Sunday, May 06, 2012

difference between Austin and Oslo, with regard to gym clothes

Going to the gym or out for a workout in Austin meant the following:

  • Find t shirt.
  • Find shorts
  • Sunscreen your face
  • Throw on sneakers
  • Go (you're just going to sweat, so why bother dressing up?)
Going to the gym in Oslo is substantially more fraught with etiquette, dress codes and pain in the assness: 
  • Observe weather.
  • If wet, carry sneakers and wear rain/snow boots, as the gym has a 'no outdoor shoes' policy so you have to make sure not to track in any wet on the gym floor.
  • If not wet, can dispense with boots, but...
  • Is it cold?
  • If yes, layers. 
  • Leggings or long gym pants, in requisite sweat-wicking sports fabric, plenty of lycra.
  • Tight tank top (must show off arms and toned abs at all times, no baggy shirts allowed for women) worn over sport bra or with sport bra built in.
  • Fleece over that (can't go OUTSIDE in a tight tank top)
  • Jacket over all.  
  • All the clothes must be the proper sort of 'sporty gym' clothes, as opposed to 'sporty bicycling', 'sporty walking', 'sporty running', 'sporty skiing" (that to be subdivided between x-country and downhill) or 'sporty hiking' outfits. Yes, the differences are there, they exist, and boy you better follow them or you will get looked at. You should see the looks I get riding my bike to work in (gasp!) STREET CLOTHES! I'm not kitted out in neon bicycle racing wear! How DARE I! (I'd look a right idiot if I did, it's a damn Dutch bike with a basket and flowers. Sport gear on that bike? yeah, no. It's a five minute ride to work, btw. Why would I change clothes?)
  • I always get looked at when I'm at the gym, anyhow. I dare to wear gym trousers that aren't leggings sometimes, they are more like those low rise baggy hip-hop tracky pants. I still wear them with the tight tank top, though. Can't risk too much opprobrium. 
 I am going to the gym today, and right now I am wearing a t-shirt and shorts. So in Austin I could pop right out the door and be done. But, no, I now need to go change and dress up for the gym. Luckily it's not raining, but it is a bit chilly, so no shorts today. 

Off I go, properly clad and wishing I could just be back in my t shirt.


  1. Anonymous9:39 AM

    opprobrium, I like that word, it's a nice word.

  2. As much as I loathe both gyms (never been to one though) and Norway (been there way too much), I think that gym etiquette in say West Hollywood is even more nazi. Just sayin'.

  3. jaymo6:16 AM

    It's funny how people here will stare at you like you have three heads if you don't dress EXACTLY like they do. I've been quite successful thus far in controlling my terror at what they must think when I wear whatever the hell makes me comfortable in the gym. When they start paying my membership fees, they can have input on what I wear.

  4. I have always been a gym goer but now I have completely lost my mojo. It used to be so simple but now it's the whole mission as you describe. As for dressing 'correctly' - I hate these ridiculous 'clothing trends'. Don't cramp MY style I say!


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