NoVA Living


There’s this one lady I see at the gym almost every weekday morning; I would guess she’s in her mid-40s or so. She’s slim, with deeply (overly) tanned skin, and always, always wears a pair of shortish shorts with a fitted, zip-up, long-sleeved jacket. I’ve wondered on more than one occasion how she can stand to do cardio workouts while wearing long sleeves. I thought there might be something underneath the jacket that she was trying to cover up. Recently, however, I saw her take the jacket off — the one and only time I’ve seen her without it — and she looked perfectly normal underneath (with a fitted tank-top). So why wear it?

The reason why I saw her take the jacket off was actually pretty funny. There are a fair amount of “regulars” that I recognize now; Overly-Tanned Lady (hereafter known as OTL) is one of them, and another is a good-looking, muscled man (noticeably younger than OTL) who I sometimes see while working out with weights. Whenever OTL catches sight of this man, she stares at him and tries to catch his eye. It’s quite obvious.

Recently, while OTL and I were using neighboring arm-machines, muscled-man walked over and started doing his own arm-strain thing (wowza!). And this is when OTL stripped off her jacket to reveal the fitted tank-top! I couldn’t believe my eyes. She’ll suffer through long cardio workouts completely covered up, but she’ll strip it off when a hottie is present? And then, of course, she put it right back on when she was no longer in his presence.

No shame, I tell you.

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  • Reply Marie D. September 18, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Too funny!
    I bet she keeps the long sleeves so that she would sweat more and lose weight.

  • Reply jen September 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    what marie said was my first thought, but by the time i got to the end of the post i started thinking she keeps it on so she can take it off at opportune moments.

  • Reply Kate September 18, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Those teeny little girls in the gym with full pants, shirt, and jacket over the top? And get into the elevator with me at the end, looking like they just stepped out of the salon? Drive me nuts. I understand some people don’t sweat as much, but that’s just ridiculous.

    I look gross at the gym, and I don’t care ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s definitely NOT a pick-up spot, in my opinion.

  • Reply sunchaser September 18, 2007 at 2:15 pm

    Lame without shame (on her part).

    Yes, very sad and really truly pretty bizarre with the long sleeves. Honestly, I think I’d have laughed out loud if I saw what you did.

    But here’s a question, why is it not equally lame if it’s a young girl doing it? (I can understand why it would not lame be lame for guys)

    It’s not a pick-up spot for me either, but I try not look like a total skank either (so as not to scare anyone) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I wonder if all that sweating makes you more attractive actually? My shirts can get pretty darn wet(with sweat, that is) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Leah September 18, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    and here I thought it was going to be a post about how people at the gym don’t worry about how they look when working out (tho that would be “not ashamed,” I suppose).

    I agree with Kate in that the gym isn’t a pickup spot, and I don’t ever worry about how I look there. Well, I worry a little, but only because I use the same gym as my students. And that just makes me want to be a little more covered, tho I can’t imagine doing cardio in long sleeves.

  • Reply Katyola September 18, 2007 at 3:23 pm

    Those cougars!

  • Reply alyndabear September 18, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Ha, I’m laughing at the cougars comment. I’m self conscious like crazy at the gym, but I would drop dead from heat exhaustion trying to exercise in long sleeves. Phew!

  • Reply DefenseEngineer September 18, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    In college, I used to lift very heavily. I practically lived in the gym when I was not in class.

    My lifting partner and I used to get a kick out of the guys that brought in their girlfriends on Fridays. It was always on Fridays in the late afternoon. They would try to show off for the girlfriends. For a while we just watched and laughed. Then one day, a guy cut infront of us for the preacher curl equipment (the seat and curl bar). A little irritated, we just waited while he showed off for his girlfriend. He kept talking about how strong his biceps were. The girl faked some interest but you could tell she was bored. When he finished, my lifting partner said to me, “Let’s get this knocked out quickly so we can still make the party tonight.” We slapped on twice as much weight as the previous guy used and started hammering out the sets with virutally no rest between.

    The girlfriend just watched us while standing next to her boyfriend who moved onto another exercise. As we were on the way out, she asked my friend, “What party? Maybe I can meet you guys there?” She did. She met us there and actually started dating my lifting partner a few weeks later.

    Moral of the story. There is always someone bigger and stronger (or in the cae of OTL, someone with a more appropriate tan and better body). Don’t try to show off. It never looks good. Especially when the person after you is stronger and is not trying to show off. Just do your thing. Do it for yourself and not for anyone else. Someone will notice.

  • Reply Chris Cactus September 18, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    People are just funny. No two ways about it.

  • Reply Rambler September 19, 2007 at 9:10 am

    too funny, may be she removed it because you were there besides her ๐Ÿ™‚
    just kidding.

  • Reply Sijbrich September 19, 2007 at 10:44 am

    If a sociologist ever did a study on gym social behavior, I bet it would be really funny.

  • Reply elysa September 19, 2007 at 12:02 pm

    that is so funny I think there is a woman like that at every gym. There is this lady who I see at the gym who looks like she just stepped out of the hair salon. She always has way to much makeup on, about a bottle of hairspray and of course perfectly matching workout outfits.

  • Reply chirky September 19, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    More than anything, that’s just really sad to me. It’s sad that her worth and value seems to be so connected to her body.

  • Reply Molly September 20, 2007 at 10:23 am

    Ha! that is classic. People watching at the gym is SO much fun!

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