I have a question about the gym:
How is it that everyone makes friends there? I feel like I’m constantly hearing women refer to their “friend from the gym” and I just don’t get it.
Let me tell you what my gym experience is like: Arrive, change into workout clothes, put headphones on, run, do some pushups, leave.
My body is usually too consumed with pushing through a workout and getting it over with to give off vibes of “friendly and open to new friends.” My expression says “How many minutes are left on this machine?” not “Come talk to me! I’m silly and love brunch!”
There’s this one gym in Chicago that is super nice and from what I can tell is more country club than workout facility. You can do your laundry there, eat dinner, get a haircut. Or so I’ve heard. I’ve never actually been there myself. But the people I know who belong meet people at this gym all the time. Seriously. I’m pretty sure some people join in hopes of meeting their future spouse (some have told me as much).
Apparently, it’s all about the classes. Somewhere between warm-up and cool down, after the bicep curls but before the squats, people get to talking. Swapping life stories and eventually phone numbers. I don’t get it. I’ve mastered (or come close to mastering) many new-friend scenarios. I’ve figured out how to take a relationship from easy banter to friend-date, where to guide conversation for maximum connection, how to say yes to any invitation. But I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to meet a friend at the gym.
Trying to make a move during someone’s much needed water break seems pushy. Interrupting a runner’s treadmill time to ask how her day was strikes me as inconsiderate. Starting conversation while she’s changing in the locker room? That’s just awkward.
So this is a gaping hole in my friendship education thus far. I’m still keeping an eye out for my opening, but I’m not even sure I want one. I enjoy my gym time as me time. I want to get in and get out. But then, who am I to say no to an opportunity for a new pal?
While I figure how to strengthen this friendship muscle (Har har, lame pun. I know), let me turn the tables. Please, share your gym friendship stories!