Upon return to campus, on my first visit to the East Campus gym, I was distressed to see that, over the summer, the gym layout had been rearranged such that the row of ellipticals now stands front and center for the viewing (dis)pleasure of all Arrillaga gym-goers.
Trying to play it cool after making the horrifying realization that I would have to huff along, red-faced and dripping, in plain view of the busy gym, I walked towards the cardio section while a debate over whether I should screw it and use the exposed elliptical, or tuck myself away in the back corner with the treadmills raged within me.
After reluctantly telling myself to suck it up, I made my choice and clambered onto one of the “LifeFitness” elliptical machines. Some time later, having pedaled away long enough for my face to take on the hue of a tomato, I wasn’t sure whether I actually felt empowered or embarrassed by the spectacle that was my workout. Did I try harder because people were watching? Or did I try less because I didn’t want to look sweaty and over-eager? Is everyone else feeling as weird about being out in the open as I am? Should I pretend like I don’t know that people can see how out of shape I am?
The answers to these questions remain to be seen, as, out of laziness or perhaps fear of centrally-located cardio equipment, I’ve barely been back since. One definitive thing, though, is that the new elliptical location is a prime spot to stare at the other-gym goers to occupy yourself during your workout (if you’re into that sort of thing).