As an author, speaker, trainer, blogger, wife and mother, it’s super important for me to strive for work-life balance (Translation: Don’t go to jail).
For instance…blogging on something completely different for a change. On, per se…working OUT.
Because seriously. Without time to decompress, get rid of pent up energy and anxiety, well that’s when I start collecting hitchhikers in my basement.
…I don’t have a basement.
Since I don’t like shopping, have a bazillion food allergies (thus am any chain restaurant’s worst nightmare), and can’t afford my crafting habit…the gym has been a relatively good fit. I get out of the house, it’s healthy, and great family bonding time.
Sure, there are a lot of people—AHHHHH—but they have on headphones and generally want to be left alone.
What? I’m an introvert, not the Unibomber.
Alas, since I’m one of those people who goes to the gym all year long, I feel I probably notice trends others don’t. Namely, the massive uptick in @$$hats—Gym Bugs—collecting in the gyms when the temps outside drop.
Sort of like flu bugs but without any kind of vaccination.
It is the holiday season and thus…
Gym Bug Season seems to begin around November 15th then run through February 15th. Probably has to do with those who want a) to meet someone to date so as not to be alone during holidays b) to trim down to look good for holidays c) get pics of ‘doing’ New Year resolutions and/or d) to keep that ‘holiday bae’ until at least February 15th (after Valentine’s).
Dunno. Don’t care. All I do know is that Gym Bugs are not the regulars I see throughout the rest of the year.
We’re Gym Rats.
Gym Bug Season
There are about three months out of the year that, unless I work out at some seriously bizarre time like 3:30 a.m., I need a really good sense of humor…because I can’t afford a really good defense attorney.
For the likes of me, I have NO IDEA WHERE THESE PEOPLE COME FROM. And I really don’t get them, but that’s fine. I’m old enough to know that which I cannot control, I CAN openly mock.
To be clear, I think newbies ROCK. We all start somewhere. I am still a work in progress. I love to work out…but I also love tacos.
Neophytes are kewl, but parasites (Gym Bugs)? Not so kewl.
Y’all may recognize a few of these…
Dude Who Leaves 800+ Pounds on Machine
I admire people who train hard and push their bodies to the limits. It’s when they push my patience to the limits that we start to have problems. Want to lift five-hundred pounds? A thousand? Go for it!
Just RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS WHEN FINISHED and we can allllll get along.
I do have to say, our gym is really cute. They play these gym etiquette/courtesy videos on the televisions overhead. One has this tiny blonde girl removing her fifty pounds off the squat bar after she’s finished and putting them away.
*clutches sides laughing*.
Yeah, because Mackenzie working off that non-fat sugar-free peppermint soy latte is the real troublemaker.
I remember being at L.A. Fitness in November of 2009, nine months pregnant with Spawn, LITERALLY chasing after some muscle-head who’d left like 700 pounds on the squat machine.
He’d also liberally sprinkled the floor with 80+ pound dumbbells…then left them for my VERY pregnant self to fall over.
I chased him through L.A.Fitness chastising him for leaving such a mess until he finally hid from me…behind the 105 pound receptionist and her desk.
“That Machine Doesn’t Work That Way” Girl
So last week, I’m on the StairMaster and look over and saw something that made me go full white girl.
I literally couldn’t even.
There’s a machine that’s meant to help you train to eventually do a full pull-up/chin-up. There is a nice foam pad where you kneel, then grab the overhead bars and pull up. The machine allows you to add weight (counterbalancing your full body weight). This way, you’re pulling up say only 50 pounds instead of a full 150.
Then, gradually you take away weight until you’re strong enough to lift your full body weight. VERY COOL machine. But I look over and…
Well, this is close enough of a reenactment…
Granted, points for creativity but some things can never be unseen.
This inevitably places me in an awkward position *bada bump snare* of not being able to decide whether to a) say something and maybe prevent injury and/or b) take a picture to prove I wasn’t hallucinating.
Why do the people who work at the gym never STOP these people? #ThatWillLeaveAMark
The Equipment Hoarder
This should be self-explanatory but…*weary sigh*. Why do some people feel the need to help themselves to sixteen sets of barbells?
