Gym Etiquette or Should I Say, Non-Etiquette!
Etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior that is expected of us humans when we are out and about and interacting with other humans in society. In general, I think the majority of people try, on some level, to exhibit some level of socially appropriate behavior at least, well, 80 percent of the time. So, what the hell happens when these SAME people come into the gym?
I am a gym rat. I love working out. I enjoy sweating. I look forward to going to the gym each morning. It’s part of my ritual; my routine. And, I’ve met a ton of great people at the gym. Many of my long-term friendships started as a gym friendship. I think when you go to places where you are going to meet like-minded people, you have a better chance of forming new and meaningful relationships.
Gym Rat Me…
I happen to go to Equinox in Beverly Hills: a high-end gym that caters to a high-end and often demanding crowd. A gym whose monthly dues are almost as high as some monthly car payments. The clientele expects the best, and Equinox generally delivers.
But what the hell happens to some people when they enter the gym? Do they forget all about that word called Etiquette? Or are they just self-absorbed narcissists who only care about themselves.
Let me give you some examples of things that have been pissing me off lately.
Lack of Human Decency Etiquette:
I was on the stair climber at the back of the gym, doing my thing and listening to my music. When the man beside me took his gym towel and blew his nose, for an exceptionally long length of time, into his towel, and then proceeded to hurl the towel to the ground. A few seconds later, a person (yes, an actual person) wearing a tee-shirt with the words ‘Maintain’ came along and scooped up the dirty towel.
I wanted to barf. Seriously, dude, there are boxes of Kleenex everywhere in the gym, right beside the towels. Do you think someone is going to enjoy washing your snot covered towel? And, do I want to use a clean towel that was at one time covered in someone’s snot? I think not! Who do you think you are that you can do that? You, sir, are disgusting!
Lack of Following the Rules Etiquette:
Speaking of the machines, there are signs everywhere that say ‘CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW? CELL FREE ZONE’. Basically, for a variety of reasons, you are not allowed to talk on your phone while working out at Equinox. It’s one of the club rules. And, being that I am not a rule-breaker, and also someone who never wants to be arrested like, oh, I don’t know, Lori Laughlin or my ex-fiancé, I prefer to follow the rules.
So, when some little turd is getting on the treadmill next to me, and he decides to ‘take a meeting with his boss’ while on the treadmill, and he is speaking so loudly that I can hear every damn word of his conversation, what do I do? First, I give him ‘the look’. A look which he deliberately ignores. Then, I clear my throat and give him my second look, a very ‘Janell is getting pissed off look’. Of course, he ignores me again. So, finally, I speak up and say ‘excuse me’, while simultaneously pointing to the sign that says ‘cell-free zone’. And what does he do? He responds snappy and says ‘turn up your music louder’ and he goes back to his call.
Really, what the fuck? Who does this little mother fucker think he is? At this point, my gym rage is starting to fester and I want to either A) run off and tattle to the front desk, but then I would look like a loser; or B) punch him in the face, but then I would get kicked out of the gym. So, what can I do?
I decide to speak up again, this time loudly, and said: “My music is as loud as I can make it, your acting like a jerk you know.” And he responds, ‘If you don’t like it, move to another machine.’ Really!?! I was there first minding my own business using good gym etiquette, and your obnoxious little ass wants me to move! Nope! SO Not budging!
But now, I’m beyond pissed wondering what I can do to silence this little dope beside me. Desperation leads me to use my own creative devices and I decide to drive him as nuts as he is driving me. So, I start to sing along, and very loudly I will add, to the music that is playing in my ears.
And, as luck would have it, I was listening to Britney Spears, and the annoying little turd had to endure three-quarters of the song ‘Womanizer’. When I started to belt out ‘My Prerogative’ he finally got off the treadmill, mad I will add, and finished his call at the back of the gym. I had to resort to torturing him to get him to shut the fuck up. Oh well, a girl has got to do, what a girl has got to do.
Lack of Smell You Later Etiquette!
Speaking of torturing, I love the show “Killing Eve” and Jodie Comer who plays Villanelle in the show is masterfully brilliant in her role. One of Villanelle’s favorite quotes is ‘Smell you later’. So, when I am at the gym on the spin bike, forget, ‘smell you later’, I don’t want to smell you at all. So, when you are sitting beside me and your B.O. is so bad, and so toxic, that I am gagging throughout my spin ride, barely able to tolerate the stinky wafts as they float by me, I have to wonder: can’t you smell that you stink?
