Brains & Biceps
A Weekly Column By Laura Kline, BSN-RN and future NPC Figure Competitor
DO NOT TOUCH
I will begin tonight’s column with a recap of a certain situation I found myself in last night at the gym…
It was shoulder night and I was PUMPED! I started with lateral raise drop sets and my shoulders were screaming at me to stop but being the girl I am I pushed through. As I was finishing the remainder of my other shoulder exercises I decided to do some calves. Well someone was on the seated calf raise machine I wanted so I respectfully waited until he was done then made my way over. Well there were people all around the machine, seeing as how it is surrounded by other machines, so I got to it quick and started loading my plates. I had to step away to find another plate and as I was walking back this man, who saw me loading the first plate, steps in my way and I say “Excuse me.” Well this guy turns around, says to me “Oh excuse me sweetheart,” then takes it upon himself to place his hand on my hip/back and out of a little shock I drop my plate. Luckily the plate was already just about halfway on the machine and it didn’t slam down to loudly. I gave this gentleman a look that screamed GO TO HELL then he started laughing at me with his friend and a couple guys behind me. My blood was boiling. I said “What?” and he said something about how he was laughing at his friend.. I was very tempted at this point to yell and scream but instead I did three sets then took off.
Etiquette. Manners. RESPECT. I don’t care if it is social hour at the gym I am not there to talk and it is pretty obvious. I have a constant leave me alone look on my face, then add in the ipod and lack of eye contact and there, it’s obvious! Why this man thought it was appropriate to #1 call me sweetheart then #2 to touch me, I am not sure. Maybe he was raised poorly or he just doesn’t respect women. I am certain (100%) I am not the only woman who has experienced this at the gym and we don’t like it!
Maybe instead of fitness centers hanging “No grunting” signs they should hang “No sexual harassment” signs. I have even looked into a new shirt to buy that gives off the message to go away and leave me alone because I am there to train! Is this really necessary? Do these men think they are at a bar rather than at a place where people are (supposed to be) focusing on their health? I know that not all men are like this but it is certainly obvious who is, we all know who they are at the gym. You’ve seen them staring at you or at women like they are a piece of meat to be devoured immediately! They interrupt you during your hard training session and inappropriately flirt with you. Well what they need to do is finish their set and get the heck out of our way!
Ladies, if men act out of line then say something! If we don’t stand up for ourselves and set those boundaries then it will happen again. I wish I would have told him that what he did was so inappropriate and disrespectful but I didn’t. I just sat there angry as hell imagining what I wanted to say, or do! I am pretty sure that he got the message after I dropped the weight and looked at him like I wanted to kill him. Yet, if I would’ve said something, if I would have called this man out in front of his friends for acting like a pig then maybe he would think twice before he did it to another woman. Not to mention I would’ve gone home feeling probably 150% better than I did.
“Men are respectable only as they respect” -Ralph Waldo Emerson