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I try not to eavesdrop, but I was cooling down on the treadmill when the manager jumped on the one between me and another woman.

“What can I do for you?” the manager asked. Apparently the woman had wanted to talk to her. Still walking at a steep incline the woman removed her earbuds, very solemn. She prepared herself for what she had to say.

“Someone keeps looking at me,” she said. “It made me very uncomfortable.” She didn’t know who they were, but she kept catching them looking at her.

I completely understand. I’ve had people stare at me or (even better) look, talk to their buddy, they both look at me, laugh or keep staring like they made a bet and want to see who wins. I’ve stretched in the stretching area and had someone just sit down and watch. Not weird at all.

It’s uncomfortable, but I don’t report it because I’m a normal person and assume I’m doing something wrong. If the onlooker is a guy, I used to assume he thinks I’m soft, doing something weird, or feels sorry for me. If the onlooker is a girl, I assume she hates me, wants to kick my ass, and triggers my competitive side. If it’s one of the trainers, I assume my form is off or I’m doing something wrong.

The truth is it could be completely in our heads. There’s the shirt “I Promise I’m Nicer Than My Resting Face” for a reason. We could just be in their line of vision. Or they’re wondering who does burpees willingly mixed with the rowing machine? (this girl). Or they could like our outfit or wondering if they went to school with us or they could have no manners. Or we could look like humans trying to get fit and gravity laughing at our attempts.

The manager apologized and went to look into it. Because the woman said being looked at made her uncomfortable, of course, I found myself looking at her.  Catching myself, but our peripherals met a couple of time. Only two on the treadmills, not awkward at all.

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