Mostly a pet peeve on this blog, but I’ve got to say something even though I’m sure I’m in the minority. I’m a morning workout guy. Sometimes using a variety of machines in the gym, sometimes floundering in the pool. I know through much trial and error and reading that my battle to stay healthy requires an hour of physical activity as often as I can fall out of bed and get going. For me if it doesn’t happen first thing in the morning, it won’t happen. That’s just the way it is–too much happening or that could get in the way as the day goes on, plus I’m usually spent by late afternoon or evening to even consider heading to the gym. However, as we all know, when is not as important as doing.
For years now I’ve had this running dialogue in my head with hundreds if not thousands of other gym-mates. It goes something like this…
Me: Are you actually kidding me with that workout? You literally took longer to wipe down the damn bike than you spent on it. Your weight may have actually increased.
Them: Silence, or possibly a glare my way sensing my disapproval.
Me: Stop spraying the machine or the towel with that foul smelling antiseptic and just move on. You don’t have MRSA and you didn’t actually work out hard enough for any residue to be left behind.
Him: A head tilt my way and a quick glance, but no outward confirmation that he is just actually killing time at the gym.
Me: Ok, you should not be allowed in, ever again. You talked on your phone for the entire 12 1/2 minutes you were walking on that machine. It’s wrong and should be against the rules, plus I don’t want to have to turn my iPod up so high that I get migraines later just to not hear your ridiculous conversations about some guy who clearly is not interested in you, probably because you’re a gym-poser.
Her: Some acknowledgement given that she is lame and really just there to be seen or more to the point; heard.
Me: You started sweating before you got in your car to drive over. You look like you just did an Iron Man. One towel will not correct the pool of body fluids collecting all around you. You can’t help it obviously, but I think this is why some people have home gyms. Do us all a favor, save your monthly gym membership and put that towards a home workout center.
Him: No direct eye contact with anyone because he knows he is Linus from Peanuts, only instead of a dirt cloud following him around everywhere, it’s sweat.
Me: Oh no, not her again. She actually goes backwards with each stroke. How can she take up an entire lane and move that slow? I’ve seen sea turtles move faster.
Her: She’s underwater most of the time, coming up for air occasionally like a hippo. She only grudgingly shares her lane and even then it’s painful to swim on either side of her. Anyone who manages 4 laps in 30 minutes should move over to the kiddie pool and hop up and down with the other blue hairs for 30 minutes. Her body would appreciate some actual physical activity.
When did this obsession with cleaning up after yourself ascend to the manic levels we have today? I’m all for not passing on germs, but the skill and execution associated with this constant self-awareness borders on the insane. It’s like watching a dog or cat constantly licking and cleaning themselves. At some point it’s just gross.
I know this is old school thinking, but working out usually involves sweating and it’s been that way since working out became fashionable. Are we healthier or just more phobic? Is it just good manners now and if I don’t do it am I an outcast? There are towels, Kleenex boxes, spray bottles and antiseptic dispensers everywhere at my gym. Having worked in hospitals for nearly 30 years it reminds me of walking into one, where unbeknownst to most, the number one side effect is actually getting a hospital-acquired infection. If hospitals can’t prevent it, how can a gym hope to? We’re guilty by association, it’s part of the small print…check next time you get a chance. I’m sure it says something like; “You probably have a really good chance of getting someone else’s germs if you work out here. Don’t blame us and please wipe up after everything you do so we can say we’re not liable when you do come down with a sore throat or a cold, or worse.” It’s kind of like all those ridiculous drug commercials we are inundated with that spend 45 seconds of their allotted minute on the horrific side-effects suffered by some small percentage of the study group, including death.
Sometimes a guy just needs to rant. It’s like being an armchair quarterback for your favorite team. You can’t help yourself, but you still thunder away even though it actually accomplishes nothing other than to clear your mind so you can move on to the next tirade.
Please enjoy your next workout and for the good of our society, wipe up after yourself!!