Sort of. It’s happening slowly, but the afternoon regulars have begun chatting. I even got punched (lightly) in the shoulder today. And I don’t mind the interaction in the afternoon. For the most part, they won’t talk to me unless the headphones are out – which seems to be the “all clear” signal. In the morning, my time is short, so I don’t welcome uninvited conversations. Especially when the main topic is why, in a certain someone’s opinion, my trainer doesn’t know what he’s doing. That’s crap and it’s annoying. However, the afternoon people are interesting. There is “lady who butts into conversations” and even though she doesn’t have much to contribute, but she’s basically nice. But there are many more guys who kind of know what they are doing and the more info they are willing to share, the better. One helped correct my form on front squats. Another gave me a tip that improved my calf raises.

In general, I’ve noticed that guys are much more supportive of each other in the gym than the ladies. They are competitive, but it’s open and healthy competition that seems to push them to do better work. (It’s fun when one of the big guys says “wow, you’re strong” when they noticed I lifted heavier than them. That doesn’t happen often, but I OWN the hip adductor machine – that’s the one where you squeeze your thighs together. I’m using the entire stack now – 190 pounds. More than the guys. But I’m pretty sure women are supposed to be strong on that one.)

To be fair, the ladies are seriously outnumbered in that part of the gym so I’m going to be around a lot of guys. But I think of the few women I’ve seen who lift seriously, they’re rocking the “I’m wearing a hat, so go away” attitude, even without hats. My Facebook friend who is a figure competitor told me to expect women to be less open and more negatively competitive. She’s right. I’m still waiting for the one other female bodybuilder in the morning to be willing to have a conversation. About a month ago, I sent a FB friend request to a woman I saw comment on a bodybuilding page. Her story sounded similar to mine. Her reply was “no” because she only accepts friend requests from pros who can mentor her. Wow. Really?

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