The gym; a place of fitness for our bodies, tranquillity for our mind, and a way to feel better about that almond croissant and mocha 30 minutes beforehand, right? Wrong.
For me, and possibly other gym bunnies out there, the gym is no longer a place of escape where I can just be a sweaty couldn't-care-less mess immersed in the latest family dysfunction on Dr Phil. Oh no, there's far more lurking in the weights room than a simple bench press; there are sideward glances, illicit body scans and a general air of sexual tension that rivals any 'Bachelor' episode.
Gym flirting, or -- as I like to call it -- 'glirting', may not be new but when it started wreaking havoc on my daily routine, when priming my lashes had replaced pre-workout protein shakes, I was shaken to the core. What had I become?
You may be reading this thinking smugly to yourself: "Ha, I don't glirt, I go to the gym and actually train." But mark my words, glirting can happen in the smallest actions; it's sneaky, it's subtle and it can catch you unawares.
Here's what I'm talking about.
Step one: Preparation
So, we finally manage to tear ourselves away from the couch and head out for a workout. Easy. But hang on, what to wear? Panic sets in. We don't want to go there feeling flabby and unattractive, so we spend the same amount of time getting ready as we would for a night out.
We have questions and colour combos on our minds. Why is the matching top to our trainers in the wash? Does that top flatten our tummies enough? Are those pants long enough to disguise our out-of-control hair follicles?
After careful consideration, outfit is finally complete. Tick. Half an hour wasted.
We head out the door with a nagging feeling we've forgotten something. Ah yes, make up. We're only going to put on a little, we say. I mean, what women leaves the house without applying the basics? But what starts with a coat of mascara suddenly ends up with a full-caked face. How did that happen?
We're well aware of the cosmetic 'drip factor' and the inevitable train track marks down our cheeks as soon as we work up that sweat, but somehow that's irrelevant, probably as we don't intend on sweating anytime soon.
Step Two: Cardio Training
We've made it. We're feeling pumped.
We're on the treadmill ready for a good workout when suddenly a buff hottie jumps onto the machine next to us. How dare he? There are a million other machines in the cardio room. However, we are secretly pleased and bat our mascaraed lashes coyly in acceptance. To our horror, mid glirt with the hottie next door, we realise there are a few rugby boys on the cross trainer behind us, with direct access to our wobbling bums and the wedgie we might get if we actually run.
So now we're holed in, pinned in fear, nervously pulling down our colour-coordinated singlet to cover our bum. We're in a head spin as to whether we should a) start running so we look fit and very cool (but will ultimately not look so cool when we've been flung off the end in a sweaty mess) or, b) simply walk so we keep make up intact and body at a necessary temperature to look vaguely okay.
We make the choice. Maybe we'll skip cardio today and do a weights sesh instead.
Step Three: Weights
We're now in true man territory. We want to look like we mean business but also want to look our best. Again we're caught in an ironic gym trap: look ugly and get fit or look our best by partaking in 'attractive exercises'. God damn it, this gym stuff is exhausting.
We remember why we're here, we're feeling fierce, we're here to exercise and that's all that matters. Right. Let's do this. But hang on; did that Jason Statham lookalike just lock eyes with us? Hmmm, we'll need to set the weights much higher than expected. Hope the chiropractor is free later.
We check to make sure Jason has noticed the weight amount we're just about to punish but realise doing a leg curl with our bums high in the air in a right angle is NOT a flattering sight.
We move to the leg extension apparatus, but... crap! Our thighs are not looking great, either, squashed down on the seat like that. Ahhhhh!!
Casually we decide to focus on arms... we have a much better view of the rowing team from there anyway. To our horror, as we pull down the bar, making sure our miniscule, boiled-egg-shaped biceps are standing to attention, we notice we haven't shaved our armpits. That's it. We're defeated.
This glirting business is too much like hard work. We've probably burnt the same amount of calories by stressing and preening ourselves as we would have burnt actually doing a workout.
Perhaps we'll try again tomorrow. At 12pm. When Jase begins his session.
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