Have you ever wondered why people go to the gym?
If your answer is in the negative, then that means you are either lacking in curiosity or belong to the ever-widening circle of folks in the Ass of You and Me Club. In other words, you assume you know the answer rather than investigate. Please do not be embarrassed. Lethargy is one of the basic tenets of the club.
Come with us on a magic ride. You will get to observe the folks in the gym, but they will not see you. Think of it as astral projection.
Before we begin, never lose sight of the most important thing about the people in the gym. They are there. They are moving body parts instead of sitting like lumps of flesh and bone in their recliners staring vacantly at the brain sucking screen, also known as the television.
As you observe the people entering the gym, you will notice that the first thing people do upon entering is check in by scanning the barcode on their badge. It is a simple process. However, some technically challenged folks waste precious workout time battling the scanner, chasing the elusive ping. Their frustrated grumbles attract the attention of the staff, who leap to assist.
When we look around, we realize the people there come in all shapes, sizes, and ages — a far more accurate overview than the initial impression this writer had when she first joined.
She expected everyone, to be young, fit, and muscular. Instead, most of the folks were old to downright elderly. Where were the gym hunks?
All she saw were pillowy; gray-haired ladies chatting non-stop as they ambled on treadmills or while sitting on stationary bicycles. Old geezers worked out in baggy shorts hanging down to their bony knees. But to their credit, they wore sports sock and gym shoes instead of white knee socks and sandals.
The ladies and gents are at varying stages of fitness. Some gray-haired gents sported biceps many a paunchy drudge would envy.
Some of the frequent gym attendees who grunted and sweated their way through various workouts included younger men with vanishing hairlines. It was impossible to resist the temptation to surreptitiously position a hand while using one’s equipment to cover their bald spots and figure out how they would look with more hair.
Such innocent entertainment is better than watching the overhead flatscreen televisions. They either have sports or news talk or what passes for news. Consequently, imagining how a balding guy would look with more hair is mildly amusing.
If you go every day and at varying times of the day, you will notice the attendee pattern. The folks who exercise at the crack of God tend to be in their late twenties to late forties. They are the professionals who schedule exercise before going to work.
The mid-morning to noonish crowd tend to fall into the geezer and geezerette category. They are retired and have the luxury of sleeping in before venturing out for the day. The late afternoon and evening folks include the hotties (male and female) this writer expected to find in a place dedicated to helping people become or stay awesome looking.
It is undeniable that some people are single-minded loners. They go to the gym and workout with determined intensity. But there are those who need to be around people. In a world where folks are losing their social skills and part of their humanity to the emptiness of social media, the gym offers them the chance to take care of their bodies, and maintain a connection to others.
Workout places allow people to be themselves without the usual public veneer of perfect hair and makeup. They can groan, pant and grunt as sweat drips from their bodies, and no one becomes offended.
Of course, there is an exception and a limit to the tolerance of others. Should some troglodyte forget to wipe off the sweat-drizzled equipment after using it, the person behind them will complain.
Gym etiquette #1: You sweat. You wipe. No one wants to sit in the butt-puddle you left on the seats.