So I haven’t been a member at the gym for very long, but I think I have an idea of what is proper gym etiquette and what isn’t.
Now, I’m going to tell you a little story about my encounter with Macho Man today.
I hopped on the elliptical and started my typical routine. About three minutes in, Macho Man comes out of nowhere and gets on the one right next to me. Uhh.
First of all: these machines are entirely too close to one another for comfort and whoever made the decision to space them with so little space a apart should rethink it.
Second, there were three other machines available further down, but he chose the one at my side. Great. This to me, is an example of improper gym etiquette.
My heart rate increases, and it’s not due to the workout.
I size him up immediately, as much as I can without turning my head or making eye contact. He looked something like this:
For those of you who don’t follow WWE, this is John Cena. The only reason I know who this guy is may in fact be due to a brief and unfortunate time in my life where I dated a guy who was really into wrestling. Now, that being said, I cannot deny that I find John Cena attractive, ya know, in that totally macho, douchebagish, kind of way.
Meanwhile John Cena look-alike is also sizing me up. And he’s not trying to be discreet about it, either. Another example of improper etiquette — staring.
I keep going, trying to ignore him and focus on the rock music video in front of me, but it’s hard because I forgot my earphones so it’s just a bunch of silent guys with their mouths open, and weird images of statues with burning heads.
I note that Macho Cena is barely moving. If he were on the ground, he’d be in a slow motion walk or something. I’m not sure what that was about. He continues to glance my way, I continue to run in place for about eight minutes.
Then suddenly, he’s getting off. Done already? He’s only been here eight minutes. And it occurs to me. Oh. He doesn’t use these machines, except maybe to hit on women. He was hoping…
I hear him say, “Have a great workout.”
Shit. I have to acknowledge him now.
I look at him quickly, but long enough to notice his super white teeth and altogether nice smile…
Improper etiquette is speaking to someone after the fact, having not said hello or having any other conversation prior, when clearly I am ignoring you and don’t want to be bothered. I mean, come on man.
“Yeah,” I say, smile back, and that’s that.
He’s gone, and I continued my workout in solitude. Phew. I successfully sidestepped that one.
Not only have I now witnessed an example of bad gym etiquette, but I have learned something about myself. I am not ready to start talking to other men. I am not ready to even acknowledge that other men are out there. I would much rather stare straight ahead no matter what is in front of me than potentially have a conversation with a potentially nice guy, even if he is John Cena’s doppelganger.
Even now as I’m writing this, I’m wondering if maybe he wasn’t being rude at all and I was just using that as my excuse for not speaking with him. He was intimidating. The fact that we were at the gym makes it even more intimidating. He was obviously interested. I’m just not there yet. I don’t know if or when I will ever be at the place where I can think about other guys. I’ve considered it a few times…I’ve been asked on a few dates, but I’m just. not. interested.