“Oh, so do you do yoga?”
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all stereotype, at least once in awhile. Likewise, whether we realize it or not, many of us are probably the subject of someone else’s stereotype.
The above quote is one I’ve receive on more than one occasion when I mention I’m a vegetarian. And, while I do partake in yoga on a regular basis, mostly on my own after a tough workout, I struggle to understand why it would be the first assumption a person makes about me.
I was thinking about this during my recent snowboarding vacation in Montana. My fellow female shredder, Emily and I were joking about the stereotypes attached to snowboarders – the bulk of which are about as far from who she and I are as possible. From “unambitious” and “ultra-laid back” to “hippies” and “hipsters” and, of course, “PBR” and “potheads”, there’s definitely an image most people get when they think of the sport. And, I hate to say it, but many in the snowboard community only further those labels. (Anyone watch this season of the Celebrity Apprentice? Thanks, Jamie Anderson.)
The fitness world is one of the greatest for stereotypes. Sometimes they’re true, sometimes they’re not; regardless of that, they have one thing in common: Fitness stereotypes are funny. Especially at the gym; it’s a little community all its own, complete with its own stereotypes. Here are some of my favorites.
Everyone Who Does Yoga is a Vegan
I’m not sure how this one started. Maybe it’s the hippie, peaceful, zen-like quality that many who do yoga possess – and that makes them incapable of slaughtering innocent animals for food? Maybe it’s the misconception that they’re all stick figures that bend and move like rubber bands and, therefore, must only eat wheatgrass shots and smoothies? Or maybe it’s the fact that there’s a pose called, “Tree Pose” so that implies they only eat other foliage…?
I really have no idea. This one is probably the furthest from the truth.
Everyone Who Lifts Weights is a Meathead
You’ve seen the DirecTV commercial where Rob Lowe tells you all the great reasons why DirecTV is the best – meanwhile, “Meathead Rob Lowe” grunts while lifting, has his own tanning bed and can’t stop saying “bro.”
While there are a handful of meatheads at every gym, I think this stereotype is one of the furthest from being true; most people who lift do it as part of a fairly balanced workout regimen. Sure, most drink protein shakes, take supplements and, yes, sometimes grunt, but that’s far from what I’d deem meathead status.
Everyone Who Runs Is Annoyingly Perky
I thank my TV twin, Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe again!) from Parks & Recreation for this – and am the first to admit I can be totally guilty of this stereotype. I have a naturally upbeat personality and that doesn’t go away when it comes to running. I enjoy running, I am legitimately happy to head out for a nice 15k on a Monday evening. And I’ll finish it with a smile on my face.
Sure, go ahead and call runners annoyingly perky. I don’t think most of us will mind – or argue!
Everyone Who Works Out Only Talks About Working Out
This one is semi-true but made worse by Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The post-workout selfie or humble brag of the day’s mileage might come across annoying and vain to most. For some people, it absolutely is a vanity move. But for many of us, sharing workout posts is a way of holding ourselves accountable and trying to be a source of motivation for that person who’s struggling to get a workout done that day (we all need it here and there).
In the simplest terms, yes, we do talk about working out a lot. But some people talk about the weather a lot. Others talk about their kids a lot. Plenty talk about how they go out and get wasted a lot. None of it’s wrong or bad, it’s just all about what your thing is. For fitness folks, that’s our thing. And it’s never “all” we talk about, it just might be the thing we talk about most often.
So, technically, this one is closest to being true.
What are some of your favorite fitness stereotypes? Also, since I’m a runner and might be a little clouded on that one, I’m especially curious what you’d say is your #1 stereotype of runners? Comment or tweet me @runlikeagirl311!