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In which i discuss gym etiquette — repost

I would like to talk a little bit today about gym etiquette. I’m not usually one to worry about “the rules” but there are some rules that even I obey. I belong to two different gyms and a pilates studio. Lest you think I’m a workout nut, that’s not the case. I belong to a smaller gym called “Purenergy” where I do the bulk of my work out. I take spin classes there and most of my “gym pals” can be found at this location. Because they had some intro Pilates classes, I started taking them as well at a small studio called “Core Integrity Pilates.” These two places reside next to each other so I spend most of my working out life at that locale.

Kevin and I also have a joint membership at “The Club” (formally known as Sportime). We joined in 1989 when we moved here and I used to play racquetball and swim. We’re still members and Kevin works out there. When I’m not taking a class and I’m simply working out on my own (usually just on weekends), I go to Sportime as their equipment is newer and better, not to mention the one million high-def TV’s they have all over the place.

So today I was a “The Club,” and was on the recumbent bike doing a one-hour pedaling workout. I don’t kill myself working out; I don’t really believe in working too, too hard, but I do pedal as long as I can keep myself distracted. I’m old enough to realize that the more calories I burn during exercise, the more chocolate I can eat during the day. Since I got an iPad for my birthday (this past June), my workout times have increased tremendously. My iPad has email, YouTube, the internet, Twitter, AIM and many other applications to keep me busy for long periods of time so I’m actually in better shape than usual as I’m working out longer. I normally get my water, sit down, put on my headphones and turn on iTunes and I’m good to go. I mostly ignore the people around me and hope that their eyes aren’t good enough to read my screen as I can’t promise that what I’m reading and looking at is PG (yeah, I enjoy my smut. So what?) At any rate, I’m pretty self-absorbed (as compared to the rest of my life where I’m completely self-absorbed).

Today, I was about 50 minutes through my workout when the guy next to me taps me on the shoulder. I have headphones on and if that’s not a clear indicator of “stay the fuck away from me,” then I don’t know what is. So I remove the headphones from my ears and put them around my neck:

Me:                           “Can I help you?”

Random guy:             “How do you like your iPad?”

(OK, this happens a lot. People always ask about the iPad and I try to be nice about it. They usually just want to know if they’re worth buying. Since I’m hopelessly addicted to mine, I always answer yes)

Me:                             “I love it.” (short, simple, hopefully end of discussion)

Random guy:               “I have one too.”

Me:                             (Thinking Big Fucking Deal but I’m still trying…) “That’s excellent, I’m so happy for you.”

Random guy:               “I got charged for an application I never bought.”

Me:                             (Thinking I don’t give a shit) “Um…I’m sorry to hear that?”

Random guy:               “Yeah, I went and checked and it cost 4.99 and I usually just buy apps that cost 2.99.”

Me:                             (Is this guy fucking kidding me? Do I care? Could I be less interested? NO. But do I say that? NO I don’t) “Oh, I actually never check my account now that I think about it so I doubt I would notice if I got overcharged. Did it show up on your screen as an app?”

Random guy:                “Yes, I don’t have many apps so I noticed it right away.”

Me:                              “… and did you call Apple and report it?”

Random guy:                “No.”

Me:                             (Thinking okay, and, “you’re telling me this, WHY?” So I grab my headphones and start putting them back on)

Random guy:               “Did you know that you can download movies from YouTube?”

Me:                             (I’m sorry. Do I look like a complete moron to you?) “Yes, I’m aware of it. I actually have some TV shows but no movies on my iTunes”

(I start putting the headphones on again)

Random guy:               “Did you know that you can get all classic books for free?”

Me:                             (I’m seriously thinking of putting a bullet in my brain and I’m starting to get stressed which is NEVER the point of working out) “No, I didn’t know that.”

Random guy:               “It’s true. You can get some of the reading apps and you get all the classics for free.”

Me:                             (UNBELIEVABLE!!! This guy is sitting here drinking coffee and he comes to the gym without a distraction plan and he expects ME to entertain him. I mean, WTF?) “That’s great. I mostly just surf the internet though. I gotta finish my workout now, so excuse me.” (and I put my headphones on and try to breathe)

I’m suicidal now and I only have about five more minutes in my workout and I’m in a panic that he’s going to come back for seconds and start talking to me. I’m so tense that I really want to kill somebody, and then possibly eat a pound of M&M’s. But, instead I finish the workout and sure enough, he starts talking again. He wants to discuss my iPad, books, I mean really? Do I look like I’m friendly? I’ve already described how I have a bumper sticker that says “you say I’m a bitch like it’s a bad thing”. I almost replaced that a few years ago with a bumper sticker that said “Do I look like a people person to you?” Seriously, the only reason I didn’t change it is because I’m pretty well known for the one I have so I didn’t want to shake the earth off its axis. I have no desire to talk to random people unless I initiate the conversation and clearly, that wasn’t the case here. I have never cleaned my bike so fast and I tore out of there like a bat out of hell.


I mean, I’m just sayin’ …

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