I thought the gym was a bad place to find romance. Yeah, there can be plenty of eye candy there, but usually few people talk to someone new/arrange a date with someone met at the gym. No one had ever approached me at the gym before...until this guy.
While heading to the locker room one evening, this guy taps on my shoulder and asks to see my headphones. He says he's ordering some online that look similar to mine and he wants to check mine out. I tell him mine are at least 10 years old and are nothing fancy. Immediately I thought this was a sketchy conversation starter on his part, because mine look grungy. The ear foam is half fallen off and some of the plastic is broken.
I quickly grab my headphones back after he's listened to the sound and get myself back to the locker room.
The next evening, he's there again. He introduces himself as Pedro. He says he's 27. He's Hispanic, on the shorter side, quite skinny, and has braces. I tell him my name and he starts following me around the gym. He asks me to show him some of my workouts. I tell him I'm not a personal trainer or anything but know plenty of exercises. I joke that he has to cough up the dollars if he wants me to show him anything. I tell him my rate is $200/hour.
He tries to make conversation as he follows me around, asking when I usually come to the gym, how often I work out, etc.
He starts showing up every night before I get there and leaving after I do. I am quite independent and grow sick of having this little puppy dog follow me around night after night. I love workouts because it's my alone time, it's for me.
Just simple words with him are becoming irritating, so I start trying to throw him off. He asks me what I do for fun, and I tell him that I eat boogers. I asks me what my favorite movies are, and I tell him Barney, Baby Bop, and Sesame Street. He continues to ask stupid small talk questions while I just grunt or give ridiculous half-ass, two word answers.
Soon I just stop talking to him, to give him the hint. He doesn't get it. I notice that often he just looks me up and down while I lift weights, and he doesn't lift a finger. So I decide to just say rude things to him - tell him to hurry up, tell him he's being lazy while I sweat, etc. It bothers me the way he looks at me. As the days go on, I insist he owes my $200/hour for all the "sessions" he's followed me for. I walk fast as a lunatic to get away from him, to the other sides of the gym, but he follows me. Soon I start telling him to just go away - especially after one day he tells me he's sick and he still follows me around. I say not to look at me, to face the other direction of where I'm working out, not to stand so close, blah blah.
One night he follows me out to my car when I'm leaving. I stop and say I forgot where I parked, hopefully to get him to keep on moving so he doesn't see what I drive. My plan doesn't work and he hesitates right there with me. I tell him to leave me alone and start walking in the opposite direction of where I know my car is, but he just runs after me. Finally I give up and head to the parking deck back to my
car. He follows and I wordlessly try to shut the door. He holds it open and tries to hug me goodbye while I yell, "Don't touch me!" He gets his head in the car and tries to kiss me. I push his ass out of there and speed away, pissed as hell.
I don't know if it's a language barrier or what, but I don't care. He may not have as large a brain as I do, but I don't care. Sexual harassment is a global concept, and I made it clear I don't even have a desire to speak to him as a friend, yet he continued to push.
I start working out at my apartment more. I wordlessly avoid him at our next gym encounter. He follows me to every area I go in the gym. So, without words, I march straight to the front desk, as I should have a week ago. I quietly but with a rush of adrenaline tell the staff member this guy is sexually harassing me, following me when I tell him not to, disrupting my workouts, and continues to look me up and down and stand too close to me.
The staff guy tells me he'll have a word with Pedro. I stand to the side. Pedro walks away after their exchange. Staff guy says Pedro won't be bothering me anymore and that he has been given a warning, and if he does one more thing that makes me uncomfortable, his gym membership would be revoked.
Pedro never spoke to me again, although I continued to see him there nightly for about two more weeks. Luckily, I moved to another part of town and started going to a different gym.
Talk about not being able to take rejection. I hope he never gets a date in his life. But with that kind of game, I truthfully don't think he will.