“Thank god,” I thought as I pulled into the gym parking lot. “It’s not busy.” Alisha, my workout partner, has agreed to take some pictures of me writing on my laptop in the gym to post on my blog. If I could ever figure out how to take a selfie without looking like I used a fish-eye lens, I would do it myself.
I’ve never mastered the art of the selfie, which is a little strange since I’m a personal trainer in a gym—the mecca of selfie-takers. Where do you point the camera, where do you look, should you tilt the phone? If you are looking in a mirror how do you keep the phone from hiding your face? Selfie-takers in the gym make it look easy.
Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the gym who doesn’t take selfies during every workout. Of course that’s not true, but selfie-takers stand out. They need more space to pose, and they occupy that space, sometimes for quite a while. I’ve come between selfie-takers and their mirror more than once—not the way to make friends in a gym. At least they’re not setting up an easel and doing a self-portrait in oil or repositioning a tripod to get the best angle.
Who are these selfie-takers? From what I’ve seen, they’re mostly young women with nicely toned muscles. Guys take selfies too, but not as frequently. Senior citizens don’t take selfies—at least not that I’ve observed. Workout partners, regardless of age, take selfies. I’m definitely a senior with low selfie-taking skills. But I do appear in selfies taken by my frequently younger workout buddies.
I do take pictures in the gym but mostly of my clients. A picture is more convincing than anything I can say. Here is solid evidence of progress. Yes, that’s a muscle! Even when clients are somewhat embarrassed when I take pictures, most of them smile when they take a look.
Any photo, whether it is a selfie or taken by a photographer, is in some ways a definition of who we are. I realize as I sit on a stability ball in front of some aerobic steps holding my laptop, I am defining myself as a physically fit writer. Or perhaps I’m a struggling blogger with a need to work out. Or perhaps I’m a neurotic, multi-tasking gym rat. Have to think about that.
I see gym members on the treadmills and on the weight benches while Alisha circles around me snapping pictures from different angles. What is my problem with pictures of myself, selfie or otherwise? Ah, there it is—In a sea of twenty-somethings, I am a wrinkle-in-time.