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Am I a prude?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Okay so maybe using the word “prude” is indication in itself, but here are a few practices at the gym that annoy me and I need to know if others feel this way or if I should lighten up.

The first one really isn’t an annoyance; I just find it somewhat comical and possibly pointless. There is a girl who comes in a couple times a week but doesn’t exactly work out. She usually gets on one of the stationary bikes then pulls out her cell phone to talk (loudly) with her friends. Usually the phrase “I’m working out at the gym” crops up at least three times per conversation. She pedals very slowly on the lowest resistance. Now there are a lot of caveats here and I don’t want to offend anyone. She certainly is doing more than the alternative of sitting on the couch and calling friends. Perhaps she has a medical condition that only permits her to work at this level. I don’t want to judge, and as I mentioned, I don’t find it annoying. Her obvious bragging is what I find comical.

The second item really is an annoyance and a distraction: parents who bring their kids to the gym and let them run wild. Now, I’m not complaining that the kids are brought to the gym. In fact, there is one mother who brings her daughter once or twice a week. The girl jumps rope or colors in a coloring book or just dances around the room. I think that is wonderful! She is going to grow up loving fitness and will have healthy habits for a long time. What I find annoying are the parents who don’t care what their children do. They spin or swing on the lateral pull down machine. Or get a few of them to pull the handle of another weight machine as far as they can before letting go and having the weights crash back. A couple days ago a girl started climbing inside a cage while a middle aged gentleman was doing squats in it. He racked the weights and politely asked her to go out. I wouldn’t have had such reserve. I would have yelled, “Lady, come take care of your kid!” Certainly, his method was better, but maybe I’m a prude?

The last item that got on my nerves was when I walked into the locker room a couple of days ago. There was a guy wearing only a towel talking on his cell phone. Luckily, I was the next row of lockers over, otherwise I may have helped him disconnect. He was talking to his dad, so I tried to justify the conversation. Maybe his dad can’t figure out how to leave a voice mail (these new fangled devices). Or perhaps he had just gotten an urgent text that something was wrong with someone else in the family and in the panic forgot common sense (although he didn’t sound panicked). However, I couldn’t find any justification when he got off the phone with his dad and immediately called a friend to let him know that he was quitting his job. When I finished showering, dressed and left he was still in a towel on the phone. I’m sorry, but there is not a single conversation that can’t wait five minutes for you to get dressed! If I ever find out that one of my friends called me wearing only a towel in a locker room, we would become text-only friends. I would not be able to talk to him on the phone anymore.

So, am I being unrealistic or too uptight? What things annoy you at the gym?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The girl on her cell on the bike... that's just humorous. I've seen many people walking around the indoor track at our gym on their cell phones. As long as they are paying attention enough to get out of the way of the runners or faster walkers, they are fine with me.

    The kids running around... that's a definite safety hazard and should be addressed. Our gym has a daycare, but the gym floor is *closed* to kids. They are going to get hurt and should not be there.

    There are always guys on their phones in odd places. Like in the bathroom at the gym or at my office. I always go out of my way to make sure I take the stall next to them and flush the toilet immediately. That way the person they are talking to *knows* that this person is talking to them inside a bathroom.
    3101 days ago
    All of the above AND foul language, hogging the equipment while talking to your 'friends', leaving dirty gym towels behind you, not cleaning up your 60# DB's...the list goes on and on.

    Thanks for sharing, it made me feel like less of a crabby old lady!

    And, we need more "prudes" in the world!
    3101 days ago
    I hear you on all of those things. The gym I used to belong to had "daycare" for kids while their parents were working out and they had to stay in that area. Kids could definitely get hurt on the equipment.

    They also had a policy of not using your cell phone in the locker rooms. I think most people were cool with that.
    3101 days ago
    My gym doesn't allow kids in like that but it's owned by a county-owned hospital and are very particular about liability risks like that but they do have open swimming hours where the kids are a little wild in the pool so I avoid those. No way to swim laps in that setting. But I have seen those who are on the phone all the time while tying up a piece of equipment since equipment is somewhat limited during the really busy times. It's not a huge gym but it's not too small either. Another thing that bugs me is the people that sit on a piece of weight training equipment talking to someone else and not working out and tying up the equipment. And I'm not extremely happy when I'm running on the treadmill with both earphones in my ear and someone stops to talk to me. Not my best time to chat. When I'm running don't try to come over and chat. These are people that I don't really know well or have anything earthshaking to tell me. Just want to chat.
    No you're not a prude!
    3101 days ago
    Cell phone use and abuse has become ubiquitous the world over. My kids and wife get mad at me because I frequently turn off my cell phone. I turn off my cell phone at the gym and leave it in my locker.

    I cannot imagine a gym that lets kids run amok. You are being justifiably being annoyed, not prude.