I’d like to posit a solution.
During the holidays, law enforcement officers make extra money working security. Why can’t gyms hire school librarians to guard the dumbbell racks at gyms?
These terrifying women could be the exact sanity sentinels we need. The last line of defense against those with no manners.
It’s a total win-win! Librarians could make sure these folks had to check weights in and out. Maybe add in fines for taking too long or failing to return them. The regulars would be happy, the gym floor clean and safe and librarians flush with cash #MakinItRAIN.
That or gyms could hire any woman named BRENDA to keep watch. They’d behave. #Seriously
The Sweat Spreader
There are people who sweat, a lot. And sweating is good. Sweating means we are properly hydrated. It’s also an amazing way to get rid of stress hormones and toxins. Please! SWEAT! It’s why we’re at the gym (or supposed to be, anyway).
Just, when one is finished dripping all over the place…um, wipe it UP?
My recommendation? Use those spray bottles the same way I do with my cats when they get on the counter. Spray the offender from behind. Then, when they jump and scream in shock?
Play dumb like you have no idea why they jumped…but kindly offer a towel and glance at the sweaty equipment.
Eventually, the GOAL is for the offender to realize the “mysterious jet of water” only hits them when they don’t wipe down the equipment.
If that doesn’t work…repurposed bark collars #IGiveUp
I know we’re in the age of oversharing. I do it, too. I enjoy posting a gym pic now and again because I love (and need) encouragement.
So if someone wants a moment to take a selfie or two? No problemo! Document your excellence!
But for those who make entire sections of the gym inaccessible for a personal photoshoot…oblivious to the LINE OF PEOPLE waiting for the machine being used as a PROP?
Spend gym membership money on Photoshop instead. Simple to add muscles, thigh gaps and unicorns…from home.
Social Media Squatters
Yes, it is the holidays and “Peace on Earth” but this is a formula to get a piece of…*yoga breaths*
Last Monday, I was doing a leg workout with Hubby and—again TRUE STORY—this ONE guy had almost 800 pounds on the squat bar (station) where he’d left his water bottle and lifting belt. He also had another 200 pounds loaded on the incline benchpress across from the squat station…where he’d draped his towel.
MEANWHILE…he sat TEXTING and POSTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA on a THIRD station. I wish I were making this up.
….and this is how serial killers are born.
I’m thinking we need the new Swole Smokey the Bear to do some PSAs for gym etiquette. What? I can dream. This is why writers are never put in charge…
It’s the holidays and I know, I know! Everywhere is way more crowded and we’re all crammed together. It’s challenging to all get along, but doable.
Pay attention, encourage the new people, remember there are others around us, clean up after ourselves, etc. Be considerate. The little things make a big difference.
In the end, Gym Bugs come and go. Just be patient, learn to laugh. For those who remain who wanna get swole, not parole? Remember:
Five consecutive sets=AWESOME. Five consecutive life sentences=NOT AWESOME.
Happy holidays 😉
Fellow gym rat here too. January 1 is where it hits really hard at my gym. Like triple the numbers and then another bump in March around spring break trips. Steady fade off for the rest of the year.
I have to confess: I’ve been off my game for almost a YEAR! The holidays last year derailed me and usually I get back on track, but we sold a house and moved and [excuses excuses]. Anyway. Tonight is my favorite class full of regulars. It’s called WERQ and it’s like Zumba but more hip hop and pop music. We’re all backup dancers in this class. I love it and it doesn’t feel like working out. Well, usually. It’s going to tonight because I haven’t been to the gym in three weeks and didn’t go for three weeks before that.
I love my Hip Hop class because it doesn’t feel like working out. And a lot of these knuckleheads are why I stopped weight training but I need it :/ .
I used to do a regular rotation on the machines and got away from that too. I did a few machines a month ago and I’m now a total weakling. *sigh* I’ve been marveling this year at all the free time I had by skipping the gym, but I’m really feeling it in my body now. I don’t like it!
