Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why I Hate the Gym in January

I've written before about how much I hate the crush of January resolutionists who make my gym a crowded hell. I hate it. I understand that everyone wants a fresh start but by mid-February most of them disappear anyway, so why can't they just start not coming in January and let me have some space already?

Last night I went to my usual 6:30 spinning class and by 6:15pm TWENTY people were lined up waiting to get into the spinning room. Twenty. There are only 24 bikes! Madness. Before I even got to the line I was already annoyed for the following reasons:

1. Snippy (a woman who used to annoy me at my old gym and now annoys me at my new one) was in the locker room having an incredibly loud cellphone conversation with her father. I know this because she kept saying, "OH, I KNOW, DAD. I UNDERSTAND. DAD, DID THE SHIRT WE SEND FIT YOU? DAD, IT'S AN EXTRA-LARGE, SO IT SHOULD FIT. OKAY DAD. OKAY. GREAT DAD. OKAY, DAD."

GOD. She was standing right next to me and kept glancing over like she was trying to catch my eye but I was to busying trying to mind my own business during all this because a) I don't actually know her, b) I was half naked, and c) I DON'T CARE. Really, I don't. And I'm naked, so stop looking at me!

After she finally hung up I could feel her looking at me some more and she said, to the air around my head, "Bless his heart!"

OKAY THEN. After that went toward the bathroom where I heard this genius exchange:

Girl #1: I just love that whole thing, "Women don't sweat, they glow!" you know?

Girl #2: Uh, what?

Girl #1: Haven't you ever heard that?

Girl #2: Uh, I guess so.

L:FHSIbuA:OEIrhIOWER;HSDNGKLN (This is the sound of my brain exploding.)

I finally got in the enormous queue for the great honor of riding a bike nowhere in a dark room while listening to New Zealand's idea of cool music (really, what is going on over there?) and eventually shuffled in and found myself a bike. The very last empty bike was next to me and it remained empty until the class was just starting, at which time an older-but-sporty-looking guy came in to claim it. I found out pretty quickly that he was actually the devil. The devil in bike shorts.

The class started and the dude started coughing. Not in that, "Ooh, I have a little frog in my throat" way but more in the "Did I just hack up a chunk of lung?" kind of way. The kind of coughing that has no business in a small crowded room with questionable circulation. Oh, that wasn't the worst of it though. I glanced over and caught him blowing his nose into his shirt. Oh my God. He actually pulled the collar of his t-shirt over his nose and used it like a handkerchief. I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. The guy on the bike on the other side of the Devil looked equally horrified and our eyes met in a moment of mutual horror.

Maybe, I thought, it was a one-time bad judgment call. Maybe he just got desperate this one time. BUT NO. He continued to cough in a hacking, phlegmy way all through the class and during each rest break he'd blow his nose in his shirt. I felt like taking one of the 80 billion free boxes of tissues that the gym has strewn about and pinging it off his head. I think he knew this because he left right before the class was over but not before I exposed to his nastiness for a full 45 minutes. WHY.


  1. "Uh, I guess so". What? How do you guess you've heard something? You've heard it or you haven't. "Hey, Aidan, is your name Aidan?" "Uh, I guess so". Argh.

  2. Gyms in January are vile, horrible places. I actually just filed a complaint against mine because they weren't properly enforcing the 30-minute cardio limit during peak hours. I think 6 people in line for a treadmill qualifies as a peak hour?