Lighter Side: We All Do It

bd9866fc72511f33_people-watch.xxlargeI just lovelovelove people watching at the gym. There’s a certain voyeuristic satisfaction in it at worst, and at best it can be highly motivating. Don’t misunderstand, I’m there to work, and work damn hard I might add. But it’s really fun to throw in a little human observation at the same time. Go on, you know we all do it!

So straight up I should talk about the Smelly Guy, and as I’m sure you’ve all noticed he comes in two different varieties; smelly from BO or smelly from too much cologne. Occasionally you get the Smelly Guy who is a combination of both. Does he really think that the cologne is going to cover the fact that his gym clothes have been at the bottom of the bag all week? Pulling the shirt and socks out from under the shoes and flapping them out is not sufficient Mister. Washing machine EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. No exceptions.

Second type I always notice are the Fakers. The only reason I ever notice them is because for some stars being misaligned reason we are working with the same equipment. You’ll know them as Fakers because they are working out more delicately than the 95-year-old who’s there with the physiotherapist from downstairs. You’ll recognize them right away as they can frequently be found checking their phones in the middle of a set. PEOPLE ARE WAITING! Get a move on!

Now I should take a moment to point out that the Fakers might in fact be the Social Butterfly simply waiting for their friend to arrive so that they can stand around, or worse, sit around on equipment catching up. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it may be why they are checking their phone in the first place… to see when their friend is arriving for their morning gab session. Which, by the way, I’m pretty sure USED to happen at Starbucks until the shiny new gym opened right next door.

Then you have the Oglers. staringThey have a tendency to offend most women. I personally am not, but I will say that they’re hard not to notice. I figure I’m there working my bod hard and they may just be appreciating my efforts. Tough to be offended by that right? Now, should the Ogler turn the dark and disastrous corner and become the guy who thinks he’s in a night club, well then I have a problem. Happily, I also have a solution. So far it has been highly effective.

Now, the Power Business Types never bug me unless they also happen to be Loud Talkers in which case take your damn Blackberry to the change room, or better yet, your Porsche Cayenne. No one needs to hear the details of the exceedingly important deal that you’re in the middle of putting together. Haven’t you ever noticed that even your assistant and everyone else in your office closes the door when you get on the phone? Your voice is clearly not designed for public places, unless it’s a stage… which the gym is not!

I have to say that my very favorite person is the one who although you see them every single day and smile (cuz you see them every single day) they still pretend that they’ve never seen you before. LIKE EVER! That actually becomes more a study in absurd human behaviour rather than simple people watching! They remind me a little of the trainer who has clearly given up on their careers and prescribe the exact same workout for every single client regardless of the their body type. Hard to tell which came first, their less than 50 percent success rate, or their apathy.

And finally there’s the person that reminds me enough of myself, warts and all, that I stop being such a self-righteous little bitch, increase the weights and get the hell back to Bitch3work.

For further examples of my self-righteous bitchiness, please head over to www.staciacarlton.com

Happy Lifting!

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12 comments for “Lighter Side: We All Do It

  1. January 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    These days I train in our home dungeon, in large part to avoid distractions but also to be able to train at any hour when it fits my schedule that day. But back when I was single I trained at a hard-core gym in Toronto, where I’d hit the weights for an hour or two before heading in to my ad agency for the day. Always very few people there that early, but one of the regulars was a beautiful woman in amazing shape. Like me, she trained heavy with a great focus and very little talk, but we naturally said good morning to each other and shared a few smiles during the workout if our eyes met. One day when we had both finished at the same time I invited her out that coming weekend. Her response was ‘I’ve been waiting for 6 months for you to ask me out, Doug – so of course you do now, when I’ve just accepted a position running a gym in Windsor – I’m moving on Saturday.’ Guess I had just been a bit too focused, eh Stacia? Maybe we need a followup article on the ‘Stay Away’ and ‘Come here’ signs in the gym… LOL

    • January 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      ahhh that sucks Doug!!! You did NOT have the gods of timing with you on that one 🙂 You are clearly a lovely gentleman regardless. Thanks for taking the time to share your story:) “Stay Away/Come Here” article is a GREAT idea!

