 Responses to “Judging People At The Gym”

  1. Jan's Sushai Bar

    No, life isn’t any different where I live. And that judgement is what keeps people like me out of the gym – sad, but true. We’ve just been humiliated too often to subject ourselves to the pointing, snickering and often out-right ridicule and hostility.

    • Suzanne

      I say fuck them, Jan.
      Maybe I’m getting old?
      I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.
      It’s very liberating …!

  2. Kathy

    Of all your recent posts…This one! LOVE IT! You are so kick ass!


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