Saturday, February 23, 2008

Top 10 Things I Hate, Gym Edition.

It's a good thing working out releases all those feel-good endorphins to help combat these top ten things that bug me at the gym (in no particular order):

There was this woman at the gym last week working out on the treadmill next to mine. I have two gripes of which she is a prime illustration, so she will be numbers one and two on my list of things that bug.

1. People that wear unnecessary workout gear. This treadmill woman was wearing one of those running underwear thingamabobs that, in my opinion, people only need to wear if they are a) in the Olympics or b) running a marathon (and, really, not even then). Moreover, she was jogging along at a mere 8km/h pace. Jogging at this pace especially does NOT warrant wearing those "look-at-me, I'm a super-runner!" bottoms. Unfuckingnecessary. I feel for the people standing behind us waiting for a treadmill to open up as they were surely having a tough time looking at everything else possible in the room, trying to politely avert their eyes from the horror that was her jiggly thighs. Other examples of unnecessary workout gear include people who wear those little belts with multiple bottles of water, protein gels, etc. to fuel their "superhuman" 45 minute workout and people who wear sweatbands simultaneously on their head and wrists. Dumb.

2. Window Watchers. Back to the woman on the treadmill. So, she was running at 8km/h. I and other people around me, on the other hand, were running at a significantly faster paces (I was going 10.2), red-faced, and sweating. I was trying to reach an (arbitrary) 10k goal time so I knew I had to keep running at a pretty decent clip for the better part of an hour. I was doing okay, breathing well, muscles working together, my shoulder didn't hurt (for once), and I was not fatigued... BUT I was hot as hell. Seriously, I felt very similar to the way I feel when I run outside around mid-afternoon during the summertime in the Mid-Atlantic. Knowing I'd never be able to make my self-imposed time goal if I had to keep running in this heatwave of a gym, I paused my machine for 45 seconds, hopped down, and opened the window behind me. I could almost feel the wave of relief washing over my fellow fast-paced runners as I returned to my treadmill on the crest of the cool breeze now flowing through the window. My feet had barely returned to my treadmill when "gross bottoms" next to me hopped off her treadmill to close the window. WHAT?! I turned and asked her, probably a bit hysterically, what she was doing. She informed me that I couldn't just open the window like that, people would get sick from the cold air. I informed her that people don't get sick from cold air, they get sick from viruses and bacteria, and that it was really hot and I felt myself and some of the people around us could benefit from having the window open during our workout. She told me she would only be running for two more minutes and then I could open the window. I begrudgingly resumed my workout in the Serengeti heat. She worked out for at least ten more minutes (two minutes?! lie teller!) during which the rest of us sweat like fat Asian guys in a sauna. If she hadn't been wearing those ridiculous running bottoms or going at such a lame pace she probably wouldn't have been so cold. And if she hadn't been so stupid she would know that cold weather is merely a catalyst for and does not cause illness. Needless to say, my slowed pace in order to avoid certain heat stroke while the window was closed made me miss my 10k time that night by eight seconds. Bitch.

3. People who work out on the elliptical at a glacial pace for twenty minutes, wipe the non-existent sweat off their brow, and head straight to the vending machine for a protein shake and powerbar. Nuh-uh. You did not work hard enough for that. Don't you know you just consumed what little you burned off and more?! No wonder you are still fat and out of shape.

4. People who insist on working in on the weight machines even though it entails both of you adjusting the seat and the weights between each set, thus taking way more time then it would have had they had just waited for you to finish.

5. People that don't wipe down the machines after they have sweat all over them. This especially applies when you can see the outline of your sweaty butt print. Gross.

6. When I am working out on the elliptical, reading a magazine, and whomever is next to me keeps looking over at what I am reading. "Um, I'm about to turn the page, are you finished?"

7. People who workout in improper footwear. I don't know if this is a Danish thing or what, but since when is it appropriate (in terms of safety, for the most part!) to work out in socks or, worse, flip flops? Get some sneakers.

8. People who stare at you while you workout. Yes, I know the rowing machine is directly across from and facing the treadmill I am on, but do you really have to look at me the entire time you erg? There is a whole room full of people. Shift your gaze every now and then or watch the meters go by on the machine. I don't want you to see if I start lip-syncing by accident.

9. In the locker room: People who unnecessarily take up an entire bench with all their stuff, especially during peak hours when there are a lot of people trying to get changed. Also people who walk around naked for longer than they need to before or after they shower; though, I digress, there is a smidge of benefit to this. Women who walk around naked in the locker room who are hot can serve as motivation and inspiration to all of us mere mortals. They give us something to think about during the last bit of our workout where we are pushing hard but losing steam and thinking about going home early and stopping to pick up our friends Ben & Jerry on the way, you know? Women who walk around naked in the locker room who are NOT hot can serve the same benefit, in reverse naturally. God, I sound so pervy.

10. When two friends (usually female) will stand around talking and waiting, waiting, waiting to get two machines next to one another to work out. More often than not, once they are working out they don't continue their conversation. Why bother waiting around for adjacent machines in the first place?


david santos said...

Hello, Sarah!
Thanks for your posting and have a good weekend

jeff said...

1. whew - i only take fuel and fluids on runs longer than 1:30. do speedos in the pool count as unnecessary workout gear running underwear thingamabobs?

2. reason number one not to run on treadmills; no airflow. i leak like a sieve when i work out hard. the treadmills and surrounding people are coated with my perspiration when i'm done. add in a little wind (naturally created by movement forward) and it's not so bad. but still, don't begrudge a gal and open window! silly funkybottomundiesgirl.

3. save your money and hit the drinking fountain instead, mr. chunkybutt!

4. on the flip side are people who won't let you work in when you only have one set and they're doing 10+

5. ugh. see #2. i feel so bad when i lift. i'm super anal about making sure the machine is spotless when i finish.

6. haha...guilty. i always read over shoulders. especially on flights. it's not that i don't have my own form of entertainment or can't occupy myself, i just read everything that i see. sorry!

7. gyms in the states (at least mine does) police this. i've tried to run barefoot on the treadmills and they say it's a big no-no. it's all the liability stuff.

8. teehee...see, that's the whole point, to catch people lipsyncing. kidding. people watching is one thing, gawking is creepy.

9. ugh. put a towel on. i'm a member at the y, so it's usually older men (60+) or mentally challenged (which category do i fall into? haha). in both cases, please, put on a towel unless you're changing. don't stand at the sink blow drying your hair with your hangy-down flapping in the breeze.

10. see #9. most of the folks at my gym don't have friends. they've all died.