Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.
Moderators: melkor

Female joggers-Have you experinced gawkers?

Quote  |  Reply

I started interval jogging/walking (couch to 5K) 3 weeks ago.  I’ve just been going around my urban residential neighborhood, and I usually encounter about a half dozen people who either ignore me or give a quick wave.  On my last jogging session I encountered a man in a truck who was basically staring at me.  He was turning left in front of me, and had plenty of time to turn before I reached the intersection, but waited for me to cross the street and then stayed parked at the stop sign for a good 15 +seconds after I crossed, and then turned VERY slowly before driving away. 

Maybe I’m just paranoid /narcissistic but I really think this guy was gawking at me and I’ve never had this experience before.  (I suppose it is possible that he is just a very cautious driver, but I just got ‘that feeling’ that it was something else…)  I was wearing a tank top instead of an XL T-shirt like I usually do, but I’m still 70 pounds over my goal weight, so I don’t feel like I’m a hot jogger guys would want to stare at.  The feeling I had was weird because I simultaneously felt slightly vulnerable/violated and almost complimented that someone thought I was stare-worthy. 

Do those of you who jog encounter this frequently or ever?  Am I going to have to deal with this more often if I continue to lose weight?  I would really like to just be left alone and not have to be self-conscious worrying if people are watching me exercise.  Do you just ignore this kind of thing?

114 Replies (last)

LOL, short answer: yes!

Some guys have no filter. And it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with your weight, moreso the level of bouncage probably (sorry if that is inappropriate).

Just last night I was walkin' the dog and heard one of those "hoo-ey!"'s behind me. They would claim I should not have been wearing such short shorts. But I should be allowed to wear WHATEVER I want. Yell I laughed at the time, but it is embarrassing, esp. because there were other people outside. Embarassed

Anyway, yes. Where I grew up it was IMPOSSIBLE to run around the neighborhood without some ignorant guy shouting out his car window. My sister has had lots of experiences like this. Sometimes its downright disgusting what they say.

I'm normally safe in my current neighborhood, but I tend to avoid running in certain areas, and the best place to go is the park, where it's a safe place to exercise. Still some gawkers, but at least they're in the minority.

So I'd say it really depends where you jog. When I run in the nice parts of Toronto, no one even looks at me, let alone makes a comment. People are much too polite there.

Ok now time for the horror story:

One evening (a friend) went for a neighborhood jog and was chased by a few ignorant bastards in a pick-up truck. On top of shouting obscenities at her, they circled the block multiple times so they could repeatedly harrass her.

Because they were driving fast and following her even when she turned down different streets, constantly yelling at her, my friend finally cut through some backyards to get away and run home.

Obviously she was scared and mad as hell that anyone would behave that way. And seriously, one female against a truck full of guys - who knows what their intentions were or how far they would've gone given the opportunity?

It was very upsetting for me to hear that happened to my friend and made me ANGRY that still, in a suburban neighborhood, a young woman can't use the public sidewalks without being harassed.

I was worried what would've happened if she hadn't gotten away, because they were being so aggressive. Cry I wished she had gotten their plate # and called the police. They could've been arrested for that. Harassment. Reckless driving. Disturbing the peace. And hopefully a drug charge, depending on what was in the vehicle... maybe DUI? I wanted the book thrown at them.


Anywho, that was a rant not totally related to your post. It's kind of tough to draw the line between "is this a compliment or an insult?" If it's pretty innocent, like just staring, smiling, or a whistle, I guess that's okay. But when they start swearing (one time a guy simply shouted VAGINA! at my friend), that's offensive and rude.

I'm curious to hear what other ladies have to say, opinions, experiences, dot dot dot...

Good forum topic!

-Maddy M

jenpaxton .....   I'm so glad I found this post because yesterday I was out finishing my W3D3 of C25K (congrats to you for doing the same) and while running thru my so-called "exclusive" subdivision I happened to look to my right and what did I see.. Not 1 but 2 cars both driven by men just gawking and staring and I could have sworn one of them was taking a pic of my ass on his cell phone...

I've always been a hot chick. (LOL!!) I'm use to the "stupid guy syndrome" but that's when I was like 168lbs.  Now that I'm focusing on losing my post baby weight (down 22lbs with 48lbs to go) I definitely wasn't expecting that.

But yes you'll have to get use to the "stupid guy syndrome" cuz soon you'll be the hot jogger chick of the neighborhood.. but as always make sure you're careful at all times...

Good Luck with the C25K! Let me know how things are going!!!

Quote  |  Reply

honestly jen there is allot of things you'll find out in about of the world jog/walk every thing from the weirdo with the weird looking dog ( the guys is a fake dog walking gawker) then there's the half naked chick (someone really needsattention) then you have the early morning cheaters at the park (the girls married!! she hasn't recognized me yet?? but you didn't hear it from me!!) and let not forget the black and white catching some zzz (the dude kicks me out of the park cause his k9 woke him up, the guys says the park closes at ten sir!! and i say its five o'clock in da mornin!!, again he say I'd don't want to repeat my self the park closes at ten!!) Jesus!!! like i said theiris allot you'll find out there just stay safe and peace to all !!  

Yes it happens frequently and yes it'll probably get worse as you get slimmer.  You kinda learn to ignore it though and if I were you I would take it as a compliment ;)

Once when I was jogging shirtless in Atlanta a car passed and a woman leaned out the window and shouted "Yeah yeah yeah! Take off the pants!"

But I'm a guy, so I loved it.


+1 to solid...  I'd like to thank all you HAWT chicas in advance for being runners Smile

i used to get that in my previous community. here, you can't spit without hitting a runner, and most of them are younger and hotter than me.

