Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Day 36 - Rude, rude, rude

Before I launch into my gym rant, which has been simmering for some hours now, I would like to report that the water diet is going well and this week I have lost 2lbs. Amazing! So that's 5lbs in all, with no change to my eating habits but a strict focus on liquids. I did have a cup of black, decaff coffee last week which was my only wobble. And I didn't even enjoy it. Think I went overboard with the granules.

Anyway, on with the rant. We often discuss our exercise regimes at work - some of my colleagues are keen runners and others, like me, go to the gym. But, unlike me, most of my workmates HATE going to the gym. One reason is because they find it boring and another is because, as they put it, it is 'full of tw*ts'. I always argue the opposite: 'There are some nice people in the gym and the instructors can really help etc' but today even I was incensed by an inconsiderate gym member.

Having toddled off to the gym to attend my Tone class, I found it was - for the second week running - cancelled. So I used the hour to do a full workout instead. However, when I had been on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, I heard a man YELL across me to a friend, who was on the row behind. This stupid man didn't stop at shouting, he decided to hang over the front of his mate's machine to talk to him, loudly, for the next five minutes. Then, of all the godforsaken empty treadmills in the gym, he had to get on the one next to mine. Annoying in itself but hey. I don't own the gym.

But then came the really annoying part. He turned around and, in my (headphoneless) earhole, shouted his mate's name. I was so annoyed that I dropped my usual British stiff-upper-lip attitude and turned to glare at this reprobate for several seconds, until he made eye contact. 'Sorry love,' he said in a patronising way. 'Good,' I thought, before he promptly jumped off the treadmill to carry on his obviously pressing conversation with his pal. That showed him. I felt like the queen of the gym, like I had shot down a rowdy youth with a single withering look and perhaps gained some admirers in the form of the onlooking gym members who were probably as fed-up as I was with inconsiderate exercisers.

But he returned. Twice. The second time, he just blatantly retracted his apology by completely ignoring me and carrying on his conversation FROM THE TREADMILL. I only had five minutes left on the clock so dug my heels in and refused to move, even when the guy's overpowering scent (sweat and last night's tea) washed over into my airspace and he started sniffing very loudly, like he was about to get rid of a large globule of snot through his nose or, God forbid, his mouth.

I could not wait to get away. And thinking about it, it wasn't the first time I had felt tempted to shift machines just to avoid a nuisance gym bunny. Like the girl who ignored the 'no mobiles' sign and sat on a weights machine for 10 minutes having an argument with her new boyfriend. I could tell he was new by the way she kept telling him to 'stop being so possessive and this just won't work if you ring me 23 times while I'm out with my friends'. Or the old man who completely missed the fact that I had left my water bottle and membership card on a treadmill while I made the 8-second round trip to the weights bin. He had started walking when I returned to the machine and I tapped him on the arm to ask him to move but I caught the poor chap by surprise and he nearly fell off the bloody thing. And the number of leery fellas I see chatting up women while they are trying to exercise, leaving the girl no option but to sit/stand on her machine, nod politely and wait until the stupid sod goes away before she can resume her workout. That may sound sexist but, in my experience, it hardly ever happens the other way round.

So instead of the usual 'no mobiles' and 'please put the weights back' signs, I am going to draw up a new notice for my gym: 'Stop f**king messing around and do some exercise, preferably at least 3 yards away from any other member.' Then maybe people will finally get the message!


  1. Oh my gosh I am laughing out loud from this one lady! But at the same time I can completely commiserate.

    However, here in the states it is usually a most depressing scene along the other end of the spectrum. Everyone pretty much completely ignores everyone else, people see right through you at the gym (and most other places) and loathe eye contact or - heaven forbid - conversation. Americans are becoming more and more reluctant to put their toes outside of their bubble of personal space. Like I said, pretty sad.

    The one exception would be the guy thing. And no, this is not sexist I think, but it is true that it always seems like the most repugnant guy in a place is bound to be the only one with enough gumption any more to sidle up to another person, invade that personal space bubble...and speak.

    And who does he choose to bestow his attentions on? Some hapless girl who is too polite for her own good and will sit there for ages enduring his hideous attempts to charm and woo her instead of telling him "Look, Fugly! I am NOT interested!"

  2. What? Your gym doesnt have that sign? :)

  3. Haha yes Louise, they are ALWAYS fugly! And the girls are always pretty and slim. Not that I'm jealous of course!

    Tricia, I'm printing one out as I type..

  4. That so happened to me at the gym the day after Thanksgiving. I didn't manage to work up enough anger to say something to the guy. I ended up cutting my work out short because you could hear him throughtout the gym!