Friday, June 3, 2011

7 Day Challenge Continued: Tuesdays at the Gym

You may be surprised by how much fun you can have at the gym.  It’s one of those places where everyone pretends to be in their own world, with the help of headphones and a good sweat, but at the same time, EVERYONE is checking each other out.  People even wear skimpy, tight-fitting outfits with bright colors to attract attention.  The animal kingdom does the same thing 


It’s a great place to meet people because people who go to the gym are:

1)  Generally attractive.  After all, they are working out, so they value their physical well-being.

2)  In a good mood, thanks to all those endorphins rushing through their body and distressing them from a hard day of work

3)  Like to do group exercise classes, and will generally take multiple workout classes on bikes, yoga mats and more.  These are great opportunities to casually meet someone.

            This post applies to both men and women, and while the courting tactics are different, the larger point is that meeting people in an everyday, non-bar environment, is preferable because people are more natural and real. 

            All it takes to break the ice is a little chit chat.

The Challenge Continued
             It was the second day of the 7-Day Challenge, a contest I was playing with a friend where the goal was to approach one person of the opposite sex each day for 7 days to improve our confidence and social skills and…ya know… see who we might meet.  That day I met the most beautiful girl at the gym and after we parted ways, a guy I didn’t know went up to me to give me a high-five.  It was surreal.

            I was doing weights at the top story of my local Ballys and amongst a room filled with 90% men walked in the hottest blonde.  Wearing blue and gray tights, her blonde hair fluttered everywhere she moved from workout station to workout station. 

            I made a mental note to say hi.

Tip 1)  Strike when the opportunity arrives
            Later, I was jogging on a treadmill on the second story of the gym and saw this girl and a friend go to a side area to stretch.  After a few minutes, I saw the other girl leave and I knew they had not come in together.  Seizing the moment, I walked over to the stretching area, which was stationed right above an area where joggers ran on treadmill below.  This may have interrupted my goal of jogging for 20 minutes, but it was worth the interruption.

Tip 2)  Make a playful observation

            Everyone likes to play…board games, sports and even a game of… People Watching.

            “There’s a nice view up here,” I said with a grin.  “You get a whole view of all the treadmills below us.”
            “Sure.”  She said as she flashed a smile.  I sat myself on the mat next to her. 
            “Do you like to people watch?” I said as I pointed to a guy in a black shirt pacing heavily on the treadmill.  “It looks like he’s had a hard day.  You can tell he’s probably a real estate agent and the market wasn’t too good for him.  He's got to work off all that stress.”
            “I bet he’s repeating a mantra in his head,” she chimed in.  “Saying ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day!’”
            “Definitely!" I said with a laugh.  "I bet he’s got Tony Robbin one liners racing through his head right now.” 

Tip 3)  Introduce yourself and then talk about other things

            We were both enjoying the conversation, and soon I introduced myself and got her name.  This is when it’s best to keep the conversation really casual, I mean after all, you're flirting at a gym.  Talk about your day, her day, your workout, why you’re both at the gym so late (it was 9:30 p.m.) and anything else that pops into your head. 

Tip 4)  You may or may not see her again, don’t let the opportunity slip

            I originally thought that Tuesday nights at the gym would be a regular thing to meetup again with this girl…but it wasn’t.  After we parted ways, I never saw her again, not even the next week.  While we ended on good terms, I thought it wouldn’t be necessary to get her number because we both go to the gym frequently.  In retrospective, I should have asked her for her number, as who knows what tomorrow holds.

            Fortunately, there are plenty of new people to meet each day, so there’s not much of a loss.

The High Five
            As soon as she left, I continued my stretching…as I had meant to do in the first place.  Suddenly this guy started walked up to me with a big grin.  He lifted up his hand for a triumphant high-five.  Not knowing why, I returned the high-five, as any good man would do.

            I asked him why the high-five, and he excitedly told me how every guy in the room had been checking her out, but I was the only one with the balls to talk to her.  I explained what I did and this guy, a bulky Armenian, was proud of me.  I was proud of myself and left the gym that night with a great experience and a good story.

            At the gym, I would strongly suggest chatting up someone when they’re doing something stationary, like on a treadmill or stretching because you can initiate contact and decide to keep it going if the spark ignites.  And when it does, you’ll be glad you went to the gym that day.