Let me preface this by saying: I have a lot of energy—my roommates may or may not liken me to a collie. And, running is one of my favorite things to do. I also hate the weather during winter months, i.e. November through April, so when you put all of these things together, the product is someone who spends a fair amount of time at the gym, as well as someone who becomes dependent on the endorphin high resulting from really long workouts (but that’s a whole other animal). Needless to say, all the hours spent inside the sweaty, germ-ridden Steve Tisch fitness shrine has given me ample time to a.) get peeved off at collective gym habits, and b.) make a list of these habits. So, here they are.
1. When people don’t wipe down the equipment after they’ve sweat all over everything. Obvi.
2. When the ~heavy lifters~ by that secluded lifting area raise/squat like, 8,000 lbs., then drop the whole thing in mid-air, which ALWAYS catches me off guard and sounds like the entire roof is collapsing. If you’re lucky, there’s a group huddled around said lifter (usually guys), who’ve been chanting some variation of, ”BRO BRO BRO YEAHHHH!”
3. When middle-aged men come up to me while I’m on a weight machine and either give me a creepy, objectifying look, tell me I’m doing it “wrong,” act impatient as if I’ve been hogging up the bicep press on purpose, or a delightful combination of all three. Can we close the wage gap now? Thanks so much.
4. When people do a full-out yoga routine on the mats. I have nothing against yoga, or doing it in the gym, but sometimes there’s just too much downward dog and too little calf-stretching space, you feel?
5. When four out of the twelve (??) treadmills are “Out of Order,” and waiting for one to free up feels like a WWII bread line. If you’re on deck, you better be paying attention, and yes, we’re all waiting for a treadmill, hopeful tank top guy who’s evidently never been here before.
6. When people exercise in fancy workout clothes with perfectly coiffed hair and emerge from their workout looking like they just stepped out of a Pantene ad—just stop being so perfect, OK? I go to the gym to exert myself, and after an hour on the treadmill marinating in my own perspiration, I don’t look too hot. Just have some mercy on us mere mortals, OK?
7. Whenever country music plays through the speaker system. ‘Nuff said.
8. When the person on the cardio machine next to you really amps up the intensity, and the Tonya Harding in you feels the need to compete with a total stranger for no reason whatsoever. Turns out, it’s pretty hard to sustain a 10.2 speed level on the treadmill for more than fifteen seconds, so you promptly forfeit the made-up contest because even worse than losing is looking like an out-of-breath idiot clinging to the side of the treadmill.
9. When the thermostat has not gotten the memo about the spring-like temperatures, so it continues to blast hot air through the vents, suffocating us all one by one.
10. When a good workout turns into an optimistic, but inevitably self-esteem shattering, “I think I might weigh myself” day. This has never ended well. “Just go by the way your pants fit,” like your mom always says, and call it a day.