Thursday, December 15, 2011

Respect My Turf, Dammit!

I love exercise.  I mean LOVE.  Those who know me would say that I am addicted to it.  I probably am.  Big friggin deal.  So it stands to reason that one of my favorite places in the world to go is to a fitness facility, whether that be a gym, a yoga studio, or even a hotel exercise room.  These places are like sanctuaries to me, 'mother ships' if you will.

I have been working out since college (I am a little embarrased to admit I did pretty much ZERO physical activity up until then, but oh well), so I have had years and years to observe the various behaviors that occur at gyms.  And given that I am a person who 1.  loves to people watch and 2.  gets easily annoyed, well, you can see where this is going. 

3.  Leave the makeup at home, honey.   I want to poke my eyeballs out everytime I see someone (and let's face it, we're talking females here, sorry to call y'all out) who comes to the gym with a full face of makeup, the PERFECT ponytail, and a clearly never been used, $300 ensemble from Lululemon.  If you are coming to the gym straight from work, then I will cut you some slack here.  I sometimes take yoga in the evenings and often leave on my makeup as I am coming from the office.  But still.  There is no primping involved before I step onto my mat.  Period. 

I get up at 5 a.m. every weekday (7 a.m. on the weekends, sucks I know) to exercise.  There is simply no other time in the day for me to do it.  Most of my evenings are filled with chasing around a 'spirited' toddler who is currently looking for any and all excuses to avoid going to bed.  As a result, I am not in my Sunday best when I arrive at the gym.  I have literally rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth, poured my coffee (you didn't I could workout that early un-caffeinated, did you?), and made the drive.  All within probably a 15 minute time window, if that.  And I venture to guess that most of my fellow early morning gym comrades do the same.  But there is always that one person (sometimes two, as they are known to travel in pairs), who arrives to class (usually late) ready for her Victoria's Secret photo shoot. 

I do NOT want to see that shit at 5 in the morning.  Seriously.  I look like hell, I know it, I accept it, and everyone else pretty much is in the same boat with me (they accept that I look like shit).  We morning gym rats are here to work.  So we would appreciate it if everyone would arrive equally skanky, please.

2.  Shut the hell up.  I am not the chattiest person at 5 a.m., but I do my best to be polite and make at least 2 sarcastic remarks before the sun comes up.  It's what I do. 

I LOVE the folks that work out with me in the mornings.  It's an amazing group of committed individuals who manage to be friendly at an ungodly hour.  That being said, once class starts, we transform into 'please kick my ass mode' and social time is over.  An hour later, we look even worse than when we arrived (which can be pretty bad in my case, see #3 above).  And we keep coming back for more. 

So I can appreciate the social network and sense of community that a gym provides.  I think it is awesome.  It is one of the main reasons that I go to the places that I do.  BUT...I am going to go postal if you are continuously yapping and laughing during a class and thus disturbing the mojo of my work out (and that of those around me).  It is just rude.  I am not talking about the occasional "jesus, this is friggin hard today" comment said under the breath to the person spinning beside you.  I am talking about full blown conversations that take place.  Loudly.  If you are doing the class right, you should not have breath left in you to run your mouth.

I took a spin class a few years ago during which two ladies sat in the back and talked for the ENTIRE hour. And I mean, the entire hour.  All 60 minutes. It was so bad that several of my fellow cyclists were turning around and staring at them along with me (I am not usually subtle if you haven't figured that out by now).  And THEN -- they had the nerve to complain about the class and the instructor.  I mean, how the hell would they know what took place during the class?  They didn't actually participate but gingerly pedaled along while checking their nails and giggling repeatedly.  I could raise my heart rate more by reading the mail.   Rude, rude, rude.  Enough said. 

1.  B.O. - I mean, really?  Do I even need to discuss this issue?   Why yes, I think I will. 

HOW is it possible in this day and age with every flavor, fruit, and scent available in body washes, deodorants, etc. that someone can show up at the gym with B.O.?    I forgot to mention in #3 above that I lather on a significant amount of Secret before I head out to the gym in the mornings.  I mean, duh.  Now I realize some folks are heavy sweaters, and well, sweat does eventually smell if there is enough of it.  I'm talking about the folks that walk into the room and immediately there is a discernable funk.  And everyone knows who the funky person is. 

Being the conscientious person that I am, I am actually nice enough at an early morning hour to do a self check first before judging the potential offender.  I mean, if the smell is that ripe, maybe it IS me, b/c otherwise, how in God's name could it be so strong (strong = close by)?  It is NEVER me, by the way.  If you want a good laugh, see if you can catch me casually looking underneath my armpit at some very interesting object behind me.  Yep.  Stink self check.  Had you fooled.

The really sad thing is that I don't think these persona are aware of the 'aura' they are spreading around.  And despite the fact that I am in general pretty tactless, I have never said anything to any of them.  In fact, I don't think anyone usually does. I know my feelings would be hurt.  Or I would get super pissed.  Or both.  Then again, I would want to know.  It's a tough call.

So to be on the safe side, everyone please take a good long swipe with your Speed Stick before you hit the gym.  Especially my gym.

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