workout gearA few years ago, I wrote about a woman at my gym who was working out in pantyhose. What kind of workout gear is that? You have to be entangled in a weird web of shame to put yourself through that nonsense.

Lots of people gave me feedback and said, hey, it’s none of your business what that lady wears to work out. Maybe just focus on your shit, which is equally as web-like and shameful.


And sure enough, I do have issues. My boxing gym has banned me from wearing HR technology t-shirts to the gym. My trainer is firm on the subject.

“Laurie, we need to talk. What the heck is QueSocial?”

I’m like — please don’t ask. I don’t know how to explain the technology behind a company that did something like Hootsuite (but for recruiting nerds) and was sold to an advertising agency. I just wear the shirt because it makes me feel unseen.

Turns out, it’s the opposite. I’m the girl who wears HR technology shirts. Everybody notices. And the shirts are all ugly.

“Listen, you need to stop wearing these nerdy shirts. All of them. I have a reputation.”

I tried to explain that I’ve put on a little weight. My Lululemon gear fits more like a Luluwatermelon. I suffer from extreme regret and sadness about my eating habits. On top of that, I feel like a failure since my running injury. My inner fourteen-year-old girl would rather wear ugly technology t-shirts than wear an unflattering tank top.

“Are you kidding me? You’re talking about going from an extra small to a small. You’re not poor. Get some new clothes.”

It’s a boxing gym, not therapy. I get it.

And not only are the shirts incredibly ugly, but they’re also made of cotton. The gym is hot, and my clothes weigh a thousand pounds by the time I’m done with my workout.

“Don’t wear those nerdy shirts in here again. You hear me?”

Yeah, I hear you. We’re not here for girl talk. We’re here to punch the shit out of things to get back into shape.

I look around my gym and see people of all sizes and shapes wearing functional clothing, regardless of appearance, to maximize their performance. So I need to get back into workout clothes that don’t rub my skin and weigh me down with sweat.

And nobody is looking at me, anyway.

(Well, that’s not true. They’re looking at my nerdy, androgynous clothing choices. That’s too bad. I loved that QueSocial shirt.)


  1. The amount of fucks someone at a gym should be spending paying attention to what someone else is wearing should be approximately zero. To then raise it as a legitimate issue to discuss? Oy

    • Well, maybe. That pantyhose thing was weird. I’m still fascinated by it.

      I think my issue is that a) cotton is not my friend and b) I’m totally gross around other people when I’m done. It’s not like I don’t clean off my shit — because I do — but in general I look like someone who doesn’t belong in a boxing gym. And Amy Cuddy says you can change your body to change your mind, right? I’m changing my body.

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