After a weekend of showing a friend around Charlotte and consuming nothing but barbecue, Not Your Father’s root beer, and vodka tonics, I decided it was time to stop eating like a frat president and maybe be a little bit healthy. Hi ho, hi ho, it was off to barre class I went. I threw on some cuteish workout pants and a Syracuse lax bro-style tank top. The hair situation was a hybrid between Pebbles Flintstone and an ’80s side pony. Not bad. Room for improvement, of course, but not awful.
Upon walking into the class, I instantly feared that my childhood nightmare had come true. I finally got my opportunity to star in a music video (a dream that stems from my middle school obsession with TRL and Carson Daly), but had missed all of the rehearsals and would therefore botch my performance. There was no other explanation for the amount of adorable attire and hairstyles that I saw grabbing weights and balls.
The strappy little sports bras, open backed tank tops, and fun printed workout leggings were truly darling, but I noted that many out of the outfits would be totally impractical for a person such as myself, who has to wear two sports bras to do any sort of physical activity because otherwise I fear I’ll knock someone out and get sued. I alternated between staring in wonder and turning to the door, waiting for the lighting crew to begin setting up. Was this a Walk the Moon shoot? Five Seconds of Summer? I couldn’t wait to find out.
After a few minutes, I realized that I actually was about to take a barre class and not become a video star. I just happened to be surrounded by what I call “Lululemon girls.”
Lululemon girls are the ones who come to the gym with perfect hair and outfits worthy of fitness magazine covers. They go through the same one-hour workout as I do, and yet somehow step out of the class with just a faint glisten of sweat coating their faces. Meanwhile I’m the color of a tomato and the teacher’s asking me if I’m okay because she’s scared I’m going to faint and she’ll get blamed. They’re the girls who can meet you for lunch after barre or Pilates or spin without totally grossing out the other diners. They just toss some dry shampoo in their hair and it’s like nothing ever happened.
The making of a Lululemon girl fascinates me. The clothes and the hair and the ability to power through the workout while still looking flawless combined together make them magical exercise unicorns. They’re a different breed and I need to know their secrets. Is there some sort of expansion pack you can buy like in The Sims? Is there a genetic mutation I’m missing that caps off your sweat at “adorably active” levels? I actually tried tweeting Lululemon about this issue, but they just told me “We bet you look cute at the gym too” so clearly it’s a secret society that you have to be asked to join otherwise they won’t give you any information.
Recently I’ve resigned myself to the fact that being a Lululemon girl is simply not in the cards for me. I’m not the type of person who can meet my next date at the gym, because striking up a conversation when you look like a sweaty maniac just isn’t cute. I have pale Irish skin and when I exert myself it turns a charming shade of “I’m feeling pass out-y” red. I sweat carrying my groceries up three flights on stairs in the hot Charlotte summer. And I’m okay with that. It takes all kinds of people to make a group exercise class full.
If anyone else out there is more “hot mess express” at the gym instead of “I look like I’m a model paid to stand around near the stacks of weights” then please feel free to join me and let’s rep it for the sweaty people. And then go home right after and shower because honestly we can’t enter a restaurant looking like that. It’s just rude.