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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Fashion Parade

Part of the gym experience is watching other people. It's like a circus: What gym goers wear when they work out is a telling detail about their personality. Me: I usually wear a t-shirt with some sort of short; yes, sometimes that means I wear the strechy shorts, not too flattering, but everyone has a laundry day. What does this say about me? I think I look relaxed, easy going, not too concerned with what I'm wearing, must not be too vain. This outfit is descieving though because I would like to wear better clothes to the gym. I'd like sporty little shorts and pants and kicky bras and sport tops. I'd like shiny new shoes as well, but all cost money and all require a slightly more toned body. So, in real life I'm not so easy going, relaxed or modest.

I'm not the only one though: I see many women dressed in sweats and oversized tees whose eyes stare longingly at girls who strut by in cute outfits and butt hugging shorts. They want better gym clothes too, but they are also hoping that these months spent on the treadmill will pay off and they too will be able to fit into clothes like that. Then there are the elderly, who let's face it, are never going to be fashionable, but they don't know that. And frankly, even if they did, I don't think they'd care. They're old; they can do what they want. There's one old guy I see nearly every day at the time I go in, and he looks a bit like Santa Clause in his big white beard and pouchy stomache, but he also adds a touch of flair: A straw Panama hat. Interesting.

The men in the gym also vary. There are the token younger guys who prance around is sleeveless tanks to show off their well earned muscles. One guy I see a lot has a specific outfit that I see him in everyday: White wifebeater tank, red track pants, little weight lifter gloves, and a towel hanging out the back of his pants. He's got an armband tatoo of barb wire that makes me want to puke.

There are casual guys there as well. Middle aged men who look just as scared of the free weight area as I am. These guys are there in their lawn mowing outfits: cut off jean shorts, tall striped socks and sweat bands. They listen to what I imagine is Van Halen on their tape decks and bop along silently to the tunes while they walk the treadmill or cycle away.

It makes the workout go faster to stare at others and scrutinze what they chose to step out the door in. I'm sure they're doing it too. I just wonder what they think about me.

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