Sources close to the solitary guy in the corner have revealed he actually isn’t ignoring you. In fact, he’s carefully monitoring you and timing his lifting with your movements, snatching only when it’s likely your eyes are upon him.
Long thought to be a lone, stoic wolf fighting a never-ending battle with the iron, the guy in the corner is actually craving your attention and your adoration, and he probably needs a lengthy hug.
“At first we thought the guy in the corner didn’t care about anything but the barbell,” one anonymous source reported. “He’d just limp into the gym, gird himself as for war with his belt and knee wraps, then stare off into the distance a lot, sometimes muttering cues to himself between lifts.
“Then we realized that he never, ever lifted unless someone was watching. And the larger the crowd, the greater the likelihood he would slam the bar after a lift.”
Indeed, surveillance videos reveal the guy in the corner is actually surreptitiously tracking the movements and gaze of each participant in the gym, and he’ll attempt a lift only when he’s certain many people are paying attention.
When others are focused on a coach or their own workouts for too long, the guy in the corner will often stomp his feet loudly to signal a lift is imminent, or he’ll grunt or pound his chest to attract attention.
“It’s a very primal means of communication,” psychiatrist Dr. Delbert Fossey explained. “In some ways, it’s much like a cry for help from a scared, wounded animal that doesn’t know how to ask for assistance.”
Cynthia Devine, a member of the 6-p.m. class, offered a more succinct evaluation of the guy in the corner:
“He’s super creepy, and his knee sleeves reek.”