Monday, February 13, 2012

Gym Going

I recently decided to get myself into a shape besides round. To just do it and shut up about it. So I spend vast amounts of time at the gym. Last week I got a little disheartened counting up all the minutes for the rest of my life I would need to spend at the gym to get in a shape other than round. And then I had sinus issues (rain, sun, rain, sun, wind in SF has wreaked havoc with allergies) so I ended up taking a week off from the gym for the first time since the new year. That was probably good for me, a little separation. I am not, however, gonna talk about the amazing health benefits of exercise. To each his own and I will not preachify on my amazing, still new, habits. (If I ever start talking to you about eating healthy and how great quinoa is, something I'm still loathe to completely do, buy me a cheeseburger and tell me to STFU.) What I AM gonna talk about is how horrific gym people are.

First of all, because I live in the biggest little city ever (not Reno, despite that being its motto), I regularly run into people I know at the gym. Nothing is more fun than sweating, attempting to stay upright on the elliptical while trying to make awkward chit chat with people you've known forever. Some people I don't mind running into, like this cop I've known since he was in the academy. Every person from high school ever? Yeah, not so much with the fun.

As for other types of gym people:

What is it with dudes at the gym? Why can no dude walk by a mirror without looking at himself? It seems as if they are physically incapable of passing by a reflective surface without taking a long look. Actually, I don't find gym dudes all that horrible just hysterically amusing. It reminds me of Johnny Bravo constantly looking at himself. Narcissism is funny. News flash: you are not the hot shit that you think you are, gym dude.

Related to that are dudes that hang out in the weights section like it's a coffee shop. The heavy weight lifting section might as well have a sign that says, "Dude Territory", it's somewhere I never dare to tread. But guys just chill there, seemingly all day. Is this some secret guy club the rest of us females are unaware of?

Dudes, while you're hanging out over among all those weights, you might want to try some leg lifts. Squat thrusts. Something. Just a few. Because dudes spend a seemingly inordinate amount of time on their arms, making sure they have perfect biceps and lats but then have itty bitty legs. Teeny tiny toothpick legs. We, women, notice these things. Yes, we do. So couple dozen leg presses wouldn't hurt too, ya know? Just so you look proportional.

Basically: dudes at the gym are funny.

Girls do comical things at the gym, too.

There are girls that don't sweat. WTF is that? Some girls don't sweat because they aren't trying. Why are you HERE then? Just casually meandering around the gym. But there are some that are running and yet never a single drop of perspiration. How is that possible? I drip sweat. It's super unattractive. But guess what: not at the gym to be attractive. Really don't gaf what I look like at the gym. (There's an episode of How I Met Your Mother that drives me insane where they make fun of how Robin looks like a lesbian (their words, not mine) at the gym. What the hell is she supposed to look like AT THE GYM?) But, unlike me, there are girls that do care about how they look. Show up in these matching outfits with their hair, even in a pony tail, all blown out and perfect and makeup on. I understand they may have come from someplace where that was necessary. But then they maintain it while exercising? How? Basically: if you don't sweat and look cute at the gym, I kinda hate you and yet want to be you at the same time.

There are girls in really nice work out gear who show up for all of five minutes of cardio before disappearing. Must be nice to work off the stalk of celery and nothing else you ate all day long. I envy you, girls with fast metabolisms that don't actually need exercise.

There are people at the gym who talk on their phones the whole time. The. Whole. Time. They simply sit on work out benches and chat away instead of actually doing any exercise. Some people chat while on treadmills, which can be disorienting when you're next to them and not sure if they're talking to you at first because you have your headphones on and that "I do not talk while here" face. But the ones that just plop in a corner and chat away? You don't burn calories just by showing up, folks.

My absolute favorite though are the people that get on treadmills and put the incline to as vertical as it will go and then hang on for dear life to the handles, looking like they are on some standing amusement park contraption. It's downright comical. These people are inevitably older Chinese women who are wearing mom jeans and canvas shoes at the gym and they just endlessly make me laugh. It's even funnier because it's not like we live in Kansas. You want to hike your ass up a near vertical hill? Go try California Street. Hell, I refuse to walk home from the gym up the hill two blocks down the street from the gym because it's too steep. I walk a few more blocks down before taking the uphill that's more gently graded.

Oh wait! One more gym favorite: there's a half basketball court at my gym that is glassed in. It's not even the best place to play basketball within blocks of the gym but regardless, it is ALWAYS packed. 3 in the afternoon or 11 at night there are guys hooping it up. And they are playing HARD. You'd think they were all trying out for the NBA in a couple of weeks. If only they could get recognized at the crappy neighborhood gym! Darn the luck. And, this is reality not me being mean, the basketball area is pretty exclusively populated by 5'6" Asian dudes. Going FULL out. In a half basketball court. I think this is why Jeremy Lin is such a thing. Seems like so many Asian dudes want to play basketball so bad, but genetically aren't predisposed to being tall enough to be competitive. They now have someone to idolize. And he is most sincerely one of them, a Bay Area native. Sorry, short Asian dudes. I don't think you played at the University of Arizona despite you rocking their long, official basketball shorts. (This was true in high school too. I remember these guys who were so into basketball, and not just playing but the culture of it and the style and all of it, but just...they were never gonna be 6'6". As a fat chick I sympathize: genetics suck.)

I should thank the gym for being an endless source of distracting amusement when I do go there.  An hour of cardio can be completely monotonous. This has actually made me not dread my second workout after a week off so much. But still: the gym sucks. And whoever leaves cooking channels on the TVs at the gym is a stone cold bastard.

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