    3101 days ago
    The gym I go to has a policy for people to not talk on the cell phone, but there are still a few people that do, just not to the degree that you mentioned. My feeling is still that if the topic(s) are that important that they cannot wait until you leave the gym, maybe you need to go take care of them. I have the same pet peeve about people doing that at the pharmacy, and they act offended if we say that we will help them when they are done. I think people are so "connected" that it has taken precedence over their health, whether at the gym or pharmacy. My gym time is for me; the only thing I carry is my music and training log.
    3112 days ago
    On the radio this morning, they said that there is a survey out that states that 27% of men walk around the locker room naked. Be thankful he was wearing a towel!! Women, on the other hand, are prudes. We do everything in our power to not let other women see us naked. A lot of women will even change their clothes in a bathroom stall.
    3116 days ago
    You should definately talk to the gym managers about the kids running around. That is a clear safety hazard and a violation of their liability insurance most likely. Every gym I've been to has signs prohibiting anyone under a specific age from using the equipment, or being around it.

    Most gyms also have policies about using cell phones on the gym floor, which the bike girl is violating. Personally it wouldn't bother me because I have my earphones in and wouldn't be able to hear her anyway, but I can see how it could be annoying, which is why the gym managers should be enforcing the rules.

    The gym in the locker room...sorry, can't help on that one, some people just have different standards. I think it is a bit odd and I wouldn't sit in a towel in a locker room and make phone calls, but that is just me. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with what he was doing, just outside of my comfort zone. But I also dislike talking on the phone at any time so I'm perhaps not the best judge on this one.
    3117 days ago
    While I don't go to a gym, the kids running aroand and messing with the machines -and it being a danger - would certainly cause me to be a bit annoyed. I agree about talking to a manager about it.

    The guy on the cell phone doesn't surprise me as everybody now seems to have one permanently attached to their ears. Would it annoy me? Depends if I was in the room long with him haha.

    3117 days ago
    I would definitely talk to a manager about the kids, that is unsafe and a law suit waiting to happen. As for the girl on the bike, some just do not understand what exercise is and they do it b/c they think it's the right thing or cool thing to do. As for the guy in the towel, I guess that doesn't bother me...hehe...might be more of a guy vs girl reaction. Women do it all the time.
    3117 days ago
  • no profile photo CD9767578
    I wouldn't say you area prude just that you recognize absurdity and stupidity when you see it.

    I am considering becoming a hermit at this point in my life because for the most part I can't stand other people's kids. I am going to make some broad statements here to make it easier but I do recognize that not all parents are inept and not all kids are awful. Just most of them. I can't seem to go anywhere in public without some ill mannered, spoiled rotten brat running wild while his/her parent makes a half-a$$ed attempt to, maybe, say their name in a bored voice. My favorite is at the grocery store when the parent lets the 7 year old push a cart full of groceries, normally directly into the back of my heels. I appreciate that this is a 'treat' for the kid but really, do you expect that you would be able to maneuver a cart that weighs more than you do? Restaurants, grocery stores, THE MALL (I refer to this as the 7th ring of hell), the library are all places that other people kids have ruined for me on innumerable occasions. People stopped parenting (being a slave to your child's whims does not make you a parent) and then wonder why no one wants to be around their kids.

    As to the people on the cell phones, the woman is comical and sadly enough, ridiculous to not just you but everyone who notices her actions. The guy is just creepy. I have maintained a membership at a gym in my town for a year now. I haven't gone in about 10 months. I hate the gym but I recognize that at some point I may need to access the machines for more effective strength training so I hold onto it. While they don't ban stupid, there are no kids allowed. As a matter of fact, nobody under the age of 16. Love it!
    3117 days ago
  • CGARR442
    None of these sound prudish to me! The children running amok around the gym would be the biggest annoyance of all to me. I can pretty much ignore the woman and man with a roll of the eyes and a chuckle but I can't believe they that happen with the children. They should have someone in the area keeping an eye on things not just manning the front desk so these annoyances don't happen. Especially in this day and age of sue happy people. Let one of these children get hurt and then see what happens.
    I hope for your sake you can ignore these problems and continue your workout.

    3118 days ago
    Our YMCA has very specific rules about both kids and cel phones. The kids in the gym thing should be a no-brainer. Some five year old gets hurt climbing on exercise gear, the gym is going to get sued big time. If the gym doesn't enforce rules against it, they are liable.

    The girl talking? Well... I think that happens everywhere. It's stupid and rude, and most gyms have rules about talking on the phone while on equipment. It's distracting to those people actually trying to get in a workout.

    The cel phone in the locker room thing is what I see as the biggest problem tho. Almost every cel phone has a camera attached to it. It is inappropriate for ANY cel phone to be in use in a locker room. You don't know if some dude is talking on the phone while he's shooting a movie of guys in a locker room. You ready for images of you in your underwear popping up on the internet? (wow, I sound like an old man!)

    Sounds like your gym has a real lack of member support going on. You are a customer, and should complain about each and every thing you mentioned.
    3118 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/31/2012 2:54:45 PM
    That is why I do not like going to gym's, or maybe I never found the right one.I saw a girl once walking very slow on a treadmill chatting on her cell, and she had a towel around her neck. For what! She could never break a sweat at that pace! My worst peeve is people who do not wipe down the equipment!! UGH! So I am happy working out at home!
    3118 days ago
    We have a rule in our gym-- Absolutely NO Cell phone use in the lockerrooms! It's fabulous.

