Flirting or Motivating?

I’ve managed to go to the gym 6 days a week for the last two weeks. I didn’t know that it was possible for me to sweat that much. Sweat just pours off me in rivers, my face gets flushed, my hair gets soaked, my clothes turn dark with the stuff; in short I’m not at my most attractive.

It’s slow going, and Tarek, my trainer, seems more focused on upping my stamina; overall I do feel better. Today, Tarek was very complimentary when I arrived. He mentioned that I already look thinner, complete with hand motions in case I wasn’t getting the picture. Well, at least that’s what I think he was saying. Tarek’s English vocabulary is rather limited, and a lot of our communication happens through guesswork, hand signals, and facial expressions.

At one point during the workout I had to stop because my heart rate was through the roof. I was worried I might pass out, and Tarek had me take a rest. He stood with me and we chatted as best we could.

Have I been to the Pyramids yet? No. Maybe this weekend.

Do I feel like I’m losing weight? Have my friends mentioned anything?

No, but I’m definitely going to ask if they notice a change. I can’t tell anything. To make things less awkward I agreed: sure, my clothes fit a little better. (Do they?)

“Is good! You will be *quick motion indicating skinniness* it’s very good.”


“Your face, is beautiful face.”

“Thank you.” I feel so gross, my face is red, I’m pouring sweat, and can’t really catch my breath.

“Yes, your face will be *quick motion indicating skinniness* What do you eat? At the villa…hotel?”

“I cook for myself.” I said.

“You’re good cook?”

“No, I cook for myself.” (small laugh) At this point I thought he was going to ask about my diet for training purposes and started to tell him what I usually eat for breakfast. Instead he told me that he likes to cook.

“You do? Are you a good cook?” Cue modest grin on his part. “What do you cook? Egyptian? Italian?”

“Egyptian food.” (Of course! his shoulders and expression say) “Now, go do treadmill, two minutes, speed ten.” Great, more cardio to make me ill.

After nearly dying on the treadmill and then bouncing around holding free weights, we paused again so I wouldn’t pass out or throw up. Tarek said something about a restaurant. He either works in one, or knows of a good one. And he…maybe…asked me to go to eat what he cooks on Friday…? Confirmed: He did ask what my availability is for this Friday. (All day.) He also asked me to call him.

But, the question still remains: Is he flirting with me or just motivating me to work my ass off (literally) at the gym?


Update; Wednesday September 18, 2013:


Well, on Tuesday, as I was sweating on the treadmill, Tarek asked me what I was doing on Thursday after my workout. “I’m busy sorry, something for the school. Friday? I’m free all day.”

“Ok, [pause] I will call you Friday. We will go to eat.”

“Okay. Great.” I said as Tarek hopped off the (unmoving) treadmill next to me. I looked around in disbelief for a moment. Did that really just happen? Unfortunately, no one was close enough to hear our conversation, and body language made it look like he was telling me to walk faster.

Huh, seems he wasn’t just motivating me. We’ll see what Friday brings.

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