I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been hitting the gym and losing some weight. Let’s face it: While there’re some excellent benefits to doing this, the treadmill gets boring. Yes, I have music with me. I tried reading something once, but that didn’t work for me. I try to focus on my breathing, but inevitably, over the time I’m on the treadmill, my mind wanders.
I’m a mostly-observant person. I am constantly assessing my surroundings, and every new person in the gym gets tagged, assessed, catalogued, and tracked. Now while I’m at the gym, I really do try to focus on my workout, I still pay attention to what other people are doing. I seem to not have the ability to turn that instinct off.
I’ve come up with a short list of people next to whom you don’t want to be stuck on a treadmill. I’m currently only using the fitness studio in our apartment complex, and this list really only applies to that location; when I was using an actual gym, I probably could have come up with a full 10. Anyway, here we go:
6. Me – That’s right, I put myself on the list. I mean, think about it… if you’re stuck next to me on a treadmill, I’m probably going to notice what you’re doing and you might wind up on a blog listing people you don’t want to be stuck on a treadmill next to… whom. At least I can’t be stuck on a treadmill next to me at the gym.
5. Ragdoll – That guy who puts the treadmill on the highest speed, then holds himself up on the rails or clings to the display console, while his feet flail uselessly underneath him in a boneless fashion. I have to admit, this guy really captures my attention… I’m half-expecting him to go sailing off the back of the treadmill at some point. I’m not sure what you’re trying to accomplish, Ragdoll, but I guess thumbs up for making it to the gym.
4. Stop/Start – That girl that runs for like 30 seconds, then rests with her feet on either side of the treadmill belt checking her text messages for five minutes. The constant stopping and starting really throws off any attempt to get any rhythm going. And for all the good she’s doing, she may as well stay at home. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen her in a while, so maybe she realized this on her own?
3. The Drummer – This is that guy that’s so into his music, he has to pound out the beat on the handle of the treadmill. He can’t do it against his legs, he’s got to pound on the handles. Not quietly, either: It’s loud enough to hear over the sound of the treadmill and my music. He better hope he doesn’t wind up next to Stop/Start some morning. His whole rhythm will be thrown off. But still, he’s not as bad as:
2. The DJ – Another enthusiastic music lover… but this one’s so into his, he sings it and waves his hands around all gangster to show how into his music he is. Again, he does this loud enough that I can hear it over the sound of Dave Mustaine’s whining that I’m listening to. I have to question how intensely he’s actually working out if he’s got enough breath to sing, but hey… it’s not my workout. I’m just glad he doesn’t actually have two turntables and a microphone.
1. The Rabbit – Okay, so this is one that I remember from actual-gym-going days. She’s the cute younger girl who really doesn’t need to be at the gym. She’s been running for the same forty minutes as you, but rather than being a sweat thunderstorm, blotchy and red, and panting like dog in the throes of cardiac arrest, she’s completely composed and there’s not even a glimmer of sweat on her forehead. She’s probably a cyborg. Or someone hired by the gym to attract guys to their inevitable deaths by overexertion trying to keep up, like some sort of modern-day siren.
Did I miss anyone?