Image: @cockdieseljeremy on Instagram
Crazy story: once, while preparing to do a solo night dive in Bonaire, I met two American Ninja Warriors!!!!! (Together, we watched fireworks from 40 feet below the surface!)
Crazier story: one of them was kicked out of a Planet Fitness this week... for no discernible reason other than his size.
"I knew it was going to happen long before it did," he told me during a call.
Jeremy is the first to admit that it isn't the first time he's been kicked out of a Planet Fitness. "When I was 20 and I'd first started lifting, I got kicked out of one -- but I deserved it. I learned to lift outside, in my yard. I was throwing weights around, dropping weights. I deserved to get kicked out."
But that was years ago. Jeremy has changed a lot. And, as a competitive bodybuilder, he knows his way around a gym.
Which is why he typically does not go to Planet Fitnesses -- due to their rules about "lunks" and "gymtimindation," he often feels uncomfortable at PF, even when he's done nothing wrong.
Which I totally get. I've been to a Planet Fitness, and I felt really weird there, too. I'm not even, like, huge -- just fit. And no one did anything to me. But due to... something? The culture? My own preconceived notions?... I just felt uncomfortable. Or watched. Or something.
Look at that lunk.
Despite the weird, fit-shame-y vibe (remember: whether fat shaming or fit shaming, it's still body shaming), Jeremy was using PF because it was the only gym in town during a work trip. Due to his schedule, he was using the facility at weird, super un-crowded times.
"I was there for two weeks, and I got a weird vibe from day one," Jeremy told me. "Even though no one else was in the gym, this employee would always grit on me... He'd follow me around during my workouts, tap me on the shoulder, and ask me weird questions, like, 'Are you done with that barbell?'"
Or, like, the guy would throw a fit if Jeremy used one of the (completely empty) massage chairs. "Next time, make an appointment!"
On the night in question, the guy had pestered Jeremy with his usual random questions. Then, finally, he approached Jeremy (who was wearing ear buds) from behind, grabbed his shoulder, and said, "When you get a chance, stop by the front desk."
"I wasn't about to drop what I was doing for that," Jeremy said. So he went about his workout -- meanwhile, this employee was walking around the gym, tapping other patrons and pointing at Jeremy. Jeremy paused his music so he could hear what the guy was saying. Basically, "Hey, is that guy bothering you?"
And everyone was like, "Um, no... Why? What's the problem?"
After his workout, Jeremy approached the front desk to see what the guy wanted, telling him, "Just so you know, I'm recording this."
(Which, in general, is probably a good thing to do in a heated or potentially heated situation. For everyone's safety.)
"I just want to go over the gym policy with you again, and can you please turn that off?"
"No," Jeremy answered. "Let's just do this."
"Is this going to be a problem?" the employee asks in the video.
"No," Jeremy answers.
Then the employee turned to a coworker and said, "Patty? Can you actually get on the phone and call 911?"
Patty looked confused.
Jeremy sat in a massage chair while he waited for the police to arrive, at which point they escorted him to the parking lot and had a chuckle about the whole, weird incident.
What policy he was in violation of is not entirely clear. It's possible they didn't like his shirt... because his muscles were showing? (He was either wearing this shirt, or a similar one but in red.)
Hump day! :P
"I work out in muscle shirts. I was on a work trip and I only had, like, three workout shirts."
Also, PSA: The "Come With Me If You Want to Lift" shirt is a real thing that everyone needs.
I feel for Jeremy.
A) Having experienced the "weird vibe" at Planet Fitness, I could relate to the discomfort he'd endured for several workouts before this incident. (And I have an unusually high tolerance for being "looked at," as I discussed in Here's How One Pretty Girl Deals With the "Constant Stares and Attention," and again in Do Men Have a "Right to Stare" at Women in Public? Like... I didn't even notice when countless men honked their horns at me on Central America, but I felt weird at Planet Fitness.)
B) I'm not a huge fan of "gym burqas." If there is some legitimate safety issue, fine. (Like, I suppose an argument could be made that climbing shirtless can... make the wall slippery?)
But the idea of someone else's clothes or possessions making me uncomfortable is sad and bizarre, as I discussed in If My $12,000 Watch Makes You Feel Bad, You Probably Need to Work on Yourself.
In fact, I think a lot of well-meaning parents and educators give kids body image issues through rules like this. It's crazy that we tell women to #ChooseBeautiful, but then we're like, "Yo! You gotta cover up and hide that shame."
C) I can tell by looking at him... that he's the kind of book who's judged by its cover. And, like, yes, he certainly looks a certain way.
He does spend a lot of time at the gym...
But he's also super spiritual.
He's also an avid traveler who's always ready for his next adventure.
Image: @cockdieseljeremy on Instagram
He's a skilled carpenter who's been crushing 6/10s (but still lifting every night).
And... an adrenaline junkie who's sky diving with a pre team this weekend.
To name a few.
And it would be a shame for anyone to miss the chance to get to know him because they thought he looked like a lunk.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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