Feb 02 2012


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Hundreds Of Miles Of Going Nowhere

Happy Groundhog’s Day!


I’ve been waiting for the month of February to arrive ever since the New Year started.  This is an important month for me for one selfish reason.  The attendance at the fitness gym I belong to is reduced by 50% at the start of February.  Why?  Because it takes about a month for most people to quit their New Year’s “look better” resolution.  I shouldn’t be happy about people giving up or quitting a goal, but shamefully, I am a little.  If anyone of these “look better” people would have asked for my help in achieving their goal, I would have helped them.  I would have transformed myself into a relentless and caring fitness drill sergeant for them.


So why am I happy?  Go to the gym after the start of the New Year and you will immediately notice a change in the scenery.


First, you cannot find a parking spot.  When I was initially exposed to this New Year’s resolution fitness epidemic, my first thought was that my gym must be sponsoring some kind of charitable event.  Hence the extra cars in the gym parking lot.  Another thought, my gym was filming an episode of one of those super thin super fast reality TV shows.  The extra cars must be people coming out to offer support and encouragement for the reality TV stars.  I now know what is going on and I shake my head in frustration as I pull into the parking lot every January.


I go to the gym throughout the entire year.  Sure there are days when I’m just not “feeling” it, but I continue my quest to achieve a major work-out goal…for someone to tell me that I have a cute butt.


Secondly, there are dozens of treadmills at the gym, but for whatever reason, I prefer to use three specific machines.  Between these specific treadmills, I have run in place for hundreds of miles.  That’s right, hundreds of miles of going nowhere.  Hmm…hundreds of miles of going nowhere…sounds like a bad relationship that produces a great country song.


This short-lived cult of New Year’s Resolution-ers always manages to occupy every machine in the gym.  This leaves me to wait impatiently for my turn to run in place.  This is not good for the people in the gym because it ultimately results in me indulging in one of my favorite pastimes….people watching.  If people watching were an Olympic sport, I would be a sure win for a gold medal.


I have come up with many stereotypes for people at the gym, but for today, I will only be focusing on the people who use the treadmill.  Listed below are some of the stereotypes that I have created for treadmill-ers.


The Maestro: Their speeds are erratic.  You can tell how fast they are running just by watching how wildly they swing their arms.  I’m not sure if they’re moving their arms to burn more calories, or if they’re conducting the symphony this weekend, and need to practice.  I know one thing, if they had feathers and wings, they would take flight.


Skippers: They are a rare sighting.  I tried to imitate a skipper once.  I lost my balance and was nearly shot off of the treadmill so I immediately ended my meager attempt.  Skippers actually believe they are on the yellow brick road on their way to see The Great and Powerful Oz.  They do come around more often than Haley’s Comet, but just barely, so enjoy the show when you do see a Skipper.


Mountain Climbers: They set the incline on the treadmill to its highest setting and hold on to the hand rails with all their might.  I often wonder why the Mountain Climber doesn’t just take it up a notch and switch to a climbing wall.  Is that enough incline for you Mountain Climber?


Phone Junky: They are too cool to be on a treadmill to actually run or jog.  To prove their coolness, they talk on the phone.  In between calls they are texting.  I’ve seen a Phone Junky try to run fast and talk at the same time.  It lasted 27 seconds before she dropped her phone. Her phone landed on the treadmill belt, flew off the back, and hit a man in the leg walking behind the machine.


Pants On Fire: Hey, if your pants were on fire you would run really fast too.  There isn’t enough speed for this misplaced world class sprinter.  They usually come out of the gate with blazing speed, but unfortunately, they last about 1-1/2 miles at the most.  (Just in case I have any young readers, I will not expand upon my last statement and how it could humorously relate to adult male issues).  Further statements and comparisons would be considered NC-17 which would result in the loss of my blog’s Disney endorsement.


Book Reader: These individuals view the treadmill as a monotonous activity and are also secretly enrolled in a multitasking training class.  The problem with the Book Reader is that their slow pace rarely qualifies as a workout.  I think they would get a better workout if they just sat on a couch, read a book, and kicked their feet.  Their slow speed would barely give a snail a challenge.


Nothing Feels Right: It takes this individual 10 minutes to step onto the treadmill.  They feel the need to adjust their whole fitness wardrobe to ensure maximum comfort.  They often times will take off their shoes and put on their shoes several times to get the right fit.  Sometimes socks even come off and on during the shoes process.  While on the treadmill, they are constantly tugging at their shirt, shorts or pants, and their headphones.  It’s not uncommon for the Nothing Feels Right individual to pause their workout 3 – 4 times to step off of the machine to repeat some of the procedures that I already mentioned.


Dance Master: The only thing this individual is missing is a dance floor and flashing lights.  The other day I swear I saw a Dance Master line dancing on a treadmill.  They combine all of the movements of all the stereotypes that I have described in order to get their groove on.  Wildly swinging arms, incline, skipping, slowing down to catch breath, pants on fire spin moves, and during the cool down…calling someone to inform them that they have mastered a new dance move.

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As much as I am happy to see the attendance at the gym decline this month, I will miss people watching some of these treadmill-ers.  I hope they still have other resolutions left on their list to conquer this year.


Now…who wants to go to the gym with me and run on the treadmill in front of me?




I thought so.

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  1. Kim

    The next time I go to the gym, I will look for your car. If I see it. I WILL TAKE MY FAT THIGHS AND GO HOME! :)

  2. Dakota

    I was at the gym just the other day and watched a bunch of people do some of these things.. Then I realized I wasn’t even running. Any room on this list for another category?

  3. Julian

    my favorite is the dance master… they know all the moves! :D

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