Thursday, January 27, 2011

Observations From Workout World

No, the name of my gym is not 'Workout World'. The name has been changed to protect the innocent. And so you won't know where I workout so you can't come there & watch me & laugh. Yeah, I'm a little paranoid & insecure. Although, if I was going to open a gym I would name it 'Workout World'. It's alliterated. I like alliteration. It's just the kind of girl I am.

Anyhow, I'm a couple of weeks into my training now & I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable with this new gym I've been going to. With the training group I joined you receive a membership at this place until the day of the race. It's super convenient for me because I don't have a treadmill at home & I refuse to run outside unless it is at least 40 degrees. Yes, I am a total wimp. Take it up with my wheezy lungs.

Tough, go-getting girl that I am, I get totally & completely afraid of a new workout place. I get so nervous that my hands shake & my tummy tumbles all around. It's like being in gym class in 8th grade again; trust me, that was not a good time in my life. The first couple of times I went in it was probably comical to watch. I walked in, looked for an open machine, jumped on, completed my workout & just about ran out the door. I am now comfortable enough to relax a bit & I have started looking around a bit more. Therefore, I have some gems of observation to share with you just in case you haven't had the pleasure of belonging to a workout world.

Like most fitness centers, there are several televisions mounted on the wall so that they can be seen from the treadmills, ellipticals, & bikes. I think it's super nice that there is a little bit of visual entertainment for me to enjoy while I mindlessly run nowhere. However, the ironic thing is that 90% of the time those televisions are tuned into The Food Network. So while we are killing ourselves burning the calories we are all fantasizing about the next thing we get to eat. It's a sick world we live in.

If there is a piece of equipment that no one ever seems to be using no matter how crowded the fitness center is, there is a reason no one wants to use it; stay away from this machine! At my fitness center, that machine would be a strange creature that hides in the row of ellipticals. Twice now I have been fooled by him. All of the ellipticals are being used - except this one. I unsuspectingly climb on & quick start my program. Then I begin a motion that feels like scaling a mountain in waist deep mud. It's like an elliptical stair climber & I am just not cut out for that kind of workout. Two tenths of a mile later, I climb off in shame & search for something EASIER.

You should never go the fitness center if you have a cough, especially not in H1N1 flu season. It doesn't matter if your cough is just the last remnant of a cold or if it's allergy induced. Everyone will think you are a scary beast bag of germs. Or maybe that's just me. Either way - if you are coughing, don't go!

It's no shame to take the elevator to the fitness center. Mine is on the 5th floor. I always take the elevator up & the stairs down. Might be wimpy but I don't want to warm up for my workout by climbing 124 stairs. Yes, I have counted them.

Be considerate of your towel usage & limit yourself to two towels per day. This sign is posted all over the fitness center. Considering that the towels they provide are larger than a hand towel & only slightly smaller than a bath towel I'm thinking why would you need more than two? What kind of workout are you doing that leaves you that sweaty? I'm thinking maybe if you need more than two towels you should workout at home.

Speaking of towels, everyone drapes them over the treadmill so that they can't see how far they've gone or how long it has been. It's just a coping mechanism. If you want to slow down the passage of time just hop on a treadmill. No matter how fast you run, time crawls by...

If you are working out at the fitness center & you unwittingly climb on the machine that no one wants to use & it is kicking you in a soft place & you are sweaty & dying to quit, that is when you will see your male coworker across the room staring & waving. It will be awkward. Just trust me on this one.

If you see someone fall off of a treadmill do not laugh. You could be next. Yes, I have fallen off of a treadmill. Yes, it was humiliating. Thankfully the fitness center was almost deserted when it happened. I don't remember any loud shouts of laughter. But it left scars. I have some treadmill phobia that I have to work through when I start each workout. As I hang on to the machine with at least one hand & glance around the area I have seen many other folks holding on with at least one hand, too. That means they know - treadmills are like bucking broncos. They just wait for you to get comfortable & then they try to throw you off!

Workout clothes are completely unnecessary. You should wear whatever you find to be comfortable. Within reason. Yesterday I had a dude on the treadmill next to me wearing jeans & a polo shirt. Huh. I was wearing workout capris & a t-shirt & I got hot (hard to believe, I know). I glanced around the room & saw several ladies wearing sweatshirts & sweatpants. Ugh. I got sweatier just looking at them. And then I saw him. A dude at the end of the row wearing one of those plasticy type shirts that make you sweat. His hands were dripping. That is just wrong, wrong, wrong. *shudder*

When you register for the fitness center they will probably give you a list of rules & regulations to read over & agree to. When you find a clause about excessive nudity being prohibited in the locker room just be grateful. I was a little surprised to read that little paragraph but I was thankful that I didn't have to fear walking into a locker room that resembled a nudist colony. I have a friend that lives in Europe; she has no such assurances. I've heard the stories & they are frightful.

So far that's what I have seen & learned. I'll let you know if I pick up any other gems of observation from Workout World.

Do any of you have any stories of hilarity or horror at Workout World to share? If so, please share in the comments - we all need a good laugh or scare *grin*


TwoMuths said...

my flabby self hasn't darkened the door of a gym in several moons. I used to work out at Curves, and a woman was bashing someone else for adding a third child to their "perfect" family. The lady being bashed was far more gracious than I would have been. That's as horrible as it got.

Maybe the two-towel rule is FOR the plastic-shirt wearers.

Good for you for working out!

Steve n Vickie said...

You are so dedicated. My workout comes in spurts. . . when I can fit it in.

Adele said...

When I was exercising at the Y in preparation for our Hawaii trip I loved using the elliptical machine. I was always careful to monitor my heart rate, which got too high too fast when I first started, and slow down if needed. Then these middle aged and over guys (with a belly, no less) would get on next to me and chug away - paying no heed. I remember hoping they didn't fall over with a heart attack next to me.

I've see guys who NEEDED more than two towels. When it starts to drip on the floor, there's a problem.

I once reported a guy to the front desk. He was acting strangely and I'm still convinced he was taking pictures with his cell phone (of women working out). I thought he had a gun in his pants - can't remember now why I thought so, maybe hysteria? - anyway, the guy who checked it out said they were just keys. That was a very embarrassing moment....