Shaken Not Stirred

Thursday, April 27, 2006

What Happens at the Gym, Stays in the Gym

I've recently been talking to more people at my gym. Since it's basically my only social outlet, except for my phone calls to my friends, I've started conversing more and more with some of the people there.

The other day I was talking to one of my really good friends Simi (a great friend from my undergrad stint at West Virginia University). I told her how pathetic my social life has become, and that aside from studying and talking on the phone with her and other study pals, there really wasn't much going on. She suggested going out. I told her that I could, but that going out would only make me neurotically anxious about not studying and that the guilt I would feel the whole night would just put a damper on the evening.

I then said I had a social life in blogging, which is true. I like coming here to talk and to read about other people's lives. I love the comments I get from fellow bloggers and leaving comments about their posts too. It makes me feel less like a recluse.

About the gym, I've gotten to know several people there. Yesterday, one of the girls I met there suggested that a big group of us go out. I know that she and I talked about everything under the sun while working out. We talk to another group of people too and for the last thirty minutes of my gym time, this group of ours gathers around the water fountain and shoots the shit. So she suggested that we go out. I told her that I would be up for it.

I'm just wondering, will we be able to carry on conversations outside the gym? Does our relationship go beyond just cardio, upper and lower body reps? What would we talk about outside the realm of rubberized flooring and mirrored walls?

It just makes me think of those people that you sit beside in class, the guys you talk with until the professor arrives, for a whole semester and then never see again. But during that semester you learn about their whole family, the fights with their boyfriend/girlfriend and roommate issues. But when class gets out or is over, you don't have their number, and no way to get in touch with them. And then when you do see them, it's awkward and you just kind of nod and keep walking.

Does what happens at the gym only happen at the gym cause you are trapped in there with no one else to talk to?


  • This is how friendships start. Despite what most folks think, friendships don't instantly start, they are tentative and "get your feet wet" sort at first and then grow into something else.

    Go ahead, the worst thing that could happen is that you might have fun!

    By Blogger zippyjake, at 10:28 AM  

  • You are already sweating together. Might as well take it to the next level.

    By Blogger :P fuzzbox, at 10:34 AM  

  • Good question. I think friendships take work, so if neither parties are interested in 'taking it to another level', then yeah, you'll have nothing to talk about.

    But since this girl is making an effort, that's great. Who knows what will happen =)

    And I agree about blogging making me feel connected to people. I like having 'adult' conversations when I'm home all day with a 5 year old. =D

    By Blogger the_mrs, at 10:41 AM  

  • Only one way to find out, angel.. go out and do it.

    But if you go out to eat, don't spend the entire meal analyzing the food ... "This bite will take 20 sit-ups to burn off", "This appetizer is worth 20 extra minutes on the stair machine"...

    As jake says, friendships have to start somewhere. The gym is as good as any, and at least you'll know you have one thing in common.

    By Blogger blackcrag, at 1:24 PM  

  • I know what you are saying. Is it kind of like airplane talk? I mean, that is more than small talk because you end up talking for a couple of hours usually. Then you never see them again!
    I think the gym is different. It mostly depends on how you want it to be. If you make the effort to attain phone numbers and make the calls and go to the outside gatherings, you never know, it could be something great!

    By Blogger Lee Ann, at 1:51 PM  

  • I agree...It IS come to learn so much about certain people, that leaving them seems sort of odd, and you find yourself wondering about them for a while.

    I read a blog, where someone had met another blogger. I would ALSO find that equally weird. I mean, heres this complete stranger sitting across from you, but they know intimate details about your life, and you know intimate details about theirs....I cant imagine.

    By Blogger Princess Pessimism, at 3:16 PM  

  • Blogging is a great analogy to your gym scenario. It's a familiar comfort zone for social interaction, but you wonder what it'd be like to meet the people behind the blogs. At least with your gym friends you've already established an in-person rapport so your ahead of the game! :)

    By Blogger Sar, at 3:38 PM  

  • I always have trouble starting conversations and meeting new people, once the ice is broken no problem...

    Just go with the flow man... Peace

    By Blogger Raemius, at 7:12 PM  

  • You already know a little bit about one another ... so the ice is broken. Go out, have some fun ... I'm sure it will be fun. Let us know how it goes !!
    Take care, Meow

    By Blogger Meow, at 7:26 PM  

  • Interpersonal communication is such a crazy many variables involved. In a perfect world, people I consider my blogger friends would be great company face to face.

