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~Sunday~  Oh glorious sleeping in, I appreciated you so much this morning.

I went to the gym at around 2:30, where I did 60 minutes of cardio work on the elliptical machine for an 1162-calorie burn. I really wasn't "feeling it" today, and the inner dialog started right at about the 20-minute mark with, "I'm going to cut this down to 30 minutes, and move over to the treadmill for the other 30 minutes."

At 30 minutes: "Okay, I can do another ten minutes. 40 minutes is a good round number." I was working at a good pace today, such that I was well over 500 calories already by that point. "I'm tired, though. I can't keep this up."

At 40 minutes: "Five more minutes and I'll do what I did yesterday. And at 45 minutes yesterday, I'd burned 825 calories. Today, I'm already at 8:50 in 40 minutes. I can keep going for five more minutes."

At the 45-minute mark: "Yes, I'm tired, but really, 15 more minutes. Just don't think about it. Keep going." And I did.

At 48 minutes, "I'm going to break the 1000-calorie mark right at about 50 minutes. I'm exhausted. I'll stop then."

At the 50-minute mark: "It's only 10 more minutes. They'll pass before you know it. Just take the pace down some."

At 60 minutes: "Thank god. Good job. Glad I kept at it."

All that self-talk is just crazy, but that's how it went down, and often does.

Now, I'm going to ask you readers who know me, or who feel you've come to know me reading here, for your opinion on a matter. I would like some insight into a situation that actually happened at the gym yesterday, but which I didn't capture then. Also, it's not the first time this has happened, and it's been with the same person involved.

So, there was this guy there yesterday who I'd guess is somewhere between 23-30 years old. He's probably about 6 feet tall, has about a 30-inch waist, wears glasses, has short hair, and wears ear buds while he works out. He looks nothing other than a healthy, young man. We got on our elliptical machines at about the same time, and I set mine for 60 minutes, even though I only ended up doing 45 minutes, as you may have read in yesterday's entry.

He stood on the elliptical machine, which is the kind that has handles with which to work your arms, too, and has what are essentially pedals that go up and down, not the type with slides that go back and forth like skis. He leaned forward with his arms crossed, put his elbows up on the handles, and then rested his chin on up on his crossed arms.

He pretty much stayed in this position for over thirty minutes, with about an equal portion of time spent just standing absolutely still, and when he did move his feet it was maybe about an inch up and the inch back down—never enough to make a complete step, which would probably be about five inches up and back down.

On the three TVs in front him, the one to the left had on news, the one directly in front of him had on a professional tennis match, and the one to his right had on ladies basketball. From what I could tell, he pretty much exclusively watched the tennis match, while looking around the gym every now and then.

What I want to know is this:

  1. Why would someone go to the gym and pretty much just lean on an exercise machine for over thirty minutes and watch TV?

  2. Why would the fact that somebody does that bother me so much? (It really, really, annoys me.)

What are your thoughts? Open the kimono, please.

My houseguest, Kevin (av8rdude), and I headed down to Flex at about 4:15, where they were having a free Labor Day cookout. Kevin dropped me off and went down to Rapid Fitness to work out. Joe joined me shortly thereafter.

Considering we ate in a bar, the food was pretty decent, and it consisted of: Chicken legs covered with delicious barbecue sauce and cooked on the grill out behind the bar; potato salad; coleslaw; potato chips; a pretzel, Dorito, and Cheez-It mix; some Church's Chicken Honey Biscuits; and a choice of chocolate chip or M&M-chip cookies for dessert.

Kevin joined us after his workout, and by the time it began approaching 7:00, it was obvious to the three of us that we couldn't just keep on drinking until the scareyoke started at 9:00. Since Kevin was still in his workout clothes, he took my car and went home for a costume change, and Joe and I went to Helios to hang out for a couple of hours.

We stopped at Snoopy's on the way back over to Flex, where the guy at the window said, "Does that shirt mean what I think it means?"

I thought he meant that I was gay, but wanting to hear him say it, I said, "Well that depends on what you think it means."

"It's not New Kids on the Block, is it?!" he responded.

Laughing I replied, "No. It's just gay. Guys in the rainbow colors, you know."

He laughed, finished taking Joe's order and then looked at me, "Is this together?" he asked before starting my order.

To which I replied, "No, we're not that gay."

Flex was absolutely jammed tonight, as expected, it being a holiday tomorrow and all. Although there were a lot of non-regulars there, there were a lot of regulars, too. Among them being Eric who, although there are now over 70,000 songs in the "new" karaoke system, still has to bring his own CDs from which to sing obscure songs that usually take some kind of drama to set up in the karaoke machine and which nobody pays any attention to while he sings them. Why?

Glenn and Curtis—and his boyfriend JB—made an appearance tonight, compliments of social media, which is fun when used that way. Henry was also out tonight, who I hadn't seen in forever, and who's always a pleasure to see. At one point, he said, "I'm behind on your column," which made me smile as that's what Bob calls my blog, too.

Joe sang Sweet Caroline, which was quite the crowd-pleaser.

There were a couple of singers there, who no matter what song they sing, it's not going to be a crowd-pleaser, and while one such person was singing a song that seemed to go on forever, toward the end of it I said looking down at my BlackBerry, "That song was so long, I've got to have a message by now."

It had been a long night, of mostly drinking, and by midnight I was ready to head home. Kevin and I left Joe there, with the intention of Kevin dropping me off at home and he going back down to Legends, but on the way home, he decided to call it a night, too.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 06:45 pm (UTC)
In response to your "gym ignunce" -- I've seen people sit on recumbent bikes and watch TV. I've seen people sit on chest press and leg press machines and watch TV. I've seen people walk on treadmills at .2 miles per hour and watch TV. I have yet, in all my days, to see someone inch up and down for half an hour on an elliptical machine and watch TV. Your fellow gym-goer is a snowflake, unique in every way.

