The boys side of the gym. 

The mostly men side of the weight room is like a boys’ only club. It’s just understood that the men workout here and the women workout over there with all those tiny pink weights and a billion ellipticals. There are reasons for this segregation, men like to grunt and drop 400 lbs. of weight that shakes the entire floor and women prefer to not be gawked at while we’re lifting.

A few months ago, I decided to forget all that. I can hang. I reached back to my roots as a tomboy and decided I really wanted lift at the boys’ club. All the cool equipment is over there! I was done with Bosu balls and the inner thigh machine (you know the one).

Plus, I don’t care if the guys think I’m “not doing that right” or if they gawk or judge (I say to myself, very convincingly). I put my headphones on and queued my music to my Kick Ass Workout Mix.

Now, about 3-4 days a week, I’m 1 of 2-3 women in a gaggle of bulky men.

At first, I was timid to ask about using equipment and took up about 4 square feet of space. If a machine was taken, I would skip that set until the end of my workout. Now I stretch out my arms. I jump in on sets. I feel completely comfortable lifting way less than what most of the guys lift.

After a few months, I’ve realized it’s not so bad over there. There’s a bit of camaraderie among the men and I’m like their mascot now, the token female. I think they respect me for lifting with them. And I’ve gotten used to the earthquaking weight drops.

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