I’m working on a substantial post that involves quite a bit of math, so while I’m putting that together, here’s a little fluff post about a topic that’s much on my mind because, well, I’m confronted with it often.
The gym is a hot mess, literally and figuratively.
Few other places put you in direct contact with a strangers’ sweat, and few other places put you in such uncomfortable indirect contact with people who are all up in your biz. Here are seven types of gym-goers that leave me wondering if I should just stock my spare room with my favorite gym equipment and cancel my gym membership.
1. The Gym Rats
Oh, gym rats, where else would you inexplicably be at both 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.? Whatever it is you’re up to, it’s not a job, that’s for sure. In fact, I don’t even know how you’re paying to be here – not having a job must make paying for your gym membership pretty difficult. Are you paid to hog up the machines all day? Considering you’re here all day, show a girl some respect and go lurk over by the free weights until I’m done so that I can get back to the job that only gives me an hour lunch to work out.
2. The Hurling Hulks
Oh, man. These guys. You know who they are. They’re the muscled-up freaks in tight tank tops, lifting some ungodly amount of weight. You can spot their reflections in the mirror because they’re inevitably checking themselves out as they press. You’ll also hear them drop all that weight onto the floor when their muscles predictably reach failure (even though there’s a sign that clearly says not to drop the bar and plates). This thud can be heard ‘round the gym and I sometimes think they’re doing it to show off. (Note: see also No. 1, Gym Rats.)
3. The Baby Gazelles
This is the nickname I started using in college to describe the stick insects that plague every gym. These are the tiny, unbelievably thin (and usually very young) exercisers it hurts to look at. Every time their itty-bitty hooves slam down on the treadmill while they run fast and furiously, you think, “This is it. This is where every little bone in their body simply shatters.” I’m never sure if they never eat, or just addicted to working out, but I’m certain they need help. Whatever’s going on is awful for the rest of us to witness, and surely awful for every organ and muscle in your calorie-starved body.
4. The Unsanitarians (yeah, I made up that word)
These filthy, filthy monsters. They’re on the elliptical, gripping the heart rate sensors with their sweaty little hands. When they’re done, they hop off the machine and toddle off without wiping down the machine with the obviously placed paper towels and disinfectant. I mean, it’s right there. You saw that other guy wipe down the machine right next to you, so I know you know where the cleaner is. Stop sharing your sweat and germs with everyone else, you damn dung beetle!
5. The Hot Housewives
Oh, you. You lucky, lucky lady. Not only do you get to spend a seemingly unlimited amount of time making your body rock, you also get to come to the gym with meticulous makeup and perfectly coiffed hair. Sometimes you come ready to pout your way through spin class with those freshly collagened lips. To me, you look like a fish that someone dressed up like a suburban nightmare, but that lady over there with the breast implants looks pretty jealous. There’s a lady upstairs on a treadmill who I’m pretty sure is feverishly trying to fit in a workout during her lunch hour, in case you want to strut your leisurely way of life in front of her, too. Don’t miss any chance to make the rest of us jealous of your looks, your vast amount of free time, or your expensive workout duds.
6. The Tiresome Trainers
Holy geez, I get it. You know what you’re doing and you’re trying to meet some misguided corporate sales quota. But when you stop to try to sell me something as I’m zooming past to get to my workout, I’m going to respond with, “I’m sorry, I don’t really have time – I’m on my lunch hour.” I don’t think you’re entitled to become hostile over my wish to remain personal trainer-free. Please stop leaving me voicemails inviting me to come in for my free one-time training session. I already know my BMI (yep, I’m overweight) and my measurements (yep, I’m thick). I already know I need to approach weight loss with a combination of cardio and weight training. I assume that’s what all these treadmills and weight-training devices are here for. Just back off.
And the final most sinister gym dweller…
7. The Naughty Nudists
My goodness. I do not understand what’s happening in my gym’s locker room. I had no idea I signed up for a naked party, because that’s what the changing area looks like. Call me an old-fashioned, insecure, modest little Catholic girl, but we all learned in junior high how to take off a shirt by pulling it through the neck hole of another shirt. Please employ that method here. Sometimes the offending nakey is a Baby Gazelle (see No. 3) trotting through in nothing but a thong, but other times it’s the lady who looks, um, very new to working out and dieting, but somewhere along the line she lost her sense of modesty. No one wants to see what either offender has goin’ on. Put on some clothes, throw on a towel, buy a robe – just cover it up, ladies.