I have that same self-dialogue whenever I do cardio. I find that loud dance music with complex lyrics makes it go away for a while.

What I find most annoying is when people start up a treadmill, then crank the incline as far as it will go, and then clamp their hands onto the back of the display and walk perpendicular to the treadmill surface. If one is going to use the incline, then one stands upright and uses one's muscles to simulate walking up a hill or other inclined surface. In real life, one would not walk up a steep hill while standing perpendicular to said hill, unless one was a wizard, now would one?

Oh, and the incline abuser people always stop the treadmill before their time is over, so the machine is left in maximum incline, making it impossible for shorter people to jump up and start the machine so they can make the incline go down again. I'm the person who goes around and brings the treadmills back down to zero incline so everyone can use them.

These behaviors bother you (and me) because the gym abusers are not using the equipment for its intended purpose. I think it's a form of cognitive dissonance, since we see these machines as things that we sweat on and burn calories on, and other people see them as furniture to be used in any old way, and we don't like the gym abusers treating the equipment in a way it was not intended to be used.

In other news...

I also thought your t-shirt represented NKOTB, so the bouncer at Snoopy's and I agree on that.
Sep. 6th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)

OMG! So many laughs in this! Thanks for reading, commenting, and the free therapy analysis, my friend! :-)
Sep. 7th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)

I figured Snoopy's was another bar, and not a hot dog stand. I had no idea you had Snoopy's down there! The few times I've visited your fair city, the only fast food I had was Chik-Fil-A, because there were none up here.

Guess what? There's now a Chik-Fil-A about 10 miles from my house now. I haven't made a point of going there, since I associate that restaurant with the city where you live.
Sep. 6th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
None exercising exerciser????
He could be one of those people that just can't do two things at once...you know like walking and chewing gum...LOL

Regarding the shirt...sing with me now..."I am gay hear me roar, in numbers to big to ignore."

Sep. 6th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Re: None exercising exerciser????

Too funny, Brender! Thanks for reading and commenting, too! xxoo
Sep. 7th, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
An alternative scenario
Been trying to decide if I wanted to post this or not, as I don't want to 'out' someone, but it is possible that the guy is homeless and uses the gym as a place to shower and clean up.

I know several people who live in their cars, who cannot afford housing, yet can afford a gym membership (Planet Fitness is, I think, $10 a month, yes?). And none of them 'look' homeless.

If he has no real interest in working out, yet felt he had to kill some time before ducking into the showers in order to not tip off the management that he was only using their facilities for the shower, his behavior makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, I don't know this particular guy (or don't think I do, from the description),so I don't know if this guy is homeless or not. But very possible.
Sep. 7th, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
Re: An alternative scenario

Thanks for positing this, Hugh, as it's something that would certainly diffuse the anger I feel if it were true. And since I don't know if it's true, and will assign some meaning anyway, I might as well assign an empowering one. :-)

I have never seen him in the locker room, so I have no idea if he showers there. So far, he's always been there when I've gotten there and still there when I've left, so I've never seen him carry any kind of duffel bag or anything.

With that said, I can count on my two hands the number of times I've showered there over the several years I've been going now, so he very well could be using them without my having seen him, as I'm quickly in and out of there to throw my soaked shirt into a grocery bag and put on a dry one to drive home and shower there.

Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend!

Edited at 2010-09-07 04:08 pm (UTC)
Sep. 9th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
The homeless explanation is plausible. Also plausible is that the fellow has a nagging wife or GF who bought him a membership for Valentine's Day. He goes so he can tell her he goes. She, of course, doesn't ask if he actually exercises while he's there.

Alternatively, she might go to the gym too and is engrossed in a yoga class or something and he's along for the ride.

Whatever is going on, you're going to have to sleuth him out and report back!


PS: Lordy, you've had some doozy buscapades since the semester started!
Sep. 9th, 2010 02:10 pm (UTC)

Ah! There you are. I've been looking forward to your weighing in on things. :-) And how has your new "bus semester" been going? Chase after any buses on any new routes, or anything exciting happen en route(s)? :-)

Thanks for reading and commenting!
Sep. 9th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
Ha! Thanks for asking. Yes, an adventurous time.

In fact, just last night the bus rolled up, flashing an 'out of service' banner, but the driver hollered out that she was going to Chapel Hill but only the park and ride. Anyone who wanted the downtown CH stop needed to get on the bus coming right behind her. OK. Got it. The traffic from that goofy motivation event at RBC must have gotten them crossed up so two buses left downtown basically together. (Happened a couple of weeks ago.)

So I should take the second bus. But I had my bike and there was another person there with a bike also going downtown. Knowing that two is the limit on a single bus, it occurred to me that I had better see if there was already a bike on the downtown bus coming up, because if there was, that meant one of us wouldn't get on and would have to wait lord knows how long for the next bus. As the second bus comes into sight, sure enough, there is a bike on it, so I quickly tell the other cyclist to go ahead and take the downtown bus and I would take the park and ride bus and transfer to a local bus to get to downtown. The agony of being the Third Bike was averted. And did I ever feel clever cruising west! Hooray!

So we get to the park and ride in CH and there is a local bus standing there. I quickly transfer and as soon as I"m on, the bus is ready to roll (what I call a 'ninja transfer'). Oh yes, I'm so clever!

The TT bus departs and my local bus pulls out behind it. And we follow the TT bus. All. The. Way. Downtown. OK, so WHY did she tell all of us she was only going downtown? And why did she make me get off when she knew I was going downtown? And obviously I'm not nearly as clever as I need to be.

I also had a recent episode trying to get to the airport with the new schedule, but I don't think I can go into it without a lot of swearing.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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