Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Behaviors That Vex Me At The Fitness Center

Dale Matson

I have trained with weights for over 40 years both at home and at various fitness centers. I’m sure some of the things I do vex others including not wiping off equipment after I use it or clustering to shoot the breeze with the old guys around a piece of equipment. Perhaps, occasionally looking a little too long at a comely female doing stretching exercises. Anyway, as a 70 year old that has attained the curmudgeon status of the late Andy Rooney with none of the notoriety, I want to offer a rant on the behaviors I see in the fitness center that diminish my experience. I believe I am speaking for others here also.

1.                    Loud grunting and banging of weights. The two behaviors usually go together and I believe the idea is to attract glances from others. Most folks don't hear these things since they have ear buds in. this brings me to the second issue.

2.                    These folks are in their own world and engaged with the sounds from their mp3 players. They may or may not be singing along with their music. Or, they are in a conversation with someone on their cell phone. Or they are texting someone. At any rate, they are not using the exercise equipment on which they are seated and they are not aware of others waiting to use the equipment also.

3.                    Young men with big chests who wear tank tops that show their nipples and a newspaper worth of ink in the form of questionable tattoos. This may be all the rage in Corcoran Prison but is not civil otherwise at the fitness center.

4.                    Not cleaning the weights after you have used the bar. When you are done, the 45-pound plates are not fun to remove for women and old men. These are usually the same dudes that carry around a one-gallon, water bottle and pose in the mirror.

5.                    Staking out territory. This is done by placing the cell phone, car keys, wallet, gym bag, towel and water bottle on more than one piece of equipment and then leaving the area to…. do whatever. One step beyond this would be for the young male to simply urinate on the equipment to mark it as his.

6.                    Trainers. Are you folks serious? Rubber bands, balls and kettle bells?

In spite of this I like to go to the fitness center. But…the main reason I go is not for the burn. I reward myself with tasty caffeinated energy gels as I go through my one-hour routine. It's my no guilt treat trip.

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