Wednesday, January 28, 2009

People watching at the Y

So, the first 10 minutes or so of my morning workout is sheer pain. My music isn't quite enough to distract me, so I've been intently watching the other people in the gym. I've found they mostly fall into 5 categories.

1. The Body Builders. These are the guys that are uber muscular on top, but have tiny little girly waists. They look like they might topple over at any minute. The faces they make while they lift weights amuse me immensely--way funnier than putting-on-mascara-face.

2. The Little Old Men. These guys are so cute. They come in every morning in their buttoned up oxford shirts and Dickies to work out. Usually they just walk laps, but occasionally one will hop on a stationary bike. Then they spend the rest of the morning reading the paper at the juice bar, talking smack about the obviously gay personal trainers (Not my Gay Chad, of course).

3. The Over Do-ers. These are the people who are going a hundred miles an hour on the elliptical machines, or are going so fast on the stair stepper that you fear for their safety. They are always drenched in sweat and gasping for air. They're also usually hanging on to the hand holds for dear life. When they finally stop, they stagger around, dazed, for a good two or three minutes. Often they immediately get on another machine.

4. The Pick Up Artists. These are women who come strutting in at 8:30 every morning with full hair and make up done. They are all bleach blonde. They all wear very tight workout clothes. They only use the treadmill, just fast enough to appear in shape, but not enough to cause them to break a sweat. They flirt with all the non-gay male personal trainers. You know they're looking for a man.

5. The Work Out By Osmosis Club. This group baffles me--and there are a lot of them! These are people who come in, all decked out in work out gear, MP3 player and water in hand, ready to work out. But they go from machine to machine without ever actually exercising. They sit on the machine for a minute or two, doing nothing. Then they spray the machine off and move on to the next machine where they just sit. I don't get it.

Bonus group: The Chickens. These are the people who use their head rather than their legs on the elliptical. You can see their heads bobbing forward rather forcefully with each step. I can't watch these people.

*I'm sorry if you fall into any of these categories and are offended. But not really.


  1. Too funny! I love the categorizations. I'm going to look for this next time I head to the gym - oh wait, I never do that. I'll look for categories of people somewhere else instead.

  2. Dude, I'm glad these categories are universal, and not just the ones I came up with in my head. Again, great minds.

  3. That was funny and exactly why I don't go to the gym to work out.

  4. I'm kind of in the Work Out By Osmosis Club. I spend all this time getting ready to go to the gym -pack up the kids, drop them off kicking and screaming to the child care place, find a good song on my iPod, etc. Then when it's time to work out I do a very half-hearted, I-don't-wanna-be-here workout. Which is probably why I teach yoga now. Having all those people watching me is the only way I'll push myself.

  5. I hated it when I would forget my MP3 player, because then I would be forced to keep myself entertained. My favorite way was to watch the people around me. The Y offers all sorts of fun characters. It's really entertaining isn't it. The biggest group of people I remember, aside from the older people, were the young Mom's all obviously trying to lose their "baby fat" myself. Even if my baby is 4!

  6. Sarah--At least you do something. When I say they just sit there, they really just sit there.

  7. Brandi, once again you've hit the nail on the head. Hilarious. I always notice all those people too. Except over at the Y in Evans, there seem to be more creepy men checking out the ladies. They pretend they are lifting weights but they are totally scoping out any girl that comes in.

  8. You have again almost motivated me to start working out... almost. Keep trying lady. PLEASE keep trying. :)

  9. So, which category do you fall into?

    You are so funny! I think these categories apply anywhere.

  10. I can't bring myself to put Keaton in childcare yet, so a couple times a week I go to the fitness room in the community center at Patriot Park. No categories there. Just me and Keaton and all of his extra grandmas and grandpas. I get 25 minutes to ellipt in peace and then he starts complaining because he's bored/hungry/ready for a nap, so I spend the last 5 minutes trying to convince him he can make it just "5 more minutes!" "3.5 more minutes!" "another 90 seconds!" you get the drift.

  11. So what category am I in??? ;-)

    (aka Always scores very high on Army Physical Fitness tests because of an unforgivingly aerodynamicness)

  12. I worked at a gym for a few years, and you are right ON! We called them:

    "the wrinkles" (the old guys)
    "the tiny tinkles" (the steroid meatheads)
    "the bros" (the guys looking to pick up girls)
    "the hos" (guess what that was)

    Everyone else was just regular normal people. I LOVE that you have so many sub-categories. You'd be awesome working at a gym mocking people....I mean, folding towels. I never mocked. Just folded towels.

  13. love the categories, love the pix! Thanks for the smiles!


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