Many, many years ago, I spent a lot of time writing entries on JerseySmarts.com talking about the different experiences that I encountered at my gym. In fact, I created a whole category at JerseySmarts.com talking about all of the different people that I encountered or observations that I made while at the gym. You can go back and read about the muscleheads who go to the gym with excessive amounts of gel in their hair, dummy foreigners trying to make out in the pool, the creepy guys at the gym who spend hours in the locker room staring at everyone, and the creepiest guy that I’ve ever seen at any gym anywhere – the naked shaver! You really need to go and read that entry (and the comments that accompany it) to appreciate what I’m talking about on that one.
If you’re really in the mood, you can read about the swamp thing (which, by the way, brought up the memory of this guy and made me almost throw up re-reading the entry), the return of the clod hoppers, the bald creeper who uses the blow dryer to dry himself off after a shower, the lady who sings along with her iPod, the second creepiest guy that I’ve ever encountered at a gym – the mouth-breathing metal head, or the funniest type of person that I’ve ever seen at a gym – the guy with Imaginary Lat Syndrome (it’s an epidemic, folks).
Once you read through all of that old content (some of those entries are more than 6 years old!), you can even skip ahead to earlier this year when I encountered a little old lady who was wearing an immense amount of perfume while on a bicycle at the gym. She wasn’t annoying, though. Actually, she was a sweetheart – you gotta love a little old lady coming all dolled up to the gym to work out.
Now, as many of you may recall, the gym that I attend now is nicknamed the “Judgment Free Zone” so before I wrote this entry, I had to really think about whether or not I was “judging” the people I would be writing about. And while that process was an interesting, introspective look on how I view people around me while I’m working out (seriously, give it a shot yourself some time – I found the introspection very insightful), I came to the conclusion that my new observations aren’t really negative judgments on these people. What’s more, through this introspection I found that I really didn’t encounter anybody at my new gym who was annoying or worthy of disgust or disdain. Talk about a refreshing change of pace!
However, I did realize that there were at least a handful of entertaining characters that I’ve observed at the new gym and I wanted to share them with you in this entry. So, in my “judgment free” way, here I go!
The Mayor of the Gym. This guy is entertaining to watch. You all know that guy who is the “Mayor” of the [insert local gathering place here]. Usually, my friends and I talk about who is the “Mayor” of this bar or the “Mayor” of that bar. The “Mayor” of any particular place is the guy who walks around and talks to everyone, trying to make friends or strengthening his existing friendships that he made during previous gym visits. Well, as my frequency of attending this new gym has increased, I’ve definitely figured out who is the “Mayor” of the gym. He’s a nice guy, don’t get me wrong. He even gave me a head nod one day, which I thought was nice. But there is something funny about observing a guy who talks to almost every person at the gym in a friendly, fun kind of way.
The Desperate Clod Hopper. Go back and re-read some of my old entries to figure out what a clod hopper is (in short, it’s the person on the treadmill who doesn’t pick up their feet and thus romps and stomps his or her way to a very loud cardio workout). Well, the other day I was at the gym in the late morning and there weren’t that many people there. The gym has some 30 or so treadmills all lined up in a row so when there aren’t that many people there, you don’t need to get right next to someone and workout on top of them. There’s ample space and certainly ample machinery to make the workout fun without awkwardly invading another person’s space.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, but while I was there doing my own treadmill workout I saw a younger guy (probably in his late 20’s) walk into the gym and hop up on a treadmill that was right next to a young woman. Now granted, the girl was hot – I’ll give him that because it’s true. But isn’t there something inherently weird about getting on a treadmill right next to the hot girl at the gym when there are literally 25 other treadmills that you can get on? Reminding myself to be “judgment free,” I thought nothing of it and kind of got a kick out of it. But then it happened – he started clod hopping.
Boom! Bam! Boom! Bam! Boom! Bam! I actually had to look twice to see if it was him who was romping and stomping on the treadmill! Then, keeping with that “judgment free” spirit, I thought to myself, “Whoa. This kid is going to have a hard time getting that girl to give him the time of day after all of that clod hopping.” And then I went about my business, but made sure to go workout on a different side of the gym than this guy because who really wants to hear all of that banging around anyway?
The Ridiculous Blowout Kid. A few years ago, I would have probably gotten really mad at seeing this type of person at the gym. However, when I went to the gym a few months ago and noticed a young kid (probably in his late teens/early 20’s) with a blowout hair cut that was as full of gel and/or grease as I’ve ever seen, I actually had to restrain myself from laughing out loud. Now, now – I wasn’t laughing at him (remember, I’m keeping a “judgment free” mindset). But I was laughing at the sight of a young kid walking into the gym with hair that literally stood about five inches off of his head. Imagine the gross sweat that must roll off of that head! Blech!
The Guy Who Does Weird Workouts, Front and Center. I didn’t really know how to quantify this guy when I saw him the other day, but I figured the best way to report him to you all was to report what I saw. There was a guy at the gym who strategically stood in a part of the dumbbell area that is pretty much the “front and center” of the gym. While he was there, he did the oddest, most bizarre collection of workouts that I’ve ever seen.
Hear me out – I’ve seen all different types of plyometric workouts when I played football. I’ve seen just about every type of endurance workout when I wrestled. I’ve seen almost every different workout that relates anything to sports and athletes. And then I saw this guy. I can barely explain what I saw because it was so weird. For example, this guy was holding onto a curling bar and seemingly try to jump up over his own head while holding it. I’ve never seen anything like that before, but I – and everyone else at the gym that day – was treated to some entertaining workout routine!
The Kids BS’ing Instead of Working Out. The only thing that distracted me from watching that guy’s weird workout was trying to hold back the laughing as these young teenagers (definitely kids out of school for the summer) sat around near the dumbbells for about 30 minutes and doing next to nothing while sitting there. I happened to be on the stationary bike directly in front of these kids so I had a front row seat to absolutely nothing. It was pretty amazing, actually, when you consider that there were people all over the gym and everyone was getting a good workout. Just another example of kids needing someplace to go and something to do with their free time, I guess.
And that’s about it, folks. I have more observations, but they are general in nature. For example, there aren’t any creepy guys crawling around the locker rooms at this gym (thank God), there aren’t any muscleheads being overly aggressive in some steroid-fueled rage, and there aren’t really that many gym-goers to get aggravated about. The people who go to this gym are just regular, average people looking to focus a little bit more on fitness. That’s one of the many reasons why I like going to this gym – it’s fun and it gets the job done in a cost-effective, efficient way.