Marking My Territory: The Struggle for Space

You know how when you see people walking dogs, or when you take a day off to volunteer at a dog shelter and you walk those cute, furry creatures, they like to stop at every corner and just take a piss? The smell from their urine may drive away others who may want to come and curl in a ball in that corner. They’ve marked their territory.


Look at this cutie pie, ready to mark the couch.

Now, as a (mostly) civilized and (mostly) full grown human being, I can’t properly do that in a gym without being thrown out. That also defeats the purpose of trying to claim a spot on the floor, or on a bench, or on the squat rack…yea I don’t run, if you want treadmill, don’t worry about what I’m about to write in the next few sections. Won’t apply. Go. Run away, you full grown hairless hamster you.

wonder woman.jpg

Why I lift…Reason #19

I’m sure everyone has encountered this at some point in their life. Gyms are generally really big, HUGE, as Donald Trump might say. I’m sure he’s got plenty in his many properties that he can reference as evidence of him being health conscientious. But in these huge gyms, how come every bro and their father wants to do chest day on the same damn day? I’m pretty sure women and their PMS do not sync up that well each month. And this happens on a weekly basis.


Start playing X Ambassadors’ “Into the Jungle”…the Jay-Z version.

Yes, that’s fine, but if I’ve claimed a bench, don’t think that my girl booty stretching across from the bench isn’t using it. Because I am.

Struggle Theorem 7: If they grunt like an animal, they will claim their territory like an animal.

This isn’t a PSA for the victims of these folks, rather, it’s a PSA for these Cleptos. If you see me or someone else doing the following, you’ve probably taken their stuff. So, please be nice and give it back 🙂


Dikembe and me be like, “Nuh uh”

Corollaries 7.1 through 7.5 are what I’ve tried at the gym and have seen success in keeping or obtaining my spot. Some I may not be too proud of, but it’s a dog eat dog world out there. Speaking of dogs…

Corollary 7.1:  The Guard Dog: Walk back and forth around your area and glare, show teeth if necessary.

When stretching and warming up, I tend to lap the empty bench if I can. This way, others know that I intend to use it. Rather than take it out from under me. This is especially necessary on a Monday, which was told to me as “National Bro Chest Day.” Really guys? Could you be any cheesier?

And for show of teeth? Glare or smile, it’s up to you. I tend to glare, because nothing is scarier than an angry Asian lady. See Tiger Mom if you have no idea what I’m talking about.


Corollary 7.2: Burying it in a hole: hoard everything at once and don’t let anything go until you’re done.

It may take 2-3 trips, but it’s totally worth it to pile ALL of the weights you need in a single session together. This serves two purposes:

  1. No one will take your stuff
  2. You can spread across several square feet and further expand your workout territory

It’s totally a win-win unless someone asks to work in or use your equipment. Then you have to be nice.


Weights for floor press…Check. Kettlebell for windmill…Check. Kettlebells for sit ups…Check. Mat for stretching…Check. Bands for assisted pull ups…Check. Boxes because I’m short and can’t reach the bar…Check. I’m good for the next hr!

Corollary 7.3: Pissing in the Corner: Metaphorically speaking, putting all your gym gear on said bench before walking away

My usual gym entourage includes:

  • Phone
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle
  • Lacrosse ball
  • Supernova

And I used my shoes to hold my spot here as well!

When I’ve acquired a bench and nature calls, I place all of that on said bench before I go and do my business. Or, if I’m working between machines and it’s a fairly empty gym, I mark my territory before moving on. Sometimes that doesn’t work, and I resort to Corollary 7.4.

Corollary 7.4: Barking: Nothing gets a guy to move away than a voice over their shoulder yelling, “Hey I’m using that”

It’s exactly as it sounds. The conversation inside my head goes:

“Yes dude, I’m using the 35s. No, it doesn’t mean you can have it. If you haven’t seen what I’ve done, which is place my water bottle, phone, and headphones next to the bench, well you’re dumb. Don’t act stupid and pretend you didn’t hear me yell. Now be a man and use those 45lbs, c’mon a girl is using the 35s.”


Or in this case, I’m using 45s too!

Corollary 7.5: Pack mentality: Bro it up with a trainer at the gym and they’ll help you get the good equipment

Hehe, this also requires you to be a responsible gym goer and place everything back where you found it after you’ve completed your workout. Trainers work hard and honestly, the last thing you need is to go back and put everything BACK in its place because some bumbling idiot didn’t think to do it.


Not the Hangover kind.

Some untested, but potentially surefire ways to keep your spot:

Corollary 7.6: She Wolf Mentality: Tell on them to a trainer

I’ve never had to try this. Usually folks in the gym back off if you bark at them. But, if necessary, if someone is truly being an asshole, I would ask a trainer to help. Because sharing is caring. Barney had it right all along.

Corollary 7.7: Leave a Dropping: Leave a clean tampon on a bench, no man will touch that.


Relaaaaxxxx…it’s sport fresh!

Now this I’ve got to try, especially because my gym has free tampons and pads in the women’s locker room (very thoughtful). I’ve never seen a guy embrace the feminine products section in the grocery store. It’s a sensitive topic that they typically don’t want to discuss, or hear about. But, it’s literally second nature to us women. So, if I leave my “dropping” on a bench, I’m 99% certain no man, gay or straight, would want to physically touch it to remove it from the premises. Win.

So, my fellow gym members, next time you see an angry Asian girl glaring, yelling at you by that pile of weights (35s bro), or a random tampon on a bench, that’s just me exhibiting my animal instincts and being territorial. I’m a nice person, really. But in the gym, yea, I’m a real bitch 😉


Or is it you?


One thought on “Marking My Territory: The Struggle for Space

  1. Pingback: Show ’em (What You’re Made Of): The Struggle on Upper Body Days | WillLift4Food

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s