March 18, 2016

Gym Blues

If only we could workout and move about in the gym in the proverbial personal bubble, that would be great, thank you very much. 21 socially awkward situations or frustrating things that qualitatively mar my gym experience, sometimes, quantitatively too: 1. When someone carries their cellphone to the gym, uses it between the sets and keeps it at various places around only to reach out quickly to it and start swiping ferociously. 2. Doing all that AND bringing along a charger. 3. When someone plays their own playlist on the music player, and nobody else in the gym seems to even feel slightest of the bother, so you just decide to walk out half-way from your workout. 4. When someone has Yo Yo Honey Singh songs on their playlist being played on the music player. 5. When someone lip-syncs to the Yo Yo Honey Singh songs while working out. 6. When someone lip-syncs to the Yo Yo Honey Singh songs while checking themselves out in the mirror between their sets, and you decide that you have had enough of exercise for the day and walk out. 7. Bring-Your-Kid-To-The-Gym Day. 8. When everyone in the gym dilly-dallies with the little kid of that member while he's working out like a bitch, and you wonder if you, too, should join the queue to exchange pleasantries with the kid to assure everyone well in advance that you weren't the one to complain about such habits in the suggestion box. 9. When someone hangs their moist napkin on any horizontal object, but never on the allotted hooks. 10. When someone leaves their moist napkin on your gym instrument, so you hover around the spot looking around if the owner will get the hint and pick it up. If he doesn't and you don't know whose it is, you try to figure out which part of the napkin is dry and germ-free enough to lift up from. 11. The boisterous camaraderie between some guys and the gym instructor, and when you try to act 'extra dude' when you call the instructor if you need some help with the weights. 12. When someone shadows you as an unsolicited workout partner especially when you are half way through your workout already, thus highly frustrating you in the course because they are using weights too heavy or too light, so that your rest between the sets is wasted in helping change all the weights for both of you. 13. Radio. Oh lord, the radio! 14. When the most demanding sets of your workout have to go along with the crappy ads on the radio. 15. The lame wall posters: I wish they could change the quote posters every week at least. Subjecting me to “Look in the mirror! That’s your competition!” throughout the year is going to piss the shizzles out of me when I look into the mirror. But worse are the unappetising photos of the ugly, muscled men and women who are anything but inspiring. I mean, no one works out at the gym to represent their state at a bodybuilding competition. 16. When you are a gym member for so long that you've seen a series of instructors come and go, and when a sweaty, fat cardio guy comes over and tells you how to do your weights the correct way - right in the middle of your set - and you don't know if you should accept their suggestion or just ignore them and complete your set as you please. 17. When someone's idea of “sweating it out hard” is not “pushing themselves to the extreme like a real man” but switching off the air-conditioning and the fans, and even when you shift your base to the cooler areas of the gym they invariably migrate over to you spreading the dreary hotness and discomfort. 18. That moment when a lady walks over to share your equipment and you have to impatiently switch on your gentleman mode and check if you're not leaving any sweat stains on the equipment even though you always wipe them, if any, or you're not profusely 'manspreading', or your deodorant is still effective, or your T-shirt is not being pulled up too much, or your hair isn't getting upset in the middle of your set so that you don't know if you should stop and run your fingers through your hair and continue again or just carry on, uncomfortably conscious that that lady is noticing your 'workout-face' made even funnier by your hair. 19. When you eventually lie down on a mattress for your abs workout and you don't realise when those 15 seconds of relaxation with your eyes closed becomes a short nap only to abruptly wake up with a jolt to check how long you dozed off for and if anyone saw what just happened, just acting as if you consciously decided to catch those 40 winks. 20. When you try to squeeze in as much of strenuous exercise as possible during a good song which just luckily starts playing on the unsupervised music player and that livid moment when someone shouts across the floor to change the music. 21. When an exceptionally burly gym member is making himself conspicuous in the gym with unabashedly loud grunting during his workout and - in spite of his workout buddies and the gym instructor encouraging him - you try not to make your displeasure apparent, but when you're pushing yourself with some modest, medium-heavy weights and you realise an irrepressible grunt coming up, you suddenly stop, faking some wrist discomfort, and walk around for a while flexing your wrist like this and like that. (PS: This article is based on the experiences in my old gym. I have moved on to a new, better gym now.)

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