Our Fitness Friends

In the past year and a half, I lost nearly 100 pounds (long story), and have worked hard to keep myself fit. I’ve logged many many hours at my gym, and come to know characters you’ve probably encountered during your own workouts.

Here are a few of them:

The Sweatstorm

This guy drips on every piece of cardio equipment he uses—you just hope you don’t have to use the machine after he does. When he swings his arms as he runs, people 12 feet away are taking a bath.

I admit—I sweat a lot myself, but afterward, I work like a janitor cleaning up. The Sweatstorm doesn’t: He finishes, sips water, adjusts headphones, and walks away—without wiping anything down! And when he’s done, it looks like it’s been raining sideways on the machine.

The Basket Case

Ever work out next to people who simultaneously mistake their physical trainer for a psychiatrist/bartender/coworker/spouse/potential mate? People who are less interested in fitness, and more interested in what the trainer thinks of them, and how fabulous they are? The "But enough about me? What do you think about me?" types?          

Whenever I forget my iPod, the music in the gym isn't loud enough, and there's nowhere else to do my plyometrics, it's like I'm listening to someone's therapy session for an hour.

The Painted Lady

Wearing full jewelry—earrings, rings, necklaces, with matted eyelashes, hair styled, in full pancake makeup, perfumed, all on Saturday at 10 a.m.—the Painted Lady, trying to defy gravity, time and reality itself, enters the gym…and you’re astonished. This might be your place to sweat, but to her, the gym is a showcase, a Tiffany window, and she’s on display, because to her it's 10 p.m.

Her workouts are nonexistent, but that’s fine…after all, most makeup's not very sweat-resistant…

The Nude Lurker

At the gym, you get pretty soaked with sweat, and you need a shower. I get that. Hence, the locker room. Unfortunately, there’s little privacy in there, so some gents end up going full monty a little too often. Hey, as long as I don’t see, that’s fine. My complaint is that, frankly, they’re showing too much too close to the entrance, and it’s IMPOSSIBLE to avoid a peripheral glimpse. Ugh.

But really, what gets me, is the lurking. I walk in, shudder at the accidental eyeful, and then, after grabbing some paper towels, the Lurker is still there by the door, full frontal. No matter how you feel about nudity or the gym, this must stop.

The Unapproachable Yogamaster

I want to learn yoga on the cheap, quite frankly, so sometimes I'll innocently ask people I see doing moves if they’ll teach me. Now, usually, these are young women, and unfortunately, they assume that I’m interested in everything but yoga.

Most recently, I saw a young, flexible yogamaster doing what I thought was “Triangle” (which works all the muscle groups, apparently). When I asked if she could teach me, she replied, “No, this is Cobra,” and looked away in a flash. I bumped into her again when putting away my gear, and said, “Thank you,” and she hurried past me like she was about to run a mile. Actually, I think she ran about three miles, as I saw her chugging away on the treadmill on the way out.

Oh well, she was stunning, so I understand. But if you’re reading this, I wanted to learn about yoga, not get to know ya, mademoiselle.

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