I have been going to the gym for years. My mid 30’s came rushing in, everything sagged, dragged, and got bumpy. So off to the gym I went. Over the years I have noticed some odd behaviors that I no longer can ignore. I can eye roll. I can make faces. But I can’t ignore!
Let’s just start in what I like to call the gym prep phase. When I walk into a locker room I do NOT want to see naked old lady bum! Just because we are in a locker room does not mean we have entered into another dimension where we are all nudists! My husband told me it’s even worse in the men’s locker room. He said he rounded the corner once to find a fully naked man with his foot propped up at the sink cutting his toe nails. WHY?????? Just why? Take a minute. Really let that image soak in. People, wrap up in a towel as you transition from shower to clothes. If it sags and and drags, or grows fur….Well, I don’t want to see it!
So you’ve gotten dressed, and you’re moving on to the weight room. STOP! Let’s look in the mirror. Ah yes, you’re wearing yoga pants…My first question is…Are you a woman? Because if you are not a woman, you have made a poor wardrobe choice. Men should never EVER wear yoga pants. EVER! Put on some shorts or pants. Now ladies, don’t think you are off the hook. Camels only belong in the desert, NOT in the gym. If you are struggling with desert bound pants, then you need to change!
Ok. You’ve taken stock of your clothing. Now it’s time to pump some iron. Wait, what did I just hear? Did your cell phone just ring? Yes? Well then, get your butt up, and walk away. Don’t you dare camp out on that machine while you talk to your boo on the phone. Nope! Move it along. NOW! He wants a selfie? Does this face look like it cares? Get off your phone or move!
Next….on the topic of rude, we need to discuss group huddles. I get it. We see our pals at the gym, and we want to chat. Or maybe you walk out of a class, and you want to plan your next get together. That is A OK. But please be mindful of others. Do not decide to do it right in front of the stairs that you know everyone runs up and down during their workouts. First off, I really don’t want to hear what you are eating on your cheat day, or how many bases you stole at your last softball game. What I DO want to do is run up those friggin stairs. Now move your hen party or your frat has been group somewhere else, and let me work.
I think we also need to think about hygiene. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t dress to impress when I go to the gym. Yoga pants, tank top, and hiding under a ball cap. But while I may not look like a movie star, I AM clean. I get that we sweat, and get a little funky. But you should not show up to the gym smelling like you haven’t showered in a week. There’s always that one guy…Our gym has one. Who knows, maybe he likes his natural “musk”. But when he walks by he leaves a trail of BO in his wake, and this is before he lifts a single weight or runs a single step on the treadmill. Be courteous of others. Please bathe and put on deodorant. And if you don’t, don’t be surprised when you see me gasp and then fall to the floor from holding my breath too long!
Now I’m about to wade into some very personal territory that gets my blood boiling. I pay for a gym membership every month, just like the lady on my left, and the fellow on my right. That means I have just as much right to use a weight bench as they do. My average workout takes about an hour and a half. 30 minutes on the treadmill, and an hour of weight training. This means if I find a weight bench, and want to use it for my workout, I should be able to. Not long ago I was laying on a bench, headphones perched in my ears, and 25 pound barbells hanging in the air on either side of my head. This older lady comes up to me and says, “Are you using this bench?” No lady, I just hold weights over my head while I meditate. Sigh…I sit up, pull my headphones out of my ears, put down my weights, and politely tell her that I am indeed using the bench. That’s kinda why my entire body was laying on it! She sighs deeply and walks off. I resume my workout. I finish my presses and move on to the next thing on my list. She starts circling the bench. Y’all, I’m pretty good at ignoring people. So I just went about my business and pretended this silver haired vulture didn’t exist. I guess she didn’t like the lack of attention. She stomps back over and stands in front of me. Ugh! I once again remove my headphones. I don’t even have a chance to ask her what she needs. “Can you just get off of that bench long enough for me to do what I need, and then you can have the bench back.” I look around. There are FOUR other weight benches in sight. Why does she need this one?! I can’t even make words I’m so annoyed. I hand her my weights, and walk away. Friends, please don’t be a silver haired vulture. Look for another bench!
That being said, we do need to talk about weights hoarding. Yesterday I was in the gym and a girl had a set of 7 pound dumb bells, 10 pound dumb bells, 12 pound dumb bells, and a 20 pound bar. And she was doing planks and sit ups! She wasn’t even using the weights! It is not nice to hoard the entire top rack of the weights just because you might want to work them in to your routine. We learned how to share in preschool. Put it into practice! Share or build your own stinkin gym!
Well try as I might, I can’t avoid the Silver Vulture. I’m minding my own business on the track doing some farmers carries when out of nowhere I hear, “Look out. I’m on your left. Stay clear.” And who should I see but the wench who stole my bench! Guys, stay quiet and leave people alone. We see you. You don’t need to announce your presence. In fact, we don’t even care that you are coming up on our left. If you warn me that you’re coming I have more time to try and trip your bench stealing behind! Just be quiet!
Ahhh….gym quiet. There is a sound that a gym has. You can hear the buzzing of the treadmills and the clank of the weights as they are being re-racked. Some gyms even have fun music playing in the background. But we SHOULD NOT here a gutteral Tarzan noise every time you curl or press. I totally get a grunt or deep breath, but screaming EVERY SINGLE TIME you lift a weight is excessive, and makes you look like a joke. Stop that! It’s not cute, and you don’t look tough doing it!
Alcohol wipes…Have you ever noticed that gyms have little wipes and or bottles of spray stashed around the gym? They’re there for a reason! The next time you are all sweaty and you get off of a piece of gym equipment, look down. You know what that wet mark is? It’s your butt sweat. Gross! Wipe it off! Quit leaving your DNA all over the gym. If anyone wants a piece of you, I can assure you the butt sweat you left behind is not the piece they want! Clean up after yourself. Your mama taught you better, and if she didn’t, I’m telling you that it’s tacky not to clean up your mess!
And finally…gym seduction…I looked up from a set a few months ago and saw this girl dancing. I sat there a minute just taking it all in. (Don’t worry. No one wanted my bench!) She grabbed hold of a pole and began to move closer, stroking her body as she went. I looked around to make sure I hadn’t been abducted, and thrown into a strip club. Nope…Still at the gym. I had half a mind to tell her to cut it out that my son was lifting near by and her distraction might cause him to pull something. But then as she began to hump the pole I noticed she didn’t shave her legs or her arm pits. Nah…Jackson was safe. Godzilla’s kid sister wasn’t going to make HIS eyes fall out! But the fact still remains that no matter what comes on your ipod, or how long you “rest” in between sets, you should NEVER do a pole dance in the middle of the gym! No! No! No!!!!!
Then there was the fella who walked up to me while I was working out with Pete (my husband). Poor Pete is partially upside down on a decline bench doing chest presses, and this guy says, “So is that your husband?” “Why yes he is. And he owns a gun. Now go away!” Stop trying to seduce people at the gym. Enough already!
So the next time you go to the gym make sure your clothes fit, your parts are covered, your pits are fresh, and your mouth is shut. Be polite. And be classy! And if I see you acting a fool at the gym, I PROMISE I will call you out!