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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mental Exercise in Restraint

When I was a kid my parents bought a family pack gym membership to the Y and for some reason, they've never gotten rid of it. So, when ever I have enough time to fit in anything resembling exercise, I head on over to the good ol' neighbor hood YMCA.

Ever since college I have worked out in gym's. Real gyms. Gym's where you feel bad about yourself, gyms where people dress up and put on full faces of makeup to make you feel bad about yourself. I usually find the Y to be a much welcomed change, even if what they have to offer in terms of equipment and space is limited, the people are real. No one cares what you're doing. No one cares what you look like. Get sweaty and gross in peace. No one is even paying attention to you...

...until now...

There is a man in Tampa who must be grossly unaware of the fact that I see him every time I go to the gym. This is a personal letter to him:

Dear man at the Y who wears khakis with a belt, a polo and penny loafers,
First of all, this is not appropriate work out attire. I do know from looking around the room that all of you old people (more on that in a moment) think that "gym clothes" are the same thing as "gardening clothes" or "clothes to go grocery shopping in" or "clothes to see my grandsons flute recital in", and that's fine. You look like a fool, but whatever. That's your prerogative. Penny Loafers, though? You are not fooling anyone.

You know what else doesn't fool people? And listen closely because this is really my point here, people don't think you're working your inner thighs just because you're sitting on the leg adducter machine. People aren't dooped into thinking you're shaping your delts because you're sitting on the rowing machine. No one believes you're getting a great cardiac workout because you turned the treadmill on and stand with your feet on either sides of the rolling tread. I actually watched you turn the speed up and hike up the incline!! And just stand there!!

I probably wouldn't notice you except that you are always at the gym when I am at the gym. I don't have a set gym schedule, in fact, it's down right random. This leads me to believe that you live there. Or at least spend all of your time their during normal business hours.

But even this probably wouldn't be enough for me to notice you but it really feels like, and I hope this doesn't come off sounding paranoid or anything, but it really feels like you read my mind, find out exactly what course of action I'm going to take in the gym and then make your move planting yourself on the exact machine I want to be on. Sitting. Or standing. Or whatever the starting position may be. But not exercising.

You don't ever notice me because you stare at your...well...I could really use your help here. You stare at something small and electronic the entire time, pushing buttons and twiddling your thumbs. It's not any kind of music player because there aren't head phones, but it's not a phone either and I think you're too old for texting even if it was. Whatever it is you constantly stare at it and push it's buttons. And I constantly stare at you, willing you off of the freakin' lat lift, and you know what? You push my buttons also.

I've come up with two reasons for your actions- 1) you think that just by being in the gym and moving from machine to machine you're probably getting more out of it then sitting at home watching Murder She Wrote or 2) your wife via your doctor is demanding that you workout so you move from machine to machine so you don't have to lie to her.

So I have two solutions for you- 1) go sit on the chairs in the f-ing lobby. You'll get as much exercise there as you will sitting in the actual gym room or 2) Fucking exercise. No one gets mad at people who are actually using the machines they want to use.

Thanks for your time,
-Sarah

Now for everyone else...when did the YMCA become a geriatric center? On average, and this is very scientific, I see about 6 walkers. I would probably see less walkers at an actual geriatric center. I'm not at all annoyed by this. Please don't get me wrong. I find it absolutely adorable to see 80 year old men on the elliptical with their canes hooked to the handle bar and their socks pulled up to their shins. Old men and their high socks...oh me. Tickles me pink inside.

1 comments:

Ms. R said...

dude, the Y's on New York are packed with sleek fitness freaks! I would welcome some oldies shuffling around!