No, That’s Not Okay: Gym Etiquette 101

Every week I witness some sort of gym-related fuckery and today I’m instantiating some guidelines.

1. Don’t bring your kid(s) to the gym.

Gyms aren’t playgrounds or public daycare. When your kid is running around sticking his fingers between the weights, I’m going to worry about it. When your kid is knocking into my machine while I’m on it, I’m going to get annoyed. And when your 8-year old is trying desperately to impress me with his skills on the neighboring elliptical, it makes me laugh. And I’m not coordinated enough to simultaneously laugh and keep my heart rate above 175 myself from taking a tumble.

2. Save cell phone conversations for home/work.

A couple weeks ago, a girl showed up to the [crowded] fitness center talking on her phone. Loudly. She continued talking as she walked a snail’s pace [see #3] and, eventually, asked the guy next to her if he could turn down the television because she was “on the phone.” That’s not okay.

Similarly, one gym regular always shows up with his hand-held. Here’s what’s wrong with that:

a) It makes you look incredibly self-impressed.
b) It’s borderline depressing that you can’t live without being on your phone for a mere 30 minutes.
c) It makes some detail-obsessed people (read: me) drum up crazy stories about how Type A you are. Then I get scared you might be hiding human remains in your apartment and I feel the intense need to cut my workout short so we don’t leave at the same time and you see where I live. (The latter is more my problem than his, but nonetheless, it’s worth mentioning.)

Just leave it alone for 30 minutes. Really, it feels good.

3. You have no business on the treadmill if you can carry on a lengthy phone conversation for more than 30 minutes.

Folks desiring an anaerobic workout sorta get pissed off as they wait their turn.

4. Have a little decency about the television.

If you discover the television remote on your machine, find something nice and benign that a large group of people aren’t going to cringe over.

This does not usually include turning both TVs to perverse Spanish soap operas. (Is it just me, or is watching TV sex with sweaty strangers just-saw-nudity-with-your-parents-for-the-first-time uncomfortable?)

5. Don’t smoke a pack before you come in.

Hand to heaven, I don’t mind what you do with your lungs. But in a small, humid space where people are gasping for air, the last thing they want to breathe in is your stale, smokey ass.

Until next time, don’t get the Icy Hot in your eyeball. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

[Jam of the Day]: Andrew Bird, Armchairs

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