  2. January 28, 2013 at 3:56 am

    I’m the guy that everyone knows because I am there like clockwork…but I don’t talk, I don’t like to be bothered….I like to focus, stay on track without disruption or delay. Yes, I’ll shake your hand, I’ll smile as we pass and say a quick hello but otherwise I am there for a task …I do observe, queitly and know who means business, who is faking or playing, who occupies space without any real participation…so I am very aware…quiet, keeping to myself, focused on the task but very, very aware!

  3. Brandon Buhler
    January 27, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    The beer belly hard heads. These guys walk around like they own the place. Yes I see you doing whole body curls with your entire body with double the weight I am doing and satisfied by that. But why are my arms bigger when I weight 100lbs less? Check them out, they’ll be pissed off around the benchpress.

    Make Up girls. Seriously you spent an hour to get ready for that elliptical only to chilllax before you probably get a decent session in since you’ll be too sweaty?

    Are you watching me??? Every gym has some. No we are not watching you. We are waiting for you to finish or drop it on yourself. You are doing more weight than Arnold did in his prime and you’re doing it wrong.

    Younger kid dancing and flashing abs. This one doesn’t bother me and personally I get a kick out of people getting fired up about fitness. You earned it show it! But why don’t more girls do this?? lol

    Hey old guy that is still very fit but was once a upon a time super fit. I want to thank you. I see you every single day at the gym. I am younger still and very strong. You never act threatened or possessive. You always smile or nod. I see you occasionally looking over and I know I need to focus on the reps. You have mastered gym courtesy. Yesterday when I was on the leg press dieing after all my other leg work you walked by and simply said, “Are you going to move that thing?” When I said “Yes sir” you simply smiled and said, “Then move it.” I needed that. I am paying for it today but thank you.

    • January 27, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      What a wonderful addition to the story Brandon! Excellent examples of some of the other characters at the gym! I agree about the “old guy”… they’re a super source of not only knowledge but also inspiration… Wanna be that guy (ok girl, but you take my point!) Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  4. January 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I’m in a different category as far as gym goers is concerned, and I bet others can relate – I’m a Split Personality type. Sometimes I’m talkative and in an outgoing mood, depending on endorphins, caffeine, and life stress in general, and other times I’m really quiet, withdrawn, and all business. Maybe this article needs a part 2…

    • January 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

      hmmmm! good idea! I’ll get the creative cells churning away on that idea! I think you’re right Matt… I can definitely be a bit of a split personality at the gym sometimes too! And it usually has a LOT to do with caffeine:)

      • January 27, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        I’d have to agree Matt. Sometimes I’m in a joking mood where I don’t mind playing around and sometimes I’m there to kill it and I don’t want to be messed with. Either way though, you better believe I’m going home having gotten a good workout in. 🙂

  5. January 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I like this article, Stacia,
    I added weight training about 6 months ago and finally started getting up the nerve to do weight training without my trainer a couple days a week. As someone still new to weight training, I’m as yet mostly too self conscious to notice other people except when they’re making it obvious.
    But when I paired your article with the people I’ve met in the weight training area, the stereotypes DO line up. So far, my own observations had been limited to the guys who treat me as an equal (today was a new first in that, as one guy offered to let me jump in on the leg press with him and alternate) and the guys who patronize.
    I didn’t think I would have to worry to much about oglers because I’m not hot, but today was the first time I noticed a stream of younger guys “peeking” in at me in the free weights room while I was bridged on an exercise ball doing presses, so that’s the first time that struck home also. I still haven’t decided if I did or didn’t like the attention.
    Just wanted to say thanks for helping me look outside my self-consciousness and start watching other people more. 🙂

    • January 27, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Bah. “too” not “to” Need an edit feature. :}-)

      • January 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm

        That’s a great suggestion, the edit feature. I’ll look into it!

    • January 27, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      Thanks for your comments! Of course it was all meant in good fun… (well maybe a little bit more honest than necessarily kind:) I think it’s great that you’re getting out to the gym… of course anything new can always seem a little intimidating, but I’m sure you’ll find most of the “serious” gym goers will always be willing to help. I hope that you’ll continue reading “Lighter Side” and find inspiration from my experiences:) I try to show the fun, and maybe even funny side of gym time.

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