Ya'll might have talked about this before, but I was wondering if some people might like to share some stories about situations where they've felt stereotyped because of their lifting/fitness lifestyles.....or maybe something about how you've helped change a false image about bodybuilding with someone.

I used to be really intimidated by bodybuilders - like afraid to approach them...both men and women. I not only figured the guys were the typical "muscleheads"...ya know, all brawn and no brains...but were always critical of everyone else around them who wasn't doing exactly the same thing they were into. I thought the same thing about women...who I think suffer from a "that's gross" stereotype in the same way I've heard average guys talk about the striations on Mr. Olympia contenders.

I don't think my attitude changed much until about a dozen years ago. I was working at the telephone company - in repair operations....and would hang at this little sports bar that employed all college students - except they (including the girls) were into lifting. I think, at the time, I had never done anything more than use a cheap weight set I had kept around the house for years...but I ended up really liking these people and I ended up hanging out with them a lot more. But I can remember one of the guys, who was just about to compete in a regional collegiate contest...and he told me he was interviewing for jobs since he was about to graduate, and had decided to leave his lifting and competing stuff off his resume and out of interviews because there was some "stigma" attached to that....

It just seems kinda strange to me - on one hand, I'm sure a lot of you get compliments from people (especially in the gym) but then there seems to be this other side to things, like the big=stupid stereotype, or big means some kind of challenge from other guys...or that it's all about drugs and not really fitness. ....or even that ya stop being a person and just become an object...is there like a point where all your work turns you into something intimidating instead of inspiring?

Ok....I'm not sure any of that came out right - I just thought some of you might have some really inspiring stories about situations you've encountered and what you've done to make them positive.