Ode to that Sweaty Guy at the Gym

Henry Luehrman
by Henry Luehrman
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Ode to that Sweaty Guy at the Gym

To that guy with the Tarzan flow drenching the treadmill with his own personal monsoon: Pay no attention to the glares as those machines around you empty. You didn’t come to the gym to make friends. Well, maybe you did, but the point is that right now you stand for something greater than yourself.

You, sir, are an inspiration to the Sweaters.

There may be days when you yearn to be one of the Dries. You know the ones: those few people who never perspire, even when they’re eating spicy food on a date or drinking hot coffee with a jacket on. The Dries tend to think everyone is a Dry or maybe just that everyone should be. Perhaps you’ve felt the cold recoil of a Dry palm from your clammy handshake. On the lonelier days it’s enough to make you wonder, “Is it always hot in here … or is it just me?”

Well, you can stop WebMD-ing it, Sweaty Guy. I’m here to tell you you’re not the only one who can’t keep his ear buds from slipping out of his ears. You’re not the only person who used to wear black as more than a fashion statement. That’s right, SG, I too once feared the pit stain!

But those days are over for us. You and me, together we’re gonna put an end to the sweat-shaming. Some might call the way we refuse a towel “stubborn” — I call it sweat-positive.

It’s a change in attitude, isn’t it? To remember the positives when you’re wearing socks to bed as foot towels? To strut out the latest sweat-wicking technology like it’s a three-piece suit on prom night? Because there are positives, Sweaty Guy. We do get to wear those miniheadbands on our forearms for an actual reason. We do get to look like we’re working hard — literally all the time. So we’re not the most desirable guys to guard in that weekly shirts-and-skins pickup game! We spin that to our advantage, don’t we? They call the way you play “gross”; I call it “slippery.” Like a jewel thief or a hairy fish with a decent hook shot.

So we can’t keep our hands from sliding around on that yoga mat! It’s as I always say — anyone who claims they’re not all hot yoga classes isn’t keeping their core engaged. That pool below my sopping face isn’t just a mirror, my friend — it’s a nametag that shouts “Property of me, now.” And nobody’s gonna touch any of my post-yoga gear, at least not on purpose.

So don’t despair that you’ve got a “low hug count” in the gym, Sweaty Guy. Sure, the smell of your dinner last night is coming through, and not everyone likes asparagus. But we see how hard you’re working on that treadmill. And whether we’re Sweaters ourselves or just a little too close to your machine, we feel it, too. Just keep on running like we know you will — and when you’re done, walk out with your head high. If it looks like I’m getting emotional as I slow clap, it’s because I am — that, and there’s sweat in my contacts.

About the Author

Henry Luehrman
Henry Luehrman

Henry Luehrman is an LA-based hamburger enthusiast and lover of plush armchairs. He often starts his runs with absolutely no idea where or how far he’s going. Usually, he finds his way back again.


23 responses to “Ode to that Sweaty Guy at the Gym”

  1. Avatar henry l says:

    Piss off henry…unless you want a tampon up your puss

  2. Avatar henry l says:

    f-cking catholics eat my ass

  3. Avatar henry l says:

    fo back to italy eurotrash daego

  4. Avatar henry l says:

    Doo up daeggo piss off

  5. Avatar henry l says:

    rc trash eatch what you say homo pr hiv

  6. Avatar Lee harvey says:

    Doo wop

  7. Avatar Daegos says:

    Daego hope you get aids

  8. Avatar SofaTurnip says:

    Love it!

  9. Avatar HandyMomma says:

    You should both be tested for food allergies. I used to sweat with any activity even when it was cool, especially around the face and head. Definitely gross.

  10. Avatar Matt Neely says:

    Hyperhydrosis! Ughhh the struggle is real!!

  11. Avatar gobacktoitlay says:


  12. Avatar Hotsam1 says:

    This was written for me about me!when I am done with the treadmill it looks like someone’s water bottle came undone!! I judge my cardio by my sweat line. My tops always soaked and I am working on my ‘I just peed my shorts’ look!! It’s because I super hydrate before my run but I am not unusually sweaty while resting. I do make it a point to wipe everything down though after I am done

  13. Avatar KANYI says:

    Amazing read! Especially the earphones slipping from the ear. I look like a psycho always trying to catch them before they fall. And how it looks like it is always only raining on my treadmill!

  14. Avatar Julianna says:

    And, what about us sweaty girls?! I am oftened teased at my gym (which is an all women’s gym) by my personal trainers and fellow members. I am proud of my hard earned sweat! So what if I cause a shallow pool on my mat, sweat drops on the equipment and sweaty back and butt prints on benches…I always clean it up and sanitize after I’m done. I’m the one that proudly wears the tank tops that say “I don’t sparkle, I sweat” and “it’s not sweat, it’s liquid awesome”! I applaud all the sweaty guys and girls out there who are proud of their sweat! I will be the first to shake your hand and give you a hug! Sweat is sweet!

  15. Avatar TigerDude says:

    Hilarious article, mainly because every bit of it is true!

  16. Avatar ellie says:

    Thank God I’m not struggling alone on this one! I can’t for the life of me keep my earphones in, and Sweaty Guy, at least you don’t know the struggle of battling your way out of a damp sports bra! At least now I feel proud of my sweat…

    • Avatar Jeff says:

      I had the same problem for years, but then I bought some of those little foam ear bud covers (I found them at the dollar store!) and this really helped. With the covers on, the ear buds tend to stay put, even if I’m drenched. If they ever feel like they’re starting to slip, take them out, blot on a dry towel and put them right back in. The foam covers do get funky after a while but just replace them with a new pair and you’re good to go! (Sorry though, I don’t have a similar fix for the sports bra problem!)

    • Avatar Hotsam1 says:

      I had the same problem; I get the Sony headphones that wrap around the ears ; They are cheap ($17) which I like because my sweat seems to break them down eventually!!

  17. Avatar Brettlwilliams says:

    I feel like I sweat more than any human on earth so I loved the article!

  18. Avatar Ricky Cue says:

    Great read here. I sweat so much, my boxing trainer was laughing when he saw me sweating during warm ups I just laughed along and said dude I sweat just walking to the gym. As for earbuds I have to recommend Bose SoundSport, they’re a little pricey but well worth it, sweat proof and they stay in.

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