Offender 1: The Rogue Runner
If you've ever used an indoor track, there are signs that point which direction you should run. Apparently the direction alternates the direction every so often. Something about wear-and-tear. Either way, it's pretty obvious which way you should run: Even the illiterate should be able to interpret an arrow pointing left and/or everyone else on the track going clockwise around the track.
This particular morning I’m doing a jog/walk/check Instagram. There are only about four other people on the track. Important fact: We are all going clockwise around the track. Until Offender #1 enters. I spot him stretching him from the far side of the track and pay him no more attention until the b*tch is running at me. There are three lanes, so he easily goes around me, but I wonder: Do you not see the arrow? Are you blind? Too absorbed in your screamo playlist?
I hypothesize by the end of his first lap that he will realize he is the only one going counterclockwise and will correct his ways. Wrong. The fool continues running circles in the wrong direction. If this was Mario Kart, there would be a hovering minion with a sign reading, “U-turn!”
Offender 2: “I Want It Now” Bro
I am Facebook friends with a bro who recently posted the following:
“Here's my gym rant - when I learned to workout I was taught the weaker guys let the stronger one to go first, and I always follow that. Is the too primal to ask??”
Yes, Jeff, that is too primal – not just to ask, but to think. Have you ever heard of first come, first served?!
But that philosophy may explain the following a-holes:
Often I plan my workout in my head so I know which equipment I want to use. If the gym is busy, I keep an eye on the popular equipment and hop on it as soon as I and it are available. A few weeks ago I really wanted the pec deck machine (the one where you flap your arms horizontally). This guy had been on it, but he walked away. I’m adjusting the weight on the machine when he returns.
Offender: “I was using that. I was getting water.”
Me: “Oh, I thought you were done…” Because when you walk away from a machine without leaving any calling card – a water bottle, a towel, anything! – it appears as if you’re vacating it.
Another instance had me grabbing a bench that had not been touched in the last ten minutes. How do I know? Because I had been watching it while performing my previous exercise. Whoever had used it previously had left the weights on it, but with my own two pupils I had seen no one use the bench for 10*60 seconds seconds plus.
Offender: “I’m using this.”
I’m pretty sure I stared at him, but I really didn’t know how to tell him I knew he hadn’t been using it (other than to say that, but that's some blunt force trauma). Like, maybe you thought to use this machine a second before me – but probably not, because I have been thinking about it for 601 seconds. I also walked over here faster.
But not worth my time. I could use the bench after him.
As if to reinforce that he had not been using the bench before, he adjusted the weights.
The last example comes from this super jacked dude at my gym – one of those guys who wears a tank with the armholes cut down to his knees and talks loud enough to be heard over my headphones. I am preparing to do pull-ups when I hear him chatting with this girl on a treadmill.
Jacked Dude: “I’m supersetting today.”
And then this blockhead walks over to me and just says, “Hey, man, I’m supersetting. Can I use that?”
As if his wants erase the fact I am hanging from this bar. Is he an only child?
Me: “I have two more sets.”
Then he hovered, and there was another pull-up bar open nearby, so I hopped ship. I hope he got a good workout supersetting on being obnoxious.
Offender 3: The Cleaner
This offender was not another gym-goer. He was on staff.
Our first encounter was me doing reverse flies (when you flap backwards). I noticed him cleaning the machine beside me, and obviously that’s fine. But then, while I’m resting between sets, he starts wiping down the machine while I am sitting on it. He avoids making eye contact.
What the H-E-double hockey sticks is this?
Our next encounter was even more violating. I am actually using the equipment – as in, my arms are pulling cables actively – and I see this dude start cleaning the outside of the cable tower. I balance between interrupting my set and continuing, decide on the latter, but then his wiping continues. He cleans the actual base of the cable while it is moving with me in the center of the tower. WHAT is going on?
Me: “Could you clean this later?”
He looked at me. And then just stood to the side with his rag and cleaning solution.