This post has been brewing for a few weeks now and I’ve just been too lazy to do it. It’s been frigid in Western New York and even though running outside would be really beneficial to my preparation for the Lake Effect Half Marathon, well, being warm and having a sauna ready 5 minutes after I finish my workout are huge perks. Not to mention, I hate waiting for my Garmin to connect to satellites. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
The Person Who Looks at You. Constantly.
A few weeks ago I took a spin class and I grabbed the last bike on the end in the last row of the room. We are in the middle of an endurance ride and we’re powering through a 7 minute song in the saddle. It hurts. Next thing I know, out of the corner of my eye, I see the dude next to me look over for about two seconds longer than a quick glance. Immediately, I’m a little curious.
What are you looking at, sir?
I check my form in the mirror. I’m low over the handlebars like much of the class, I’m sweaty, also like much of the class. I don’t think I’m breathing heavy, and even if I was, the music is loud enough where this guy isn’t going to hear a thing. I shrug it off and keep on keepin’ on. Then he does it again, but a full blown head turn towards me for a few seconds longer than the first glance. Now I’m fighting the urge to look back.
No really dude, what are you looking at?
I didn’t look; I kept doing my thing, but I started to wonder. Do I smell? I tried to do the quick check you do when you’re riding a bike or something else with your arms raised a little (don’t act like you haven’t done it before when you smelled something funky and wanted to know if it were you). Nope, my Secret deodorant is still kickin’ — flowers are aromacizing out of my pits. I didn’t smell anything putrid, so I was pretty sure myself (or somebody else) didn’t fart.
This continued for the next 30 minutes of class and I just had to deal with the guy next to me staring at who knows what. To this day, I have no idea what this guy was looking at.
The “I Have to Run Faster Than You” Dude
I say dude because I’ve never experienced a girl who does this. I’m sure it has happened to somebody out there, but I rarely ever see a girl who pays attention to the person on the treadmill next to them. And if they are, they definitely aren’t making it obvious. This happens almost every day I use a treadmill and in general, it’s some guy wearing high tops or Converse — clearly not somebody versed in running.
I’m trucking along at my current comfortable pace on the treadmill, minding my own business. If it’s a young guy, he walks for about 2 minutes before bumping up that speed to 8.0+ and attempts to run effortlessly. I say “attempts” because after about 5 minutes of constant effort at this pace, typically a huge cough will come out and within the next 2 minutes, he’s walking off the machine.
On the other hand, the other young guy’s typical response is to start at a comfortable pace, usually it’s a hair faster than mine. As soon as my treadmill beeps when I increase my pace, his beeps one more than mine did. This will carry on for about 5-10 minutes at max before another cough comes out, and off they go on their own.
In the case of the older gentleman, they typically aren’t running but will constantly look at my monitor. If you have a TV connected to your machine, it is on, and you’re doing your thing, why on earth are you looking at what I’m doing?
Now this somewhat makes me as bad as all these gawkers, but anytime somebody is next to me on the treadmill, I have to make my run look as easy and effortless as possible. I don’t like people to see me struggle, so I’ll hide it the best I can. What, this pace? No, this 8:00/mi is my recovery pace, are you kidding? No, no I’m not tired at all, I always breathe this heavy!
It has to be a guy thing because I’ve never seen a woman at the squat rack grunt like any man. Believe me, I totally understand the urge to exert something from your mouth in a way to get that weight up or push a little further to the finish of a race… but a grunt that echoes through the gym? Yeah… no.
If a grunter lifts his heaviest rep in the gym and nobody is around to hear it, does he grunt? No.
One of the locations of my gym has a small room to the side of one of the weight rooms. I like to use the space to do some physical therapy stretches because nobody’s in there often and I don’t have to deal with the grunters. When I came into this small room, I passed by a grunter in the other room. During my 20 minutes of movement prep, I did not hear one grunt. As soon as I went into the other room to complete my workout, grunts galore!
While we’re on the topic, is your barbell ever so heavy that you need to throw it to the floor after your last rep? Are you Olympic weight lifting? Oh, you aren’t? Then there’s no need to throw your barbell to the ground and watch it bounce, nearly missing your toes.
The Barefoot Locker Room Go-er
Who are you people? Where did you come from? Why are you walking around without socks or shoes in a locker room on the tile floor? Or even on the carpeted portions of the floor? I immediately want to gag when I see your stinky feet on the suspiciously wet bathroom floor. I don’t care that the pool is 10 feet in the other direction. That shit is gross. Do you ever see CSI with the black light in a motel? This floor is probably worse than that.
The Completely Naked Locker Room Go-er
Hey, you’re proud, happy, and not ashamed of your body and that’s great… but there is nothing worse than when I’m minding my own business changing in front of my locker and I pick my head up to see a bare ass bending over in front of me. It’s especially worse when all the lockers in the room are open, but this person wants to change right. next. to. you. You have the choice of 300 lockers and you’re picking the 2″ I have to myeslf on either side of my locker to drop your stuff in. I try really hard not to judge when these people waltz around the locker room with everything their Mama gave them open for the world to see, but would it be any trouble to cover up? Even just a little? Unless you’re Luke Bryan, I’m probably not fond of seeing you naked.