25 June 2012

GymWatch II: HellRaiser

And here I was, thinking that the smells were the worst of my problems...

Cast of Characters

Angry Old Man...

Imagine the hair is white.

Green Shirt Guy...

But no apple, no shirt logo, no sunglasses. Sub in gym shorts.
Annnnnd...probably not Brad Pitt.

Super Sweaty Woman:

Yeah...for real.


Converted industrial-space climbing gym's cardio area...elliptical trainer section, to be precise.

Early evening on a very hot, late Spring day. Little ventilation or natural air-flow.


Opens with Super Sweaty Woman (SSW) transitioning from StairMaster to Elliptical Trainer. After spending 20 minutes warming up on the SM with her heart rate hovering between 130 and 135, she is ready to tackle the meat of her workout over on the ET.

She climbs on and gets started. The plan: increase intensity every 10 minutes for a total of 40 minutes. The first 10 go very well...heart rate ranging from 140-145. In the middle of the second 10 minutes, she realizes that heart rate at 150 is demanding. And she is really, really hot.

Noticing a fan on the pillar 8 feet away, she begins to fantasize about the cool air blowing over her hard-working, sweaty body. Realizing that the fan is aimed at no one, she begins to strategize how to get it aimed at her...without stopping her workout. 

Enter Green Shirt Guy (GSG).

Perspiration-soaked and disoriented, GSG walks over and positions himself directly in front of the blowing fan...sucking in as much cooling goodness as decorum will allow. He appears helpful in addition to sweaty. SSW decides to give it a shot...

SSW (in a loud-enough-to-be-heard-over-the-fan-but-not-shouting voice):  Yo...Green Shirt Guy!

GSG (lifts dazed and sweaty face to see who is talking to him...once he realizes he is wearing a green shirt): Huh?

SSW (smiling...but it probably looks more like a grimace): Do you think you could angle that fan over toward me once you're done with it?

GSG (nods and manages a word): Sure...

Once he's feels sufficiently cooled, he angles the fan toward SSW and gives the look that inquires "how's that?" She gives him a double thumbs-up and a huge smile. He smiles back and starts to walk away...

Angry Old Man (exploding...and when did he show up on the immediately adjacent machine?): JESUS CHRIST! I JUST MOVED THAT FAN OFFA ME WHEN I GOT ON! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?

SSW (sincerely apologetic): Oh, wow...I'm sorry! I'm just so super hot. Maybe we can angle it so that it isn't on you at all and I get just a little sliver of air movement? I don't need it full on me.

As she speaks, GSG tries to politely adjust the fan in just such a way and then begins to leave.

AOM (pissed off beyond all rationality): Nevermind...nevermind...I'll MOVE. JESUS CHRIST! *mutter mutter mutter mutter*

SSW: No...for real...we can adjust it! You don't need to move! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to cause such a problem...I was just hot and still have 25 minutes with my heart rate over 150. Don't know if I can make it with out some fan relief!

AOM (very loud and palpably hostile still as he changes machines): NO. I can't believe this. I'm MOVING. I don't want THE FAN! You. Are. An. A**HOLE! This is BULLSH*T!

Upon which GSG turns abruptly on his heel, strides purposefully back to the fan on the pillar and gives it a sharp whack, sending the cool air blasting full on both AOM and SSW.

GSG (lecturingly, while pointing at AOM): You both have an equal right to have it or NOT have it. An equal right. She as just as much right to have it as you do to NOT have it. I'm not choosing sides.

AOM: Oh... F*CK YOU!

GSG (bending closer and getting quiet): No, man... f*ck you.

GSG spins around and exits stage right. Continues working out in a different part of the gym.

AOM, very flustered, collects his magazine, stumbles off his machine and follows. But leaves the premises.

Who knew such a simple request could raise such hell?

I was kind of shaken by the experience but did manage to continue my kick-ass workout. Finally, I'm learning how to prevent outside "upsets" from affecting my mental sharpness and resolve when it comes to my workouts. I'm not always successful at it, but this time I was :)

In other news, my hip was sharply hurting after one little mile last night. I kept thinking that it would chill out once it warmed up (sort of contradictory, isn't it?), but it didn't. I was sad. But smart. I came in after 1.7 miles.

I may not run in the SF First Half-Marathon on July 29th. Only time will tell...


  1. Wow, that's crazy. I've never seen it at the gym I used to work out...but then they had no tolerance policy for pple like that.

  2. Goodness -- AOM is crazy.

    Sorry your hip isn't cooperating -- that is so frustrating!

  3. Wow. That would upset me for sure. Good job not letting it get in your way.

  4. And then SSPR (super sneaky pavement runner) over on the treadmill looks sharply into the camera and says " I see dead people"

  5. seriously lol’d at that one. who the F says that. angry old men. glad GSG said something.

  6. OMG, I can't believe that seriously happened!!! I would have flipped out. Seriously, what is the matter with people?!?

  7. Good on GSG, and on you for not losing your cool. Or rather, getting your cool on without losing your cool. Next time you're there, put in a thank you to the GSG for being a good guy.

  8. Yikes, gym rage! What a jerk. It's amazing the tiny things that will set pepole off these days.

  9. well what did you expect with such an outrageous request? Do you really think you can just rearrange all the fans in the gym and not suffer the consequences? You clearly had it coming! haha.

    wow...gym rage...crazy people out there...

  10. My word, that sounds horrible!

    I've seen road rage, but not gym rage. That guy sounds like he needs to be medicated (or at least kept away from the general public).

    I'm sorry you were subjected to his inappropriate tirade.

  11. That's a little radical...I like the GSG's response to the AOM. Sorry to hear about your hip..you still on track for HTC? I took a shot to my knee on Sunday with a power auger while putting in new posts for the chicken run...that hurt, pushed my knee in a little...front to back doesn't hurt much but lateral movements cause me to wince.

  12. whoa, that's intense! old dude must have had a bad day?! bummer about your hip, hope it begins feeling better soon.

  13. Crazy stuff! It seems like everyone else always seems to see this kind of stuff happen, but I've never seen anything like this happen! Maybe that's a good thing, lol. Crazy old guy sounded completely nuts. Green Shirt guy sounded reasonable. Where was a gym employee during all of this? Isn't that their job to break up things like this?

  14. And I love GSG's final thought to the old man "no man, fuck you." - awesome.

  15. That sucks about the grumpy old man. When I encounter people like that I just think that it must suck to be that guy. I mean really, if every little thing that doesn't go his way causes that kind of an outburst, his life must really suck.

  16. Great job not letting this get to you! It's a great story to tell the grandchildren someday. Your gym reminds me of my library.

  17. Right? It's the adrenaline that'll get to you.

    We have such inate fight or flight.

    And do you think the hip is bursitis vs arthritis trauma??


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