Sunday, December 30, 2012

Gym Pet Peeves: Judgmental Treadmill Ladies

Judgmental ladies on zero resistance piss me off. You know what I mean. I didn’t specify what area of the gym because you find these ladies everywhere, but there is an epidemic of them in the cardio room, so that’s the example I’ll use.
Picture this: You’re on the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical, they are right next to you. You’re hauling ass on some insanely high level of resistance, and to the outside world, you appear to be trudging through a mixture of mud, quicksand and molasses. Sometimes it looks like you’re barely moving. Sweat pours down your face. You look like you’ve had the crap kicked out of you. The lady next to you is going buck wild, flying along at a dizzying pace on level .0001. There is nothing wrong with this. To each her own.
But then she leans over and looks at you in her judgy-faced glory, eyes narrowed, lip curled, eyebrows raised, thought bubble above her head containing the words, “Wow, I’m going soooo much faster than you.” You had to go there, didn’t you? Now that you have my attention, I can look at the numbers on your machine and see that I’m working 79,000 times harder than you because I’m 79,000 times stronger, yet you judge me? You somehow think you’re better? Guess what? You’re not pushing yourself. Know how I can tell? You have NO resistance on the machine, and you have enough mental and physical energy to give me the stink-eye. Crank it up a notch and mind your own business.
The worst thing is, it is impossible to ignore these ladies. I’m not talking about the ones who glance over at your machine occasionally. I’m talking about the obnoxious ones who lean over too far and won’t give it up. You can look at my machine all you want if it makes you happy. The issue is that they don’t give it up. If you ignore them, they get bolder. They lean closer towards your machine. I make a big show of looking at the TV in the opposite direction, checking my watch, drinking my water, yet they won’t let up until I make eye contact just to get them out of my personal space.
I have experienced some success with the following reaction. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart. This is for dealing with a first class obnoxious bitch who really won’t leave you alone. Allow her to give you the condescending eye. Wait 10 seconds. Then look at the numbers on her machine. Don’t glance. Turn your entire face, partially turn your shoulders, and stare at the digital display on her machine for at least 6 seconds. Then, do the same thing with your own machine. Look at her legs, pretending to gauge the pace. Look down at your own legs. Look at some spot in between both sets of legs, so you appear to be comparing the respective paces. Look back at her numbers. Look at your own. Raise your eyebrows, curl your lips into a hint of a smile, and nod slightly.
If you follow my instructions perfectly, the following thought bubble will appear over your head:
“Hmm… No wonder your legs are moving so much faster than mine… You have your machine set at the easiest level. Well, good for you, joining a gym for the first time. We all had to start somewhere.” 

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