A few months ago, I saw one of those ‘health’ articles with an attention-grabbing headline – something like ’10 Gym Laws You’re Probably Breaking!’
I’m always interested in articles like these, so I clicked straight through.
There were one or two good points on the list – things like ‘Always wipe down your equipment after you’ve drenched it in sweat’ and ‘2 earbuds in means Do Not Disturb’.
But most of the ‘Laws’ were silly and cosmetic, and left me feeling frustrated.
The author was heavy-handed as he asserted Gym Bossiness. “No makeup or jewelry at the gym! Where do you think you are, princess? A nightclub? Leave that ish at home – this is where we SWEAT!”
Fear of such Unwritten Gym Laws handed me an unpleasant dose of mortification last week, when I noticed the glint of a swinging sparkle reflected in the screen of my cardio machine. I had forgotten to remove my earrings when I changed into my gym clothes.
My face instantly flushed hot. I snatched out the offending accessories so fast my earbuds came out, too. I was mortified, scanning the gym to see if anyone was looking at me – judging my faux pas.
I was doing it wrong! I broke the “Gym Rules”!
Were people laughing at me??
Of course, no one was looking. No one was laughing. In 0.2 seconds I went from cross-eyed mortification to laughing at my own absurdity.
“Gym rules” are so stupid. Like we need a few more silly inhibitions getting between us and our goals!
Before I conquered my fear of the gym (and the bossy gym rats occasionally found there), I was afraid that the operative word in ‘Health Club’ was not ‘Health’ but ‘Club’. Gyms seemed like places with secret handshakes, codes I couldn’t crack, and rules I didn’t know how to follow.
As if the machines aren’t intimidating enough, there’s the scary gym-culture.
I didn’t grow up in a gym. I didn’t know the rites & rituals. Fear of doing the gym ‘wrong’ felt so potentially embarrassing, I let it hold me back.
Now I’m taking a stand for anyone who is intimidated by gym culture: JUST. DO. YOU. If you’re sweating, you’re doing it right.
My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I wear makeup when I work out.
One day not long ago, as I pulled the super-sexy minivan into the gym parking lot, I reached for the center console where I keep my lip gloss. I didn’t give it a second thought as I dabbed on just a hint of color. As I was replacing the cap, my better half burst out laughing.
“Did you just put on lip gloss to go do cardio?!” He couldn’t contain his amusement.
As I parked the car, I looked at the man I married a decade ago and asked “Um… have we met?”
Of course I was wearing lip gloss to do cardio. I was out of the house, wasn’t I?
I’m a very girly girl, and I don’t care to pretend otherwise. I have worn a small amount of makeup every day since I was 14. You think a change of venue is going to change that pattern?
I don’t wear *a lot* of makeup, but my ultra-femme side enjoys a little bit every day. Lip gloss, mascara & a dab of powder are in place whenever I leave the house. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to a formal function or making a run to the grocery store, I’m going to default to cosmetics.
Why should I make an exception for the gym? My waterproof mascara and lip gloss aren’t hurting anybody, and I’m happier with them. If I have to be panting and dripping with sweat, I can at least have pretty lashes!
Sure, you probably don’t want to cake on heavy foundation before a workout, because your pores will clog like nobody’s business. But – if your skin makes you self-conscious, don’t allow silly ‘rules’ about your cosmetics keep you from sweating yourself healthy.
There are gym rules that are in place for your safety, and those rules should always be followed. But the gym rules that are superficial? Take them if you like them, leave them if you don’t.
If you want to do Pretty Fitness, do Pretty Fitness! Mister Bossy Gym Rat is not the boss of you.
Not the boss of you! That negative voice in your head is also not the boss of you!! Love these balanced and personal article of yours.
Great post. I think it’s a great reminder to us all to be ourselves. Authenticity is a confidence booster and what better way to be at the gym!!
I’ve been following your blog and story since People. You have inspired me beyond words!!! Thank you from the fierce mother of 3 living your healthy lifestyle.