PSA for the Gym Rats

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As a fellow “gym-goer” (I’m pretty loose with that term), I feel it’s my duty to provide a public service announcement to the gym rats out there.

Here’s the announcement:

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT apply perfume/cologne before working out. That is all.

So I’m at the gym last week, you know, just workin on my fitness, and a girl sits down on the row machine next to me. She looks pretty in shape and is sweating so I assumed she had been working out for a while before she sat down by me. We don’t really acknowledge each other but continue with our workouts. I have my ear buds in and am trying to look super intense while I row so it will appear that I am a fierce workout girl. Little does everyone at the gym know, I will most likely be scarfing chips later and totally break even on any calories burned at the gym.

As I’m rowing, I start to smell something. It’s quite strong and begins filling all my air space. Perfume. The girl next to me apparently bathed in perfume before working out. Or she isn’t actually sweating and perfume is oozing out of her pores. I feel like I can’t breath. I might throw up from the smell. I row faster trying to get away from it, and then I remember I’m not actually in a canoe. So now I can’t breath and I’m sweating profusely. The smell of Estee Lauder and sweat from my upper lip almost takes me down. I look around; shocked that no one else looks like they’re about to pass out. I mean, they look “work out miserable”, not “I’m inhaling toxins and think I might die miserable”. Somehow I keep my composure and continue rowing. After about 5 minutes she gets up and leaves and the only thing I smell is the regular gym B.O. It’s like sniffing clean linen! I finish up about 5 minutes later and head to a 30-minute abs class. I’m getting my stuff all set up and am stretching when I notice someone walk in.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Estee Lauder just walked in. And of course the only open spot is next to yours truly. Naturally.

For the next 30 excruciating minutes, I try to mouth breath, which proved to be worse because it was like eating potpourri from grandma’s house. By the end of the class, I think I must have become immune to the smell or I just couldn’t focus on it because my abs felt like they had been ripped out of my body. Nonetheless, it was over and Estee Lauder went on her merry way.

After I left the gym, I wondered a while about why someone would put on perfume before working out. I do this also when I see women working out in full make-up at 8:30 am. To be fair, I do put on concealer and sometimes fill in the eyebrows before going to the gym. No need to scare off the good patrons of the Y. The only people that see me regularly with zero make-up are my neighbors at the bus stop in the morning. Apparently they don’t scare easily.

Anyway, after thinking about it a while, I concluded she must’ve been scoping dudes at the gym. I’m sure she thought, “Hmmm, what are guys more attracted to, the smell of sweat or perfume? I’ll go with perfume.” I totally get the logic behind that. She’s forgetting one thing though. People expect the gym to smell like B.O. So when Estee Lauder walks in, even if it smells good, it’s confusing to the senses. It’s not that we dislike it, per say, we just don’t want it to interfere with the B.O. smell we’ve become accustomed to. It’s like taking a swig of tea when you were expecting Coke. It’s not that tea is bad, you just wanted Coke. In short, ditch the perfume and just wear deodorant. The gym isn’t ready for fancy aromas yet. But who am I to judge? If I were single and didn’t like the bar scene, I’d probably be scoping dudes at the gym too. Or church. Sometimes that can be scarier than the bar scene but that’s another post for another day…

On a side note, when I got home from the abs workout, I immediately went to the mirror and lifted my shirt to see my new 6-pack. You can imagine my dismay when I see my stomach looks exactly the same. How is it I can FEEL every muscle in my stomach but can’t SEE any of them? #crushingdisappointment

What are some other gym faux pas? You know, like people wearing jeans when they work out. Feel free to share in the comment section!

-Courtney

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