LIVE FROM NEW YORK, ITS….. ME!
If you’re reading this, first off, thank you for your patience. Basically the last few months I’ve been taking a bit of a hiatus at home to regroup and collect myself after the past year away, so I decided to go a bit off the radar.
The next adventure begins in a little over a week and I could not be more excited to share my experiences with you all. However, in the mean time, I have a few fun posts up ahead. Beginning with this one!
For the past week I decided to conduct a bit of a social experiment. It’s no secret that I love the gym. But to my detriment, I seem to consistently pick gyms where the free weight section is occupied primarily by neanderthals.
Before you close out this tab absolutely insulted by that statement, let me clarify that not every human being in this area is a primate. I have made fantastic friendships and had great workouts with guys who have been more than courteous and have even gone as far as become protective over me whenever some guy tries to cross the line with me. But I think I speak for most girls who lift weights that simply entering that area can be terrifying. (Ever wonder why there are “Women’s Only” sections at some gyms?) I would also like to point out that this section of the gym is not just filled with men. However, for the purposes of my little experiment, I solely focused on male behavior.
So for the sake of science, I put aside my v-pricey but v-worth it for being “squat proof” leggings and embraced my inner grub. Here’s what I found.
I was a WHOLE lot less self aware.
When I go to the gym, I’m there to get a job done. I enjoy every second of it, but I’m zeroed in, focused, and ready to get shit done. By putting away my cute workout outfits, I found I really couldn’t care less what I looked like during my workout. No crop top or snug leggings meant that whenever I was looking in a mirror I wasn’t checking myself out (oh hush, you do it too). I was actually checking my form and paying better attention to what I was doing. Not just that, but I didn’t care about anyone looking at me because I knew they couldn’t possibly be looking at my body considering there was no body to look at. Less looking around meant more time to focus on what I came for: me.
I became one of “the boys”.
When guys approached me, it wasn’t to hit on me or get a better look at me deadlifting. Instead, it was to show me a small tweak I could make to a move I was doing, or to ask if they could share the barbell with me. My favorite thing that happened though is all of a sudden, catcalls were swapped out for encouragement. Whenever I was wiped out and decided to tap out, all of a sudden I had guys cheering me on for one more set. I became an equal. REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT.
My walks to and from home felt hella safer.
9/10 times whenever I’m heading to the gym, its dark out. Whether that’s really early early morning or 4PM (shoutout to winter round 2 for me) depends on my mood. Either way, there’s something about looking like a complete grub that makes you feel like less of a target. Walking by the construction sight, along busy streets, or just by some men on stoops was so much more of a breeze and silent??? No howling or yelling??? I felt… like a human being and not an object??? Truly wild.
IT DOESN’T MATTER. AT ALL.
Here’s the thing. There were days where I was left in peace, and others where some rude human being still watched me bend over to grab a barbell. Basically, there wasn’t a huge difference.
What I want people to take away from this is at the end of the day: do whatever the hell you want and whatever makes you feel phenomenal. We are not in the 1960’s, trying to be seen as equal by “blending in” with all the other men in the workplace. I am a woman. I am not a man. I enjoy looking the way I do and highlighting those differences.
I found that personally, I felt like a trash can. Does this mean everyone who chooses to wear baggy t-shirts and sweatpants to the gym is garbage? Absolutely not. But my personal experience was that I found myself feeling less like myself. I go to the gym for a confidence boost- not just because of the way I look, but because of how I feel and how I perform. Sometimes tight leggings or a crop top might help with mind-muscle connection. Sometimes you feel a little more aerodynamic when you have tighter clothes. Sometimes I just like how confident I feel in a cute workout outfit. There’s nothing wrong with any of those reasons.
So will I be swapping out my Gymshark for sweatpants anytime soon? Sometimes, when I feel like it! One thing is for sure: my body is still mine to have, enjoy, and feel proud of, and yours to respect. Because no matter what I’m wearing, I am not asking for it.
Stay kind xx