Although I am not quite dust (but getting close), I rue the day that when I am out walking I don't gawk at a woman jogger wearing a tank top and gym shorts. 

There would be two possible reasons I would not gawk:

1) The woman is extremely unattractive.


2) My old age has made my vision really poor.

In my opinion, fit women (and women who are working to be healthy) are a thing of beauty, like a rainbow or good poetry or excellent wine -- women were meant to be gawked at -- even by old men like me.

As a cyclists I've noticed that vehicles pass much more slowly when I'm riding with my blond female friend.  Sometimes they linger behind us for way to long.  But at least it's safer than the way they blow by me when I'm alone.

Oh, and to connect to female joggers and males not wearing shirts.

Last year when I was walking along the marina in SF on my way to and from the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, I had taken my shirt off to catch some rays, since, for SF, it was actually a fairly warm day.

And up ahead in my path were half a dozen or so chic female jogger chicks attired in halter tops and short shorts.

The spokeswoman for the group came up to me and said, "How much would we have to pay you to get you to put your shirt back on?"  I bartered a deal with them, got the money, and went to eat dungenous crab and some dim sum.  I had made just enough from them to wash down the food and my humiliation with some rather tasty locally-brewed beer.

All in all, it was a rather pleasant experience, truth be known.

Note:  OP, if you find my posts offensive, I will delete them.  And I admit that when I gawk, I am very sly about it.  I have learned to gawk using my fine-tuned peripheral vision.'s kind of an occupational hazard, if you will.  Most of the time I'll just get like a good natured honk on a car horn, sometimes a "hey mama!".  Very rarely do I get someone who's just out and out rude, but yeah, it happens.

No I'm not offended, and also I wouldn't qualify discretely checking someone out as gawking.  To me it means stopping what you are doing to shamelessly STARE at someone. 

Also your post got me thinking about the fact that I do like to 'people watch' sometimes, so I guess its not so strange that people would watch me.

But I'm still just not very confident about my fitness level/appearance so it just seemed strange to me that someone would want to stare...

Also, I don't feel unsafe in my neighborhood at all.

I must say I have never experienced gawkers but if I run outside it was normally on the trails for the park district (wooded areas of the park) and I would pass only about 5 people.  Very few others jog, normally a family biking or what not. As long as some dude was not making me feel like I was going to go MIA into the woods I dont think I would mind some gawking. That being said I love to people watch and find myself doing that to pass time at the gym while working out. I am sure the guys think I am gawking at them when I have no interest in them what so ever but I am admiring their muscles :)

Original Post by jenpaxton:

Do those of you who jog encounter this frequently or ever?  Am I going to have to deal with this more often if I continue to lose weight?  I would really like to just be left alone and not have to be self-conscious worrying if people are watching me exercise.  Do you just ignore this kind of thing?

I'm kind of oblivious to people noticing me. I live in my own little bubble.

That combined with the fact that I don't live in the best neighborhood... I feel a lot safer jogging at the gym.

Although I still get nervous walking in by myself very early in the morning or leaving late at night. >.O

I have to say for the most of us it is not our intention to make you feel awkward...but there are those bad bullets out there.  It's too bad bad really... there is a girl that runs around the country club that can shut down all trash talk and conversation on the green when she runs by.

I've had this problem, and yes, It probably will happen more...if you jog when it's light out.

I'm a shy runner, and don't like to be seen because I feel uncomfortable with an audience. So, I run either early in the morning, or when the sun goes down. It makes me focus more on my workout, and not so much on any weirdos parked or idling at the stop sign staring.

As for you losing weight, yes, you will become an attractive runner. Men love boobies, so wear an old tshirt if you can!

Guys have given me the pretend BJ hand motion multiple times while I'm driving my damn car. I wouldn't dare step outside to exercise without a chastity belt.

I live in a nasty area, though. :P

While I except that women undoubtedly bare the brunt of overly 'friendly' men and their attention. Men also receive unsolicited attention from other men. I was cycling, but stopped at traffic lights and didn't see this guy come up - all I felt was my ass being pinched. Needless to say I was surprised and distinctly unimpressed, but the guy couldn't care less, he had had his fun. I guess it was harmless but I would prefer to be left alone thank you very much!

Wow I didnt realize girls all around the world face this problem.

I live in a somewhat conservative country. I have had people staring at me (noone commented since I have a very mad look when people stare) I had two guys competing with me. Maybe their ego hurt when a petite girl walks past them Tongue out 


I've accepted that they're going to gawk and if that's all they do, I deal with it. The ones I hate are the catcallers. Really? You think that's going to get you anywhere?

But seeing that many men replied here, here's a tip for you guys:

I'm on my morning walk about a month ago and there's a man jogging toward me. Slightly better than average looking and probably a couple years younger than me. As he approached he did look at me, not in a leering way, and then called out as he got a bit closer "Good morning!" in a cheerful, isn't this a beautiful day kind of way, but his smile and look also said that he thought I was pretty, cute, whatever. It wasn't in a skeevy way at all. I said good morning back and smiled. Now if I saw that guy everyday (which I haven't dammit!) and he said good morning like that every time and then one day stopped and asked me out, I'd say "Hell yes!" I wouldn't do that for someone that's just leering at me as I walk by them everyday - like the guy jogging past me this morning for the 3rd time in 2 weeks - I wouldn't give him the time of day.

I don't think I'm alone in this (correct me if I'm wrong). If someone is appreciative in a respectful I-know-that-you're-a-human-being-not-a-piece- of-meat kind of way, I'm ok with that.

114 Replies (last)