Off-Topic Rant: The Gym Edition
Oh, come on — you didn’t think this hearts and flowers business was going to last forever, did you? 🙂 Besides, I haven’t done one of these for a long time.
It’s no secret that, while I adore certain individuals, people en masse generally get on my nerves. I really do need to discover Erica Island one of these days. But until then, I will continue to have my space invaded by people who annoy me. And what better place to find an eclectic collection of bothersome folks than at one’s gym?
I may be a novelty, but I don’t go to the gym to socialize and hang out. I want to get in, do my thing and go home. But even though I may seem to be in my own little world, plugged into my iPod, I am always aware and observing. And several obnoxious types cross my path on any given day. Here are just a few.
The Multitaskers (AKA “I’m too damned important to unplug for an hour”)
You know the type. They have their cell phone with them all through their workouts. They’re yammering away while on the treadmill. They sit and text while on a piece of equipment you’re waiting to use. They’re shouting in the locker room. I’ve got news for you guys: You are not the @#$%ing President of the United States. You’re not so indispensable that you can’t shut off your damn phone for an hour or so.
Self-explanatory. They can’t be bothered to bring a towel, and they are oblivious to the paper towel dispensers throughout the gym. Folks, I commend you for working hard, truly I do. But that doesn’t mean I want to use equipment that’s glistening with your drippings.
Ah yes — how can we miss these guys? The big macho bruisers with biceps the size of Volkswagen Beetles, spewing testosterone all over everything within ten feet of them. If you want to use a particular piece of equipment and they’re on it, you might as well forget about it and move on to something else — they’re probably only up to the 15th of their 50 sets.
Muscleheads often fall into one or both of the following subgroups:
1. The Weight Slammers. You know, the men who feel the need to SLAM the weights or the machines with a loud CRASH when they’re done. If they’re on the second floor, the ceiling of the story below them cracks. And they often do their thing directly below the posted sign that reads: “Please do not drop the weights.”
2. The Screamers/Grunters/Groaners. No doubt you’ve heard them. “Hear me roar — I am strong and I am EXERTING MYSELF!!” Some of them sound like they’re being tortured; others sound like they’re having an orgasm. And yet others sound like they need more fiber in their diet. Oh, shut the hell up. You’re lifting a weight, not giving birth.
The Bored Housewives
These tend to be a morning/early afternoon feature. They come to the gym, ostensibly to work out, but end up standing around in clusters, exercising nothing but their jaws. Loudly. And they often block things you want to use, so you have to interrupt their yammering to get past them and suffer their glares of indignation.
Oh, pardon me, ladies. If I bring you some coffee and pastries, will you move your yappy asses somewhere else so I can get to the leg press?
What brought on this rant, you might ask. My last gym visit, that’s what.
I chose my elliptical trainer carefully, avoiding the cell-phone users. One-third of the way into my workout, a woman I recognized as The Hip-Hop Queen took the elliptical next to mine. Oh, crap.
She is a big woman, loaded down with stuff (her water bottle, cell phone, iPod, book). Her warmup is fine, non-obtrusive. But once she’s into it, she really gets into it. She starts doing a whole routine on the elliptical, complete with head rolls and snaky arms wildly waving about. She sings. She snaps her fingers and claps her hands.
It is @#$%ing obnoxious.
I turn my head to the side so all her gesticulating doesn’t enter my peripheral vision, and I’m OK for a little while. But then the loud fingersnapping and popping starts up, and I think I must go mad.
It’s just a few minutes out of your life, Erica. Ignore it. Focus on what you’re doing.
Snap. Snap. Snap.
Live and let live, Erica. She’s not bothering you.
Pop. Pop. Pop.
Oh yes, she damn well is. No! Stoppit. Tune her out. Think about nice things. Think positive, benevolent thoughts…
Snap. Snap. Snap.
OK, if she snaps those fingers one more time, I’m going to break them.
Ugh. Go back to the snapping.
Are people really that oblivious? Do they not realize that others can actually hear and see them? I mean, I like my music too. But I enjoy it silently. The most I’ll do when I’m really into a song is mouth along to the words. I do not sing. Why? Because I’m fully aware that, while I’m hearing thumping drums, wailing guitars and harmonizing voices, others around me will only hear my disembodied and off-key singing, and I wouldn’t be that inconsiderate.
It’s no wonder why, on certain gym days when I’m simply not in the mood for any of this, I haul the free weights out of my closet and work out in my living room. Thank goodness for the anti-socialite’s options.
Rant over. I feel much better . Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get ready… to go to the gym. 🙂