Monday, September 22, 2008

Viva Variety

I have been going to gyms for quite a while now. It began in high school, when my best friend and I began getting up every morning at 6:00 a.m. our senior year to go work out at my dad’s company gym. It was small, but enough for us to get a workout. And then? We were kidding ourselves if we thought we really needed hardcore training.

In college, terrified of the freshman 15, I frequented the university gym, sweating it out in an outdated cardio room, and trying to work past the intimidation of using their weight equipment.

In all, I’ve been pounding away on the treadmill for about 8 years now. That’s why I feel comfortable with the following analysis.

There are only a few types of people who go to the gym. You can spot them from a mile away by the looks on their faces, the clothing they wear, and the attitude they exude as they thread their way through the workout equipment.

The “I’m Here to Get a Date” Variety:
This person (mostly girls, but often guys as well), is dressed well. Slim-fitting workout clothes show off the curves, immediately showing that he or she really doesn’t HAVE to come to the gym, but still does out of sheer joy for making sure they stay slim. The girls spend their time on a treadmill or an elliptical machine, going at a very leisurely pace, while seemingly perusing a magazine. They constantly adjust their new Nike workout skort and the matching spandex top. Their hair is coiffed so that it is messily pretty, in a bun with a cute hair tie peeking out. They wear jewelry, usually pearl earrings and a couple of rings, and their sneakers look like they just came out of the box. The guys, their muscles bulging from their too-small tank tops, strut back and forth to the water fountain, careful that when they bend over, to flex their glutes and balance on their biceps so they pop out with intensity. They toss their heads, and ensure they are constantly miming how hard they’re working by slowly massaging the muscles in their neck/back/previously mentioned bulging bicep. Those that come to the gym for dates, usually end up with someone else who came to the gym for a date.

The “Classes are my Life” Variety:
These girls only show up for classes, and you rarely see them outside of it. And yes, they’re all girls. They show up ten minutes early to get the perfect spot and diligently clean every piece of equipment with disinfectant wipes before using it. They’re set up with their mat/step/bar/weights before the newbs even step foot in the door. They spend the first few minutes looking any new people up and down, intimidating some enough to watch them turn around and leave immediately. The others who stay are subjected to their claims that “this class will totally change your body.” However, when you look at the body they have, you seriously reconsider staying. They don’t really do the exercises right, and when the instructor calls out, “Make sure to anchor that elbow when you do those kickbacks!” they look around smugly at the others while their elbow flies all over the damn place.

The “I’m Too Serious to Talk” Variety:
These people (guys and girls) have all the equipment: gloves, weight belts, spandex shorts and sport case for the iPod. Their earbuds never leave their ears, and they focus intently on the mirror as they do every exercise. Their form is impeccable (or so they think), and they follow their precise routine to the letter each visit. No one can deter them from their goal of being RIPPED. Usually, these people are seen leaving with a protein shake from the cooler, and a stern face of triumph as they walk out the door.

The “I’m Here Because I Ned to Lose Weight” Variety:
These poor lambs don’t know what the hell to do. They walk in scared every time. They wear their sweats, but they’re determined, even if they are terribly intimidated. They know that they have to get used to this sometime. Many of this variety are very honest gym-goers. They do what they know they can do, but they make sure they work up a sweat while doing it. Occasionally you have the lazy one, who is here because his doctor said he’d die if he didn’t spend some time at the gym, so he’s there. He’s not doing much more than walking around the upstairs track and watching TV on his iPod, but he’s there.

And where do I fall? Well, that's just something I'm not ready to admit.
Picture via

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think I fall into the "Im here b/c I need to lose weight" variety! Haha, of course I haven't been to the YMCA for a LONG time, I really need to go. I just wish I had a work out buddy. At my old job I had a gal that motivated me to go 3 times a week and we went together and went to classes, swam, did machines, whatever. Then, once I got the new job, I've stopped going. We even have a gym AT work and I still can't get motivated to do anything. I'm lame. Can you push me to do something?? I can't seem to do it alone, obviously.