If I Ruled the Gym

I’m mad at my gym right now.  Two of my trainers have lost their jobs.  My favorite membership person has moved on and 2 other trainers I liked a lot moved on to different things.  I don’t like change.  In fact, I get damn pissy about it.  The thing with my two trainers recently is really making me rethink my membership.  I don’t want to be one of those people who pay for a membership they don’t use.  I don’t want to be one of those people who goes upstairs and leisurely walks for 10 minutes.  When I go, I go balls out.

If I ruled the gym, I’d obviously have my favorite people working there.  I’d be a stickler for rules.

1. No cell phone.  Seriously.  Take your call outside.  No calls on the treadmill!  No being on your phone while walking around and keeping others away from a weight lifting station.  That’s rude.

2. No large bags.  We have lockers for a reason, folks!  Stash your stuff there.  Your coat, your purse, your clothes.  When you bring it around to each spot you work out with it gets in the way, and probably gets gross.

3. Be nice to everyone.  Don’t suggest a girl lift the pink dumbbells because she’s female. Don’t stare at someone for trying to do their workout.  Give them space, give them respect.

4. If you lock your arms and shoulders on the step machine, we’re going to have words.  It’s no good for you, and it’s a terrible example to others.

5. That’s great your kid is interested in fitness, but this is a gym, not a playground.  Kids should have the opportunity to do fun athletic things, but some kids are too young to be in the gym.  Others are being tortured by their parents because they are so damn embarrassing.  Some kids get used as bait to pick up people in the gym.  Seriously, I’ve seen this.

6. Don’t talk to strangers stark naked.  It’s weird.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the human body, but being in your birthday suit is not how I want to be introduced to friends.

7. Wipe down your equipment!  At my theoretical gym there would be no shortage of towels, paper towels, spray cleaner, and wipes.

8. Use the damn key bowl.  You spread your keys out all over the counter, you’re just making it easier for someone to take your keys and your ride.

9. If you’re taking up room in the stretching area, you’d better be stretching your body and not just your jaws.  This is not everyone’s social hour.

10. Pick up after your damn self!  You are a grown up.  You took something, you put it back.  That Swiss ball is big and it has a spot.  Find it, ask about it, and stow it.

I love a clean gym floor.

I love a clean gym floor.

Tales from the Weight Room Floor.

One of my biggest pet peeves are the “bag ladies” and “duffel men” of the gym. My gym provides day lockers at no charge. You just use your membership card, and pull out the key on a convenient little bracelet. Forget your membership card? No problem, they’ll give you one at the front desk. Also, the gym clearly outlines that you shouldn’t bring your gym bags around with you when you work out.

But who follows rules these days anyway? Certainly not the lady planning her baby shower on her cell phone on the treadmill. (No cell phones inside – another ignore rule.)

I love a clean gym floor.

I love a clean gym floor.

Men for the most part are the least offensive of this rule. They have their little bags and they pretty much move it around with them when work. On the other hand, women are capital offenders. It’s not enough to have a bag. She’s got to have a towel, a water bottle, or more, and she pretty much spreads her stuff out to mark her territory. You want a piece of this mirror? Nope. You need to come over and grab some dumbbells? Can’t you see I’m HERE being very important. And if you do tread in to her area, be prepared for the stink eye. Be prepared for her to move each item over, away from you, laboriously.

There’s another lady, in particular, who is of the same breed but spends her time up on the cardio deck. Let’s call her Cracked Out Princess Leia. I call her this because she always wears her hair in 2 pigtails on the side of her head, half pulled through. So, totally lazy ass buns. She’s an older lady, but of indeterminable age. You know the kind? She could be pathetically in her 30’s or be fantastic in her 50’s, but you just can’t quite tell. The face says one thing, the neck another, they body something else.

Anyway, COPL is a bag lady. She comes up to the cardio deck with her beach bag of stuff. Maybe it’s just a really big ass purse. COPL removes her hat (most of the time, it’s a winter knit hat) and various scarves before taking to the elliptical. She also usually wears a bulky coat upstairs, too. By the way, I live in California, and although we are big weather wimps, she has done this on a 90 degree day and our gym has no A/C.

How the person next to her does not have their machine caught up in all her accoutrements is beyond me. She obviously does feel some warmth during her workout because her shirt usually gets pulled up and tied above her waist like she’s at cheerleading camp.

I’m a total square and a rule abider. If I bring anything in, it goes in the day lockers. Mostly, I put my purse under the seat in the car and lock it all up. When I have my convertible, I can’t really do that. I feel guilty toting my water bottle around and leaving it at a station I’m not at during a circuit round. And yes, I do feel guilty snarking about COPL, but she’s pretty ridiculous. If it weren’t against gym rules, I’d take a picture.