Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My 5 pet peeves about the gym

This is really weird - I am older than my mother ever was. Technically, I'm six moths older than she was when she died - As of Saturday, I'll be an age (nope, I'm not telling) that she never was. As can be attested to by the other members of my motherloss group, that's some big deal.

One of the weird things about getting to be this age is my skin. Okay, I know there's more fat under the skin now - thanks to the back problems that made me stop belly-dancing over a year ago. But the skin itself is - different. Softer, but not in a good's hard to explain. But easy to hate.

I wish I had 24 year old skin back. I was pretty modest as 24 year olds go. Now I kind of wish I'd gone around in a bikini the whole year - just to show off that skin. I could even have gone skinny-dipping. Yeah, skinny-dipping. I really would have loved that. Except the part about being naked, of course. In front of other people.

Anyway, I'm back in the gym. Trying to get control of this body before it goes too far south. And I love it. I love the way people say hi. I love the way I feel when I've lifted more weights than I thought possible (thanks to Jerry). I love the way the shower feels on my not 24 year old skin after a really hard workout. I love that my kids love going there, so I don't have to feel guilty about going there.

But there are some things I. don't. love.

1. People who don't wipe down the machines after they work out. "But I don't sweat." Yeah, right. I don't care about that anyway. Well, unless they've dripped all over everything, and then that's just gross. But there are still germs! So I end up wiping the cardio equipment off first (I'd do every machine, but they'd think I was a whack-job). I mean what if the person who was on the elliptical didn't wash their hands and then got on the machine and put their germy little hands all over it? I'm not a fanatic about germs normally, but the gym just seems to be such a breeding ground.

2. People who talk on their cell phone while working out. Loudly. If a call is that important, and it could be, just take it away from the exercise floor. I find it highly uncomfortable to hear the juicy details about someone's romantic escapades when I don't even know them, but it seems that lots of people aren't shy about sharing the intimates. Yes, that's you - the girl that always wears yellow. Just stop it.

3. Heavy lifters who don't re-rack their weights. Enough said.

4. Women in the dressing room who take up the bench, 2 stools, and half the floor space just to get dressed.

5. And here's the big one. The one that made me start thinking about this whole issue - don't touch the equipment someone else is working out on! For any reason. Even if you think you're trying to be helpful.

Tonight I was on one of the treadmills that has a built-in TV. I was watching the Food Network. But I also had the little matrix going that shows the graph of what I've been doing....I'm working on intervals, and it helps me keep track. This woman, who I've never seen before, walks up and says, "Let me show you something," and clicks my matrix off! The nerve! I know she probably thought she was being helpful, but not only was she so NOT helpful, she scared the snot out of me when she came up like that.

So, lady - if you're reading this: Back off. I mean it. But if you want to compliment me on my skin, go right ahead.

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