    But I know that's not possible. Some relationships only exist under a certain context.

    I would think, however, that working out at the gym together and getting along there would translate to you having a great time.

    Now stop worrying and have fun.

    By Blogger The Phoenix, at 9:55 PM  

  • hmmmm...

    Never know until u Try it and see...

    By Blogger Cari, at 8:35 AM  

  • I have a freidn who hangs out with people from his spining class and every time he goes he swears up and down he;s never going again. Some people are very knowledgable about gym stuff, but otherwise are socially inept. Not me, of course, but, you nkw, other people whose entire social lives are confined to a blog and a gym.

    By Blogger White Dade, at 5:47 PM  

  • I never talk to anyone at the gym, so I can't add anything. It would be good if you nail one of this checks and then don't talk to them again at the gym

    By Blogger Big Ben, at 7:26 PM  

  • The awkwardness goes away when you use fake accents and wear disguises.

    Then it just become creepy, which is 4% better than awkward.

    By Blogger Gyrobo, at 1:13 AM  

  • I guess its just another way to meet people, which is already a tough thing to do


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:11 AM  

  • I agree with True Blue Guy; gyms, as well as bookstores, delis, etc, have become the new gathering ground to meet people.

    If you're comfortable with these folks, then an outing would seem a natural progression.

    At best, you'll meet great new people; at worst, you'll find you'd prefer to keep things to the gym.

    By Blogger Tea and Books, etc, at 2:23 PM  

  • I don't go to the gym...I work out at the local high school track but I did meet a nice 80 year old man who walks there every day. But no, I don't talk to him outside of the office.

    By Blogger Lindsey, at 6:08 PM  

  • go! have fun! if nothing comes of it, and the entire group spends the evening in an awkward silence (which probably won't happen, since someone in the group is bound to be talkative), then you'll all have something to laugh about together when you next go to the gym!

    By Blogger kimber the wolfgrrrl, at 7:15 PM  

  • It's worth a try, isn't it? You don't have much to lose.

    I've read your blog before, and liked it, but for some reason didn't come back.

    I've just read your last several posts. Good stuff. I hope you hurry up and become a doctor, 'cause we need more "real people" as doctors.

    By Blogger Tan Lucy Pez, at 8:29 PM  

  • hey man, thanks for worrying about me - i'm leaving for new orleans as soon as i get over my cold and get some energy.

    By Blogger Kyle Foley, at 9:39 PM  

  • Zippyjake had it right from the start -- that's how friendships start. Give it a go.

    -- david

    By Blogger David Amulet, at 10:50 PM  

  • Yo go for it! You have the gift of gab, so why worry?! I'm sure it'll be fun!
    And I hope Big Ben was joking w/his comment! WTF?!
    Thnx to Tan for that note about "real drs." Gives me hope that I haven't squandered my $ and yapping skills for no reason!

    By Anonymous Babette, at 11:43 PM  

  • Just take it and run with it. Friendships have odd ways of getting started. Maybe they are in similar situations like yourself. I envy you because when I go to the gym I am surrounded by amped up gym rats who won't give you the time of day.

    By Blogger Ruben, at 6:56 AM  

  • do it !!! don't be "afraid"!!! you just never know man !!! just never know until you try it.., but don't do anything i wouldn't do... ;)

    have a great time friend !!!

    By Blogger madame P, at 11:26 AM  

  • i think that it's a great way to meet some new and interesting people. you should definately go out with them. what's the worst that could happen? you never know, you could make some lasting friendships.

    By Blogger mysterious in blue, at 12:12 AM  

  • i like fuzzbox's advice hehe. most of my friends from the gym are strictly gym friends. it's weird, but i do think that i could hang out with them outside of the gym and have a lot of fun. go for it :)

    By Blogger joey♥, at 1:21 AM  

  • hmm, these folks at the gym have seen you at your wrost..(sweating, begging for certain death)..and they still wanna hang with you..

    be carful:)


    By Blogger Bossy♥'s YOU, at 12:40 PM  

  • Yeah - we tend to have this context to friendship. The environment blends in with the people so much that its hard to imagine them otherwise.

    By Blogger Wriju, at 4:07 PM  

  • Yo Kuya, just bring a PowerAid candy bar in your back pocket. If the conversation drags whip it out and read the contents on the back together then ask how many minutes on the treadmill would it take to burn the calories while walking at an easy pace.

    Friendships, Romance, and just about anything else can happen anywhere.

    By Blogger Walter, at 4:58 PM  

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