One thing I enjoy about quarantine is not having to exercise around potentially weird strangers in enclosed spaces.
My lack of gym FOMO was cemented by a Reddit thread started by u/ICY031. They asked people to share the weirdest experiences they've had while going to the gym. Here are some of the best responses:
1. "I literally got flexed on. I saw a girl who I mistook as somebody I knew, and went to say hi. She was cool about it, said it's happened before. Then a guy came over and said, 'Something going on here?!' and literally just flexed."
2. "I remember a guy would spit and lick his hands before lifting weights or using machines and wouldn’t clean it afterward. Then, even weirder, he would straight-up moan like he was having sex while lifting the heavier weights. It was weird and gross."
3. "I saw a guy on the StairMaster once wearing sunglasses and a leather jacket."
4. "A guy at a luxury gym was not just dropping his squats, he was actively throwing them up and letting them drop 4+ feet to the safety rack, causing a ridiculously loud sound and a crash. When I asked him to stop, he was extremely aggressive and rude and said he had been a member for 10 years. Management ended up kicking him out about 10 minutes later."
5. "One time a guy called across the gym to another guy and said, 'I can smell you from here, do you play lacrosse?' to which he replied, 'I played when I was younger.' The first guy then said, 'That's what I thought. You smell like dry cum.' There were probably 12 people in the gym. So random."
6. "I was on the treadmill waiting for the only squat rack to open up. A guy was holding it up talking to some other guy, and they talked for like 15 minutes. I was about to ask if I could work in a rep, and then they started praying. The other guy put his head down, and squat guy put his hands on his shoulders and they prayed."
7. "My old gym had a guy we called 'Birdman' because absolutely every rep he would cry out 'CAWWW' like a crow. Every single rep. Nice guy, but damn that was never not weird."
8. "I ran on the treadmill next to a middle-aged man in a full Santa Clause outfit. Beard and all. It was Feb. 21."
9. "One time I was on the bench and I heard two dudes talking: 'You look fucking amazing bro, you’re the best-looking dude in this gym.' The other one replied, 'Nah, you are bro.' I turned around after a set, and they were identical twins."
10. "There was a woman who was hanging out in the locker room in her underwear. She was there when I came in, and still there an hour later. Someone told me she was probably an Instagram 'model' doing a selfie photo shoot."
11. "This huge guy was weightlifting at the gym I frequent and he farted, and it was the longest fart I've ever heard. Like at least 30 seconds long. He couldn't stop giggling like a little girl, and then everyone else started laughing and clapping like he just performed a theater piece. It was surreal."
12. "In the cardio room at my local gym, I looked up and saw a man in the most colorful, tight-fitting workout outfit I’d ever seen. He had sunglasses on and a parrot chilling on his shoulder. A fucking PARROT."
13. "I saw a woman who had her 3- or 4-year-old daughter literally sitting in her lap with an iPad while she benched."
14. "I was doing bench presses and there were these two dudes talking about what kind of porn they like. You'd think they'd whisper this, but no, it was just casual talking."
15. "The old book lady. She literally came to the gym, changed, sat on the end of a bench press bench, read from a book, and left. Never talked to anyone or exercised at all."
16. "One time I saw a fit man with impeccable, flowing locks stare himself down in the mirror. He just kept saying 'Yes!' and growling a bunch."
17. And..."A buddy of mine went up to a girl who had been hitting the StairMaster pretty hard — she was really grinding and sweating. So what was his pickup line? 'Hi, you're really wet.' They got married..."
Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.