Monday, August 25, 2008

Am I "That Girl"?

I frequent a couple of fitness and bodybuilding-related websites and discussion forums, and post on a few. Discussions in the female bodybuilding forum range from breaking in a newbie with questions to the best-tasting protein powder, the most effective timing for supplements, and the age-old debate of which comes first - cardio or weights. But naturally, from time to time the conversation stays to more off-topic discussions. For example, the thread where everyone was asked to post pictures of their sexiest hair. Um yeah, I don't really do that stuff. Besides, my hair looks like a chia pet most of the time so I am not a good example of what is sexy.

But I did notice a thread one day on what we wear in the gym. Now, the gym where I workout is not one frequented by people who are trying to impress each other through fashion. And at 4:30 in the morning, you're lucky I brushed my teeth much less matched my clothes. But I was curious to see if anyone else shared my total lack of concern for asthetics in the gym.

What I found out was a little scary. Mostly, I found comfort in knowing that I am among friends: no one seemed to care about matching, and most of the posters seemed to agree that girls in cutesy outfits are to be universally scorned. But then, I found out that I might be in an altogether other unpopular category - girls who wear short shorts.

Who wears short shorts? I wear short shorts! And what I found out is that short shorts are a no-no. Suprisingly, no one wants to start their day with a wake-up call consisting of someone else's cellulite and rear end hanging out of a pair of shorts that have "Juicy" written across the back. Now relax, I don't wear shorts like that, but I contemplated my navy blue Nike shorts with the white stripes and whether I was breaking some kind of gym etiquette rule. Were my shorts really too short? I didn't think so, but I decided to do a little experiment.

Over the next few days, I wore my short shorts at the gym and observed myself a little more closely in the mirror. Standing up and walking around were strictly PG-rated activities. No scandal there. The leg extension is never the most flattering position for a woman's legs, but not otherwise offensive. The leg press was a little risky and I started to lose confidence in my family-friendly endorsement. And as I grabbed my weights and started a set of dead lifts, I spied myself in the mirror and immediately put "long gym shorts" on my daily mental list of things to buy at Target. It's a good thing I never use the hip adductor machine.

I was mortified! How could I have overlooked such an obvious faux pas? The next day I wore a pair of my husband's old boxing shorts. They were actually really comfortable and I considered "borrowing" them on a more permanent basis until he caught me red-handed getting them out of the dryer and politely reminded me that he needed them for his workouts. Hmph.

So, I went to Target and got some longer shorts. I don't know if anyone noticed or even cared, but at least I feel better knowing that my being at the gym won't require tinting on the windows and a cover charge. I can't guarantee that the short shorts won't make a comeback, but for now my lower-body workout will be a little more country and not so much rock and roll.

And now that Fashion Week is over, it's time to turn our attention to more pressing issues - finding an obstacle course to practice on so when I show up to this rodeo, I won't be wishing for the day when short shorts were my biggest problem. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Eeek. So, I had to buy new workout clothes recently because, um, my body is a little differently proportioned now and, well, I think they match a little. Plus, my stomach shows (and looks pretty good, actually). I am finally really happy with my body. Granted it took a vegetarian diet, a personal trainer and a plastic surgeon, but I look in the mirror every day and think, “I love my body, I can’t wait to go bathing suit shopping.” I know I’m not a gorgeous super model or athlete, but I do think this is as good as it’s gonna get and I’m really enjoying it.

It makes me feel motivated to put on spandex on gym mornings and look at the progress I (and other trained professionals) have made. I’ve always wanted to have a stomach that I didn’t feel like I had to cover up in gym/pool situations. I can’t believe I finally have it.

My heart sank a little when I read this blog. It seems that even though I finally have the body I’ve always wanted and feel great in comfy, cute, spandexy gym clothes, I must go out of my way to cover up, lest I be scorned by the other gym chicks.

I never look at what other people wear to workout. I don’t look at other peoples’ bodies judgmentally or even comparatively. The thought of people doing that to me makes me feel a little naky. Having said that, I have spent enough time with you to know that you look great in a pair of short, shorts. So, come off it!

I (and you too Iron Woman) have worked too hard and spent too much money to hide behind a t-shirt. So, look soon for me, That Girl, at the gym wearing green and black matching spandex. I’m sure it won’t be the first time I’ve given the pretty girls something to laugh about.

H F said...

ROFL, you are too funny! Sorry I made your heart sink but you know I am 95% in jest. :) You should wear whatever you want and don't worry about anyone else.