Ha! I haven’t set foot inside a gym in about twenty-five years, and to be honest, this post has not filled me with a passionate desire to return.
I get most of my exercise doing housework, intermittent RCAF exercises, and going up and down the stairs ten or so times a day (depending on how much tea I’ve drunk).
OK, yes, I still need to get more exercise. I’m thinking extreme gardening rather than the gym, though. At least then I’m not clearing up anyone’s mess but mine – and said mess is conveniently located right outside my door!
I wrote a whole comment and don’t see it. Not sure if it was eaten or needs approval. There was a lady I used to see at the gym who wore her street clothes to do machines and did this sit up machine where she moved up about two inches into a “crunch” the whole time being on the phone. I have no idea what that workout is.
I was a gym rat for about 20 years until I was run over by a truck and set on fire. Now I go to PT instead. But,I know what you mean. Human nature doesn’t change. In my view the reason some are such a-holes is became they are narcissistic, self absorbed child mined freaks. They are cleanly low grade people that think working out makes up for their lack of humanity, grace, and brains.
Which is why we kill them in our books #TotesLegal. Sucks about the accident. PT is awful, especially for severe injuries ((HUGS)).
There was a time back in the dark ages (mid 80’s) when I joined a local gym to trim off some fat and build lean muscle. Now this gym (five minutes from my house)used to be where Lou Farigno (http://www.louferrigno.com)trained when he was a serious body builder (pre Hulk TV Show). Even the women who came there looked like they could eat me for lunch. I don’t know if the owner misunderstood me or didn’t care what I wanted. Within six months he had me up to 300lbs on the leg lift machine and 120lbs on the weight bar (on a track so I couldn’t fall over).
I hurt both knees and my back will never be the same. I called him to scream at him that I wouldn’t be coming back the next year. I still hurt from the stuff this “trainer” had me doing.
Thanks for the laughs . . . and this is why I work out at home nowadays. Nobody’s sweat but mine own. 🙂
My gym was pretty laid back. Nobody consistently had any bad behavior at any time of year, but every once in awhile we’d get some grunters. Some grunting is acceptable and healthy during a workout, and if your working out hard your going to grunt. I sure did. This was a whole different level. This was great apes in the jungle grunting as loud as they could looking to impress other apes. Except, there wasn’t any one to impress. Not unless these young men, and they were always guys in their twenties, were into middle-aged, overweight women and men old enough to be their Dads/granddads. My best librarian look – and I have a good one – would usually silence there comments about “lifting/stretching from the balls.”
I’m definitely not a gym rat, but I can’t wait to show this to my friend who is one. No, I’m one of those crazy people who rather get her sweat on outside, even in 20° weather. As always, Kristen, you serve the truth with great humor.
You put your finger on it, Kristin, and made me laugh. I haven’t gone to the gym some I started my CNA course, but come mid-January I’ll be going back. Maybe I’ll print this blog entry out and just casually leave it lying around the weight room…
Your phone memes made me LOL. How true. I touched on this behavior in my blog post “Thumbs at the Ready” https://flbob42.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/thumbs-at-the-ready/#more-788
Here in SW Florida our gym population follows the influx and exodus of the snowbirds which is generally from late October to April. For us this is “the season.” There is also generally a large crowd of “New Years Resolution” folks that show up in January and are gone by groundhog day. It is funny to watch if you are one to tolerate the crowds.
Thanks for the post.
I see all this crazy stuff at the gym, too, and it drives me crazy! It’s one of the reasons I stop going sometimes. Seriously. I get so tired of it. I love my gym. It’s very small, and they are picky about clothing, language, etc. But they need to stop people from doing some of these very things you’re talking about. They can politely ask someone to clean the equipment after use. They can ask people to get off the machines if they are just using them to sit on while texting or whatever. I’m so glad to see this stuff bothers others. I was beginning to wonder if I was just grouchy. LOL
After reading this I will surely stop going to the gym. Horrible feelings “my word”. Can’t stop laughing. Keep writing these article.
Well the memes you are using are second to none!
Thanks for the sharing. Great work