Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Gym Rant

Some people should be offered a waiver when they sign up for the gym. Sure it’s in all the documents you have to subscribe without reading when you get a membership, but for a few bunch of arseholes it should be specific, personalised with every idiocy they like to perform when pretending to be working on their fitness. And I’m not even talking about those bodybuilders (ahem!) who scream with the heaviness of their weights; those already bear an universal hatred that in my opinion only makes them worse, flattered they get by all the publicity.

What I have in mind, instead, is that kind of person who uses the publicly shared space within the “health club” like it’s their own place. Maybe not their house, because I hardly doubt they would kick the flush in their own toilet just to make it work, but a place which they only daydream about (don’t we all?), wherein anything is possible and nothing ever breaks up or go out of service.

Just imagine the bald, middle-to-old-aged, protruding-belly man who seems to use the premises only and solely to hang around the showers. They check in every day right after work, spend six minutes on the treading mill, four or five on the ergonomic bike, eight-and-a-half seated on the leg press machine (not necessarily doing it) and head straight to the locker room. The more sweaty they manage to get during this “workout” the happier they look like. Also the more people they see going in, the sooner they’ll finish their set.

Merely illustrative. It's not your grandpa. Or it shouldn't be.
Inside they feel like in heaven. From their immense sports bag they produce two towels — one to dry up after shower and the other to throw flat on the floor —, a complete set of funky smelling shampoo, conditioner and body wash and, of course, a disposable razor, because a public bathroom is not only where they like to shave but also the best place to bleed miserably while doing it. Or do you think at home they don’t use a Gillette Proglide 5.0 XL? On Sundays they won’t have anyone to complain about the scars it’s going to leave on his face. “Evidence of the war,” they invariably say.

Yes, they obviously talk to everyone in the room, from the old man struggling to reach his toes in order to cut the nails to the unfortunate janitor who just wanted to mop the floor. The only ones who can somehow manage to avoid any sort of interaction are those (also characters of particular interest; more about them in some other opportunity) whose head are hid between their headphones. These can come and go as long as they never, under any circumstance, make eye contact with the subject.

In any case, what these men are most known for is their true obsession about making noise. Any kind of noise, as long as it is loud and unique. They grunt outwardly to get up from the bench, snort inwardly while soaping their asses, whistle to wander around and, more importantly, wham the button that turns the water on repeatedly. It is so hard and so often they smash it that you can only wonder whether they understand how a timed shower works. And if it breaks it’s the gym’s fault for not making some sort of regular maintenance; if it doesn’t, well, it’s not supposed to.

This is so very true that you never see such a person where these buttons have been replaced by those modern, silent hand sensors.

There are so many other examples of this kind of comportment that it would take a series of articles to cover them all. From the young, slightly overweight yet pretentiously fit lad who sprays the menthol bottle in the sauna until everyone’s skin gets dry and greenish to the overdressed girl who won’t leave the completely packed room unless the instructor asks individually who’s not registered for the class, these are all instances of utmost disrespect fomented daily by a society in which expressing disapproval is considered wrong and rude.

But the worse of them — it has to be said — is the farter. It can literally be anyone. Anyone. O, if I catch the motherfucker...