I don’t wear headphones at the gym so it’s turned into a lot of time spent looking at myself in the mirror or else watching how people regular people behave. Seriously, this is the most time I’ve ever spent around people that didn’t involve a compiler or a Dungeon Masters Guide.
It’s surprising to me, though. Normal people are actually pretty nice. They find out I’m into biking and weightlifting and if they’re into it, too, they get so excited. They have to tell me about this thing that they did or some advice that they have. It’s like I’m instantly part of their tribe or something.
Now, I have never in my life given much thought to appearance. But there’s something about that moment when you catch your reflection somewhere and you fail to recognize yourself that can change that real fast. I know you’ve seen it happen with a girl you knew. Maybe you took her for granted because she just wasn’t that good looking. Then one day she shows up with her hair fixed up and a nice outfit and you can’t stop looking at her. You know the whole story… but your head just swivels around reflexively anyway.
My impression of nerds in general is that they don’t get that that sort of thing can really work in their favor, too. A lot of them got smacked down pretty hard in their school days and they’re stuck with this assumption that nothing they do can make a difference. Or maybe they just pretend like they’re not trying on purpose so they don’t have to feel bad about failing.
What’s been eyeopening for me is discovering that nerdy girls really do exist. No, not the cute girl that puts on geek glasses and then get into stereotypical male hobbies. I’m talking frumpy, pasty-white girls with absolutely no muscle tone. I’ll tell you, though… it’s not how they look that really makes them a nerd. It’s the way they act. They can’t just come into class and quietly do the exercises like everybody else. They’re always making noise: self-deprecating jokes, nervous laughter.
Seeing it from the other side is really instructive. But yeah, the biggest nerds of all are still dudes. It kills me watching some of this play out, too.
I walked into a section to do my routine one time and there was this really attractive girl there doing her thing. This trainer goes to give her some help she turned out not to need and then he just went off with this jokey faux-subservient routine. He was loud. He kept on. Some of his friends chuckled at his antics… but he was just plain dying. The awkwardness was painful.
My takeaway…? If you’ve put a lot of effort into improving your appearance and you don’t want it to go to waste, try this: SHUT UP. Goofy self-deprecating attempts at humor simply don’t have the effect you want it to. They really don’t.
Don’t be that guy.
In fact… flip the script altogether. Be the guy that patiently endures the nerdy girls embarrassing themselves in front of him.
It’s way more entertaining.