Navigating the sweaty jungle that is a gym can be an exercise in discomfort all by itself, with even a fleeting glance from a stranger sending some of us running for the hills.
And while there are some people doing exercises that certainly invite onlookers and unprompted conversation, like this:
Not all encounters are deserving of a man’s unwanted attention.
A young woman recently found herself in just such a socially awkward predicament at her local gym, choosing to beat a swift retreat rather than endure an uneasy encounter.
Yet, this move seems to have ruffled the feathers of a man, oblivious to the concept of personal space. Intrigued and a bit confused, she turned to the Reddit community, questioning if she was the villain in this workout drama…
‘AITA for shortening my workout after a man got on the elliptical next to me?’
I (27F) like to go to the gym later in the evenings so I can have the place mostly to myself since I don’t like how claustrophobic it feels when tons of people are there at the same time. I live around the block from a chain gym and go there most nights to use the elliptical for a while.
Relatable! (being claustrophobic, not the working out part)
When I got to the gym tonight, the entire row of ellipticals was empty, so I grabbed the one all the way on the end. Everything was fine during my workout all the way up to the last few minutes. A guy walked into the mostly-deserted gym and got on the elliptical right next to mine, which I thought was weird since there was a row of about 12 other ones that were all empty.
Ok, that would actually kinda piss me off.
It made me a little uncomfortable, so I shortened my workout by a few minutes and hopped off to grab a disinfectant wipe. When I got back to wipe down the machine, the guy stopped pedaling and asked me what my problem was.
Wait, so he asked YOU what your problem was?
I was caught off guard and just stammered something about how I was done with my workout, which was basically true anyway, but he said something about me “treating him like a predator for no reason” and then put his headphones back in.
AITA (Am I the as*hole) for shortening my workout because some guy chose the elliptical right next to mine?
So, what do you think? Was she being too precious about her personal space or should that man be arrested and hung at noon?
Okay, sure, we might be exaggerating a tad, but seriously, who selects the elliptical RIGHT next to another person in an empty gym, and then berates them for making a quick exit?! For any woman whose hobbies don’t include fitness regimes or unsolicited chatter with unfamiliar men, this is basically a spine-chilling horror show. Now let’s dive into the Reddit echo chamber, where a chorus of keyboard warriors was ready with their verdict: NTA (Not The As*hole).
NTA. It’s weird that he would choose the one right next to you, and it’s even weirder that he then brought it up that you might be looking at him “like a predator.” It’s like he’s telling on himself. – Rice-Correct
What I want to know is why he was paying attention to how far into your workout you where. – Expensive-Issue-3188
Yeah, maybe if she had moved to a machine further away and continued working out, some guys would take that personally. But to accuse someone who may just be done with their workout? He’s super gross. – Creative_Macaron_441
And this comment brings up a great point that is entirely too real:
Maybe I had Taco Bell for lunch and 5 minutes into the elliptical my stomach told me it was time quit being so adventurous. My body, my choice… and gym time, and explosive diarrhea whenever I work out. – FormerWindow
They think they can intimidate women into apologizing for feeling threatened by suspicious creepy men with this tactic. It’s gross and absolutely predatory, and probably a power trip thing. If you’re not being a creep, you wouldn’t be offended if someone decides to end their workout early. That doesn’t affect you in any way.
The fact that he tried to guilt-trip or accuse OP of offending him is exactly what he planned for by choosing the elliptical next to her. – tulipbunnys
What do you think? Was he wrong or was she wrong?