THE 13 WORST PEOPLE AT THE GYM
For many of us, the gym is an emotionally painful and physically stressful fact of life. I like donuts and ice cream, therefore I must workout to be able to tie my shoes without losing by breath. I'm not so much trying to get in great shape as I'm trying to not die of coronary disease.
John-Michael and I are members of a national chain of gyms. It's a great way to keep from putting on weight while traveling, and a reliable source of hot showers.
Life on the road has its surprises and charms, and each new region or state has its special characteristics that sets it apart from the rest of the nation. But, having now been to countless fitness centers, I know one thing that is a constant, universal truth: you will have to suffer existing along side the following people at the gym.
1. PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WIPE DOWN THE EQUIPMENT
There are signs EVERYWHERE saying to wipe down the equipment you use after you're done with it. You're sweaty. You haven't showered, because who the heck showers before going to the gym? You may have tooted from over-exerting yourself. You have defiled the equipment. Sanitize it. Wipe it down.
2. PEOPLE WHO GRUNT AND DROP WEIGHTS
Look, the occasional quiet grunt, heavy exhale, or sigh of exasperation are understandable. But I shouldn't be wondering if you're defecating or fighting a gorilla behind me. Also, don't drop the weights. If you can't hold on to them for 2 seconds longer, perhaps you should use a lighter weight or do one less rep. Your cacophony of offensive sounds is distracting.
3. PEOPLE WHO FLEX AND CHECK THEMSELVES OUT IN THE MIRROR
Use the mirror to monitor your form. Use the mirror to check your teeth for bits of spinach. Do not use the mirror to check out your body. Everyone's muscles are bigger while working out. They're full of blood now. It's science, not you suddenly getting swole. Nobody's impressed.
4. PEOPLE WHO MONOPOLIZE THE EQUIPMENT WHILE THEY STARE AT THEIR PHONES OR TALK TO EACH OTHER
We're here to workout. We hate working out. We want to get it over with as soon as possible. If you want to have social hour with your friends, go to a bar or coffee shop. If you want to stare at your phone and ignore the people around you, go to a bar or coffee shop.
5. PEOPLE WHO THINK THE LOCKER ROOM IS THEIR HOUSE SO THEY SPREAD THEIR EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE
There are large benches, multiple sinks, and long counters to accommodate the multiple patrons at the facility. Not to accommodate all of your makeup, clothes, shower items, shoes, groceries, laptop, phone, books, coffee maker, and whatever else you dragged into the locker room in your 6 suitcases. Bring a gym bag. Whatever fits in it is all you need. Keep it in your locker unless you are using it at that exact moment. Stop making me hate you.
6. PEOPLE WHO SHOUT ON THE PHONE
People who talk, nay, shout on the phone (blue-toothers I am looking at you) whilst working out despite signs on every wall that tell you to go to the lobby for phone calls. The gym is a loud place. Annoying music is blaring to supposedly motivate you. Idiots are slamming weights (see item 2). I'm already angry. I don't care what you had for dinner last night. For that matter, neither does the person on the other end of the line. I'm sure they already absentmindedly scrolled past your facebook picture of it.
7. INCONSIDERATE NUDITY
You're comfortable with your body. Good for you. Guess what. I'm not comfortable with your body. We have to be naked to change our clothes. Be fast and discrete about it. Those showers have curtains on them for reason. Don't shower with the curtain wide open. There are changing stalls for a reason. If you're going to use one, close the door. Don't talk to others, and especially don't talk to me with all of your glory hanging out. I should not be forced to see you bent over using your towel as butt-floss when I'm already feeling nauseated from my workout. If I vomit on your proudly naked body, that's your fault, not mine.
8. PEOPLE THAT USE THE CARDIO MACHINE RIGHT NEXT TO YOURS
There is an unspoken rule. Always leave at least one machine between you and the next person. Sometimes it's so crowded that you have no choice. I have eyes. When the gym is that full, it's acceptable. But, when there are 20 treadmills and only three people suffering on them, do not under any circumstances saddle right up next to me. I don't want to hear you pant and collectively we don't need the assault on our olfactory senses.
9. PEOPLE THAT USE THE LOCKER RIGHT NEXT TO YOURS
There is an unspoken rule. Always leave at least one locker between you and a locker that is already in use. You know, the one with a lock on it. Inevitably, we'll be leaving at the same time, awkwardly trying to maneuver around each other. You'll probably be naked and on your phone. I'll probably be having homicidal thoughts.
10. PEOPLE WHO EAT THEIR MEALS IN THE LOCKER ROOM
You're disgusting. How can you eat surrounded by sweaty, naked, smelly people. Also, there are toilets in here. If you can smell the excrement, then particles of it are landing on your food. You need to rethink your entire life.
11. PEOPLE WHO ARE HAPPY TO BE THERE
Take it away Josh Gad (language warning):
12. STRANGERS STRIKING UP A CONVERSION WHILE YOU'RE TRYING TO WORKOUT
It took an incredible amount of determination and focus for me to show up. Don't break my focus by trying to be my new friend. You're here for one of a few reasons. Maybe you like coming to the gym. If so, we'll never be friends (refer to number 11). Maybe you're bored. Get a hobby. Maybe, like me, you force yourself to go through this hell because of health reasons and other nonsense. Don't use talking to me as a stalling tactic.
13. PEOPLE SINGING ALONG TO THE MUSIC ON THEIR HEADPHONES
We are wearing headphones because we want to hear the music we selected. We don't want to hear your version of what you're listening to. Show tunes (even Hamilton) are not motivational. Wait. Never mind. I've just been informed that I am this person. Carry on. Nothing to see here.