Thursday, December 29, 2011

Some things never change

For the second time in a week, last night I went to the gym. Although I've never been a huge fan of the gym, I've always enjoyed people watching. When I was training for half marathons last winter I spent many hours chugging along on the treadmill and got to see some pretty interesting things. I wondered if my limited activity would change my perspective of the other gym patrons, so I entered the gym last night with two goals: 1. exercise, 2. intense people observation. The results: 45 minutes on the elliptical and the realization that most things never change.

For example:
  • No matter how out of shape you are, someone will always be in worse shape
  • People still read magazines while walking on the treadmill
  • Tattooed men still spend a lot of time motionless, looking at themselves in the mirror in the free weights section
  • Someone will always move to a different treadmill when they realize the television doesn't work on theirs
  • If you scan the room and see one person that you really don't want to come near you, that person will inevitably hop on the machine right next to you. They are usually dipped in a strong cologne.
  • If there's only one machine you want to use, and only one other person in the room, that person will most definitely be on that machine
Other random observations

  • People on ellipticals are madmen. Although almost an entire row of treadmills was empty, the ellipticals were roaring with activity. Nearly every machine was taken and most people seemed very focused on their performance. Naturally I had to put myself in silent competition with my strongly scented neighbor.
  • People that walk on treadmills uphill look funny. The steeper they have the incline set, the funnier they look. Especially when it's hiked up so steep that the walker is holding onto the handrails for dear life.
  • If you are "running" on the treadmill while holding onto the front handles with a death grip, you probably shouldn't be running. But keep at it, because I want to see what happens when you lose your grip.
  • Everyone in general seemed a little more focused than I remember from months ago when I was running on the treadmill. Maybe it's just because I'm slower so everyone looks faster, or maybe it's because everyone's trying to outrun the holiday hams they had over the weekend.

Next year marks the New Year, which is good and bad. Bad because a whole new crop of people will be invading the gym, making it nearly impossible to get the machines I want. Good because it's a whole new batch of people to observe!

No comments:

Post a Comment