I just ran a marathon on that treadmill. Okay fine, it was three miles, but still, that felt like a lot of miles. I turned the resistance up to like 10.5 for a few 2-minute intervals (is that 10.5 miles per hour, or just some mysterious treadmill unit of speed? I’ve never been completely sure) and my heart is beating so fast that I actually see the words cardiac arrest in red when I blink. I wore a grey t-shirt today; my back, stomach, and arm pits are now a charming shade of sweat-grey. I smell like the inside of the hockey bag. This is glory, my friends.
When I exit the cardio-room a few minutes later, hunched over and continuing to sweat profusely, I’m only half convinced that the threat of cardiac failure has passed. I’m almost to the ab mats (or as I like to call them, “the fab mats”) when I spot her. A majestic creature, both captivating and terrifying, scrolling through her Twitter feed between ab exercises.
The Hot Girl At The Gym.
(Please note, the following description does not refer to any individual in particular, but rather the archetype of Hot Girls At Gyms Everywhere.)
She wears calf-length leggings. Brightly colored sneakers, probably Nike cross-trainers, make those few inches of skin between shoe and legging look unbelievably tan. Maybe it’s just the neon shoe/tight pants combination, but she might have the best legs I’ve ever seen. How does someone get legs like that? Does she do squats in her sleep? And her ass, my goodness– I don’t care if you’re male or female, straight, gay, bisexual, asexual… you’d agree, her ass is a thing of beauty. Her shiny ponytail, perfectly situated, sits behind a colorful headband of the Lululemon variety. I would bet my life– okay, maybe not my life, but my entire 5-pound bag of M&Ms at least– that she just ran more than three miles on the treadmill, and her shirt shows no sign of sweat stains. She moves gracefully from Twitter to a perfect front bridge. I’m not sure why, but I’m sure that if I were to sniff her, she’d smell like Febreeze Spring Renewal.
Several thoughts hit me at once.
- I’d like to punch her in her beautiful face.
- I’d like to be her best friend.
- I’d just like to be her. Maybe we could pull a Freaky Friday kind of deal?
- I’m really hungry.
- I feel bad about the wanting to punch her in the face thing, I take that back. She’s probably a nice gal.
- I wonder if she farts.
So, I’d like to backtrack a little. This scenario, the meeting of The Hot Girl at the Gym, is something you’ve probably experienced before, especially if you use your campus athletic facilities on a regular basis. (The Hot Guy at the Gym is an equally disorienting experience, but that’s a post for another time.) My campus is notoriously homogeneous, so maybe our Hot Girls look a little different from your Hot Girls, but I have to imagine that every campus has their own population of this mysterious specimen: attractive, aloof, and utterly untouchable.
But here’s the thing. In my whirlwind of holy shit that person is more attractive than I could ever dream of being thoughts, it never really occurred to me that The Hot Girl at the Gym is just that– a person. A living, breathing person with dreams and insecurities just like the rest of us. (And she farts, she absolutely farts. No one can live without farting. I googled it.) The Hot Girl is a college student too; maybe she has a test tomorrow that she’s freaking out about, or a meeting with her advisor next week to discuss study abroad options, or a cocktail party this weekend that she’s nervous she won’t get a good date for. Maybe she likes to draw, or debate, or design computer programs. She probably has a best friend who’s seen her cry. Maybe she was just checking out my ass.
(Okay that last one was probably wishful thinking, but I have been doing a lot of yoga lately.)
I guess what I’m trying to say is, Hot Girls At the Gym are more than just Hot Girls At the Gym. They may occasionally make me feel like a giant ball of incompetent frizzy sweat, but that’s my problem, not theirs. They have every right to do their gym thing, and I have every right to do mine. I just happen to do it in a way that’s ever-so-slightly less enjoyable to look at. And smell.
So if you’re like me and you sweat like a pig in July when you get on a treadmill, or you can’t wear sleek Nike sneakers because they don’t give your feet enough arch support, or you don’t love wearing leggings to workout because sometimes they give you weird wedgies, that’s okay. Or if you do love wearing leggings, and your badass Nikes are your favorite shoes, and you can run hundreds of miles without breaking a sweat, that’s cool too. Maybe you are the Hot Girl at the Gym, and you’re thinking back to the time you were doing crunches on the ab mats and you saw that girl with huge sweat stains and curly hair marveling at your ass. If so, that’s a little uncomfortable and I’m sorry you had to read all of this, but maybe we can be friends someday.