    Kids that run wild due to bad parenting suck in general-- be it at a restaurant, a movie theater, or a gym.
    3118 days ago
    Nope, not a prude in the least. Patient, yes emoticon

    Kids in the gym would be not only dangerous but as you and others have said, highly annoying. The management really should address the issue if for no other reason that to avoid ending up with a lawsuit on their hands!

    The people on their cell phones.. well, I don't understand anyone being SO important or any situation being SO dire that a call must be made Right.That.Instant!!!!1111one no matter if they're at the gym, driving their car, walking down the street, shopping in a grocery store or.. well, you get my point.

    Maybe I'm the prude? Hmm..
    3118 days ago
  • LPETRO119
    I don't think you're being a prude. The kids in the gym just screwing around is dangerous for the kids and the other members of the gym. I used to bring my youngest with me when I worked out (she would "train" me, cross of the exercises, on a clip board of course, as I did them and tell me how I could do one more rep!) - now two years later, she is my regular yoga buddy.

    See lots of the lady on the phone at my gym - not much to do about that one - I think it's kind of funny, but she's not really hurting anyone but herself by (possibly) not working to her potential!

    Towel guy on the phone is (unfortunately) not a new one - I guess I'd have to say at least he had a towel on?!
    3118 days ago
    #2 would be a dealbreaker for me. My gym only allows children in the "gym" area long enough to pass through and down into the daycare section. It's dangerous for them to be in the main gym area.

    The other two I'd chalk up to people being weird. LOL
    3118 days ago
    I used to go to the gym and there was this large family that came in and would allow their children to play on the equipment and those who actually paid for their memberships couldn't use them. I finally got fed up with it and went off on them and then when management decided not to do anything I quit going and demanded a refund.
    3118 days ago
    Thanks all for the comments and suggestions. I have talked to the desk person about the rowdy kids. They do rounds every hour or so and if they see them doing it, they will tell them to stop, but five minutes after they are back at it again. It isn't every kid or every day, but when it happens I cringe. All it will take is one hand pinched between weights or caught between a cable and a pulley. I can usually "zone out" from everything else happening around me, but I can't concentrate on my workout when the kids are horsing around. I really wish the gym would address the concern with the parents. The kids are just being kids and don't realize the dangers, but if they started kicking the parents out, maybe they would learn to supervise their children.

    The other annoyances are simply that - annoyances. I can get past them and typically just ignore them. They don't affect my workout. I'm sure that I do things that some find annoying. By no means am I perfect! Thanks again for the suggestions and comments.
    3118 days ago
  • RUSSELL_40
    My gym has a day care room. No kids allowed in gym.

    I worry more about the guy who is lifting 3 times what everyone else is, but still feels it is necessary to drop the weights. Our lat machine has 4 stations, and 2 are not working, because they drop the weights.

    Also I am bothered by the women that come in, and walk 5 minutes, then have a 15 minute conversation, then bike 5 minutes, another "important" conversation. It is amusing, and I am sure they count it towards their fitness. Same as the guy in the locker room, who takes 30 minutes to dress.

    I never get past 45 minutes at a time. I walk outside, so when I am there for weights, I get in/get out. My life isn't in the gym.

    It isn't being a prude. It's called people watching, and I love it. Some people like to be noticed, and it doesn't reflect poorly on you that it worked. Same as with the 115 lb woman in spandex with fake breasts popping out of her uniform. They wanted to get noticed, and it worked. It kind of makes the time go by in the gym.

    Have you tried talking to the gym about the kids though? That one could be serious
    3118 days ago
    The kids, that is dangerous. Is management of the gym not paying attention? Sadly, that is probably a reoccurring problem and I don't blame you for being perturbed by it. I certainly would. Find a babysitter please, if not, then exercise at home!

    The girl talking on her phone...yeah..not much to comment there. Some people like to pretend and it sounds much like she's pretending. Who talks on their cell phone while trying to work out? Unless it's a nice walk outdoors.

    The guy in the towel, maybe he thinks he's so hot that he shouldn't be wearing clothing at all times, hehe. Gym's bring interesting people into your lives huh?

    I don't think you're a prude. If you can, simply try to not allow yourself to pay attention. Although, I could see that being hard. I used to go to a gym and you tend to take your eyes to the most weird moments.
    3118 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6046191
    the kid thing drives me nuts! I'd leave my crazy house to go somewhere and work out and do something for me... and there was moms who brought their kids and let them run around all crazy all the while pretending they weren't their kids. and there's even a kids ROOM at this gym where they can color and play. I always found it amusing too that some people go to the gym to not really work out. like more to socialize or see who was looking at them. and then the guys who lift too heavy of weights that they can't get through one set, but then would dart off to do the same thing for another muscle group. maybe that is a technique i am not aware of? no, there are just some normal human responses, but everyone is different and i guess if it is a public place then you run the risk of people doing things different from our own selves. lol. at least you had some amuzing thoughts at the gym to help pass the time?
    3119 days ago
    WoW. Some of that sounds just plain dangerous! I would hate to think a kid might get hurt. That isn't an appropriate setting for the children with so much unbridled energy!
    3119 days ago
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