• Alyssa Piperis

An Open Letter to the Girls Who Complimented Me at the Gym

To The Girls Who Complimented Me at the Gym:

Thank you. Sincerely. Thank you for sweetly calling my shoulders “amazing” as I was grabbing some dumbbells. I wasn’t expecting to hear that, and it made me feel like my hard work is paying off.

(And side note, from girl to girl(s): You happened to compliment me right next to my maaaajor gym crush whom I hadn’t seen in about two months. The second I noticed him lifting from afar during my treadmill warm-up I started bugging out inside and trying to fight off embarrassing smiles and blush-y red cheeks. So, your compliment is extra appreciated for that reason! Okay, I'm done being a creep. ;))

After I had smiled politely and said “thank you” more awkwardly than I would have like to, I heard one of you say something like “I just can’t” in reference to your ability to build great shoulders like mine. And to that I want to say, YES YOU CAN. I promise. I was you not too long ago. I may look like I know exactly what I’m doing, but you have no idea how hard I’ve been working on my fitness and how new weight lifting is to me. It’s only been about four months.

I’m honestly just an amateur learning every day and putting in the work— something I wasn’t doing for a really long time. I got myself on the right track after a few years of minimal real effort, so just keep working.

Maybe all this is more than you need to hear, but maybe it’s exactly what you need to hear. And I wish I had said more than just “thank you” to you in person. I was so in my little gym bubble when you spoke to me that I wasn’t as present as I wish I had been. Right after I walked away, I thought of some advice and resources I could have given you to help you move forward with strengthening your bodies and feeling more confident in your workouts.

I could have also said something, rather than just smiled, in the locker room when I saw you both again before I left. But the truth is, I had gotten my period as I was in the middle of doing a barbell squat (the worst position to be in!) and was in a rush to stuff a tampon in me and head home. So, I’m definitely no superwoman. Then again, maybe I am. Maybe we all are.

I hope I run into you again and can smile and say some of this to you face-to-face, but if I don’t get that chance…

I hope you keep working for what you want. And I hope you keep genuinely complimenting other women. The happier we are with ourselves—physically, mentally, and emotionally— the happier we are when we see other women making progress.

So, stay driven, stay supportive, and stay sweet.

Thanks again!


The Girl With “Amazing Shoulders” Who Needs a Tampon (a.k.a. Alyssa)

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