I mean, do you bathe? Do you wear the same clothes over and over again without washing them? How is it that you can tolerate your body odor when you manage to clear out half of the spin class around you before the class is done? Seriously, last weekend seven people left the class that were seated around this one woman. I only survived because when I noticed I was going to be stuck sitting once again by ‘stinky’, and as the class was full and I couldn’t change bikes, I ran and grabbed a Eucalyptus towel and kept taking deep breathes of it to get me through the class. Seriously, should I have to resort to this level of desperation to get some exercise?
Speaking of Stinking…
And, speaking of stinking. I did a blog a few years back called ‘Stinky Fart’. Stinky farts do not belong in the spin class: an enclosed room of sweaty people don’t need to gag because someone decides to fart, not just once, but two or three times throughout the class. You can see people wincing as the fart makes its way through the room. Then, just when the horrific odor passes and you can breathe again and are somewhat recovered, the culprit lets another one rip. Get off your bike and GO HOME! You are sick!
The Narcissist Disguising Himself as Etiquette!
Another one of my pet peeves is the ‘Equipment Hogs’. These people leave a cell phone or a water bottle or a towel by a workout chair or bench while they go off to do some other exercise. Now, these people are not careless and forgetful. Rather, they are diabolically clever in their attempts to ‘mark their territory’. These are the people who will go and do a different exercise for five, ten or fifteen minutes and then come back and yell at you because you are using their ‘chair’. Barking out the old ‘I was working out there’. And, they expect you to move.
How messed up is this? It’s rude. You don’t own the gym. You can’t SAVE a piece of equipment and then come back later. How big of a lack of gym etiquette narcissist are you? And then, when I respond with ‘Umm, I looked around didn’t see anyone working out here, and as an FYI, that was ten minutes ago.’ And when the Equipment Hog responds indignantly with the ‘didn’t you see my water bottle?’ I now, after having experienced this several times say, ‘Oh, I just figured someone left it there by accident. I’m sorry, you’ll have to wait until I’m done.’ Of course, the person grabs the water bottle and stomps off mad, practically hissing at me. But I don’t care. I am not going to be bullied by the equipment hogs at the gym. If you want all the equipment to yourself, then build yourself a home gym, mother fucker!
Then we have…. The Ladies Lacking Etiquette!
Speaking of mother fuckers, some of the behavior of the women in the lady’s change room is verging on deplorable. Can’t you throw out your towels? Do you need to leave them laying everywhere and expect someone named ‘Maintain’ to clean up after you? And, when you go to pee, and you leave the paper toilet seat protector on the seat for ME to take off before I use the restroom, what are you thinking? Do you think that the paper protector magically goes down the toilet by itself? Or, do you like the idea that the next person who uses the restroom is going to have to manually push it down before they pee.
You know, this is gross. I don’t want to touch the paper that your tushy and OTHER things were on. Get off your throne and behave like a lady, please.
Real Ladies have Etiquette!
Speaking of behaving like a lady, the women who work in the bathroom don’t have the easiest jobs. Why make it more difficult for them? Take your used razor out of the shower! Tidy up the shaving cream with a towel. Throw your towels out, don’t leave them lying around on the floor of the shower.
And why am I seeing massive chunks of hair on the shower walls when you come out. How does your hair get stuck to the wall? Did you have a seizure in the shower and accidentally bash your head? I mean, how does the hair get stuck to the shower walls? It’s truly a mystery to me. I like my hair where it is, on my damn head.
So, thinking I was changing with a bunch of slobs severely lacking etiquette I….
I asked some of the ladies that work there what is the worst thing they have to clean up, and they told me… wait, you might need to sit down before you read or listen to this… they said the worst thing is when some women ‘squat’ and ‘poop’ in the shower, and leave it for them to clean up.
I started to scream in horror when not one, but two of the ladies that work in the gym restroom confirmed to me that this actually does happen. Who does this? I am really, I am beyond speechless and have no words, for once, I HAVE NO WORDS.
Okay, so at this moment in time, this is all that is pissing me off about the lack of etiquette that I have witnessed at the gym. If you have seen more, fill me in, I can always do a part two!
And the moral of this Etiquette Non-Etiquette story is…
- Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Say hi to the guys that park your cars, get to know their names. Thank the people who help you out at the gym. If you want to be treated with respect, then, be respectful.
- Etiquette is taught, but lacking common decency means, you’re fucked up. Check yourself out in the mirror. Do you like what you see?
- If you are showering at the gym, make sure to bring your flip flops with you and wear them the whole time. You’ll be protecting your feet from God know what disgusting microbes that some woman, lacking etiquette and HUMAN DECENCY, may have inadvertently left there for you. YUCK!
P.S. For the guy who swiped my butt the other day, that was so not COOL! If it happens again I’m reporting you to the GENERAL MANAGER! Keep your dirty old hands to yourself!