Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Gym IS NOT a Meat Market

I recently joined a tiny little 24 hour gym and it's a dream come true. There are no waiting lists to use the cardio machines and there are no roid rage meat heads grunting away at the squat rack. The place is great! It doesn't even have that lingering body odor aroma in the air. It's clean and fresh and practically all mine. I love that there is hardly anyone there, but I would have hated that when I was younger. The non-meat market atmosphere would have sucked all the fun out of going to the gym. The thrill of the hunt would have been gone. Boy how times have changed.

Years ago, before kids and marriage, I had a membership at a different gym. That gym was VERY busy and it was most certainly a meat market...for me anyway. I would get all set up on the stairmaster, listen to some hip hop or metal on my disc man and then workout in oblivion while enjoying all the eye candy. The time just flew by. There were guys everywhere and most of them were decent looking (if you squint your eyes a little bit) and they were all very friendly. The gym was like a rated PG, daylight, dance club. It was fun and it made going to gym sort of exciting. It was a great distraction and a motivator to get me to the gym.

Fast forward to the year 2013 and my reasons for going to my new gym are very different. I go there for a little alone time. Me time. Kid-free time. My nearly vacant gym is sort of like my own apartment. I can go there at the end of the day and unwind.  I don't even care about the fit factor. I just like being there and enjoying a little peace and quiet  in my air conditioned oasis. The upside is that I'm actually working out for an hour too! My body is going to look great because I now go to the gym even when I don't really feel like exercising. It's a win-win situation!

 It's not even awkward when a stranger walks into my oasis and hops on the treadmill because the weirdos at my gym completely ignore each other. This is amusing to me. I have never experienced this behavior at a gym before. I haven't been going there for very long, but I'm already learning about the regulars. This is a dull cast of characters indeed, but one in particular I find very strange.

I call him "treadmill guy". He seems normal enough. I couldn't really guess his age. He could be anywhere from 25-40. He walks in, gets on his treadmill and he runs 7 miles, without any music. He silently alternates between staring directly at himself in the mirror and closing his eyes. When he's done running, he gets down on the floor and does the kind of leg lifts that ONLY ladies do. It's bizarre to say the least and that behavior leads me to believe that he has an eating disorder and body image issues.

 Yesterday I was running on the treadmill next to him and I kept looking over at him to see if he was even aware of anyone next to him. He didn't acknowledge me at all, to the point that it was comical.  I was trying so hard not to bust up laughing. I got a hell of an ab workout just from that alone. Then he did something only a dude would do...he sort of blew his nose into his bare hand. I don't know if anything came out, but I'll bet he blew a snot rocket, and I was very grossed out. Why do guys do that and think it's okay?  No woman in her right mind would ever do that. He's now a serial killer as far as I'm concerned. Be warned "treadmill guy", I know your secret and I'll be keeping an eye on you (even if you want to pretend I'm not).

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