Monday, January 2, 2012

The sweaty brunette's guide to picking up men at the gym.

Ahhh...2012...a new year. As New Year's Eve approached a few days ago, a minor amount of depression set in. What had I accomplished in the past year that was great and significant? I found myself focusing on the negatives: I still hadn't forced myself to learn Espanol via the Rosetta Stone; I hadn't run a marathon like I promised myself; I hadn't made astounding progress at work; and I was single another year, reminding me not only that I would spend New Year's Eve without a midnight kiss, but also that I had once again failed at a romantic relationship in 2011.

Luckily, pensive Torie came to the rescue with some positive thoughts. What had I accomplished in 2011? Well, I had a new blog that seemed to make people laugh (whether is was with me or at me) and make my mom cry; I welcomed a dog-cat into my family of three (me and my two fish Jeeter and Clio), and managed to keep him alive and liking me; and I somehow fit into the same clothes I did last year (although they're a little bit snug after the holiday feasts).

Health: there's a biggie (no pun intended...haha...but seriously, I'm cracking myself up with that one). Why does health and losing weight always land the nation's top three New Year's resolutions? Maybe it's because America's idea of "more for your money" is making us all obese. Maybe it's because we enjoy feeling good about ourselves and know good health is where that "natural feel good" is at (hippies are completely at liberty to disagree with that statement). Or...maybe it's because the New Year strategically lands right after Thanksgiving and Christmas, and right before bikini and sundress season. I take back the last bit of that last sentence...this year I was wearing shorts on Christmas, and am pretty sure it was warm enough to go swimming a couple days ago. Anyhow, you get what I'm saying.

Whatever the case for weight loss topping the charts, I've developed some thoughts on health and working out. I can say I did something productive when the end of 2012 comes around, please say my first blog post of the year made a significant impact on your life. least made you laugh.

Although I'm very much a runner, I joined a gym when I first began working after college to (attempt to) keep things tight. The gym is also good for other things like scoping out men and laughing (not necessarily together...but sometimes it happens). Why do I say "scoping" instead of "picking up" men? Because...c'mon, let's get serious, the only girls who pick up men at the gym are the blondes who don't sweat. If I didn't sweat at the gym, I would not be truly working out, therefore, I would not have been able to fit in the same clothes this year. For this reason, I am totally cool with the fact that I only "scoped" at the gym again this year.

Actually, I almost did pick up a man at the gym once...with my truck. I was jamming (as usual) to the radio, pulling into the gym, and almost hit this guy in the parking lot. I saw him at a machine later inside, and gave him the wave and nod. He removed one earbud, and I said, "Sooo...I wasn't trying to run over you in the parking lot. Close call, but glad you're okay." That must've been the trick because he introduced himself and then just happened to be working out where I was 30 minutes later and started a 30 minute conversation. Turns out he was the type of guy who wore long hair and high socks to the gym (guess he was a modest man, and was trying to ensure he was covered). Lesson learned: I can pick up guys at the gym. I just need to start trying to run over the cute ones.

Long before the thought of scoring dates at the gym occurred to me, I had just moved to town and was looking for ways to meet cool people, make new friends. Why not the gym? I quickly decided the gym was just to workout, after this jerk broke my "gym friendship" spirit. He was in front of me at the water fountain, filling up his water bottle. He looked like a friendly guy, so I decided I would make a friend. "Geezzz, you gonna fill up that entire bottle?" I asked him jokingly (or what I thought was jokingly). He got this scared look on his face, and backed away apologizing. I laughed and said I was kidding, but it didn't help the matter. Through trial and error, I've come to accept that my style of joking can be rather abrupt, and people aren't sure if they should laugh or run. I would say 99.9% of the time you should laugh.

Other things you need to know if you're about to immerse yourself in the land of hot bods: how to react if your treadmill neighbor lets out a really horrid fart; how to properly communicate with others when your iPod is on full blast; and how to gracefully fall off an ab crunch ball.

Horrid farts. Wow, let me tell you...this one is a doozie. It's bad enough when you accidentally let one slip, but it's almost just as horrible when your neighbor does. Why? Well, when this happened to me, I was confused at what reaction to take. Naturally, I was about to gag because it smelled so bad. Then, I wanted to laugh because...well, c'mon, someone just let one rip on the treadmill. While I was doing my best to hold my giggles in, it occurred to me that no one was certain "who done it", so if I looked like it was my personal joke, they would choose me (the brunette, who was sweating really bad) to blame it on. How did I resolve this? I ended my expression with one that was a mixture of horrified and disgusted. With that said, if you can avoid the earlier stages, I believe the disgusted look is the best one to take.

iPod communication. This is critical. It took me awhile to realize exactly how loud I was speaking when I said hello to a friend (these were all friends I met outside of the gym...we've already established making friends at the gym is impossible for me), while leaving my earbuds in. One day I witnessed a guy singing a rock song really loud, and decided I best take precaution with my gym communication. People will give you the stink eye really quickly ("stink eye" in this case doesn't...but could...refer to the previous paragraph) for things of this nature. Sometimes, though, you just can't help it. For instance, one day I was doing box jumps and ran out of breath and felt myself making this absurd grunt noise. Luckily, only guys with long hair and tall socks were around, so it didn't embarass me too terribly bad. Just be careful...they can hear what you can't.

Regarding the "gracefully falling off an ab crunch ball"...there's no way to do it. I've done it at least three times (with an audience two of three times), and it's never looked like I meant to do some cool trick I was practicing for the circus. Laugh it off and take a bow. Falling is okay at the gym. Farting is not.

Now, go forth into the gym world and achieve those buns of steel! And...if you learn how to make friends and/or pick up a good-looking man (while still maintaining a high enough heart rate to burn calories), while you're there, please give me a call with this insight.


  1. 1st time I've read your blog. Should have started sooner. Good stuff! : D

  2. Torie, this is awesome. I love to write to, but haven't ever really learned how to be a "true" blogger. You rock chicka! Digging it. I keep all your helpful hints in mind tonight at the gym :)! Keep up the writing my friend.