Lessons from the gym

This guy is at my gym! Source — Amazon

Today was gym day. You can tell by sweaty armpits and the huge mocha latte sitting on my desk. I do gym before coffee so I’m not Miss Social there. Frankly, I’m not Miss Social anywhere except at a pet rescue. Too peoply!

The only person I routinely talk to hasn’t been there in months. At first I missed her because it broke up the monotony. I don’t go there for chatter but a quick 3 to 4 minute chat relieves the boredom that is exercise.

There are others that I give a generous “wassup” to and some get a slight wave (Queen Elizabeth style with curved hand). Nothing over the top. I don’t want to encourage anyone.

All this non-communication gives me time to ruminate. I go to what is considered a body building gym but I go at 8 a.m. Most of the folks are retired with floppy abs and thinning hair with a small sprinkling of young’uns.

There are a few that I thought were scary at first. They are huge with bulging muscles and a scowl (keep in mind I’m a short, thin person so I scare easily). They could snap my neck with two fingers (not that they would). But it’s a lot less about the body and more about the scowl. There must an unwritten rule that weight lifters cannot smile. Even when they are entering the building, they are in character. Gruff, eyebrows furled, just mean looking.

It took a while (until I built up the courage or an opportunity presented itself) to test it. I found most to be pleasant and polite (I remind them of their grandmother!). But as soon as the smile is finished they go back to their scowl. (Do men have resting bitch face?)

It’s the old “don’t judge a book by its cover” theme. This old person has to relearn this simple truth over and over again.

By the way, the crazy lady that said “all white women look alike” is very nice. I finally met the person that she thought was me and I can’t fault her. The woman is the same size, same coloring and similar hair style. The fact that I am much more gorgeous doesn’t negate the similarities.

I want to say that she’s not so crazy but she is. In a good way. I don’t see her much (which is good because she’s way too chatty for me before coffee) but she’s always worth a giggle when I do see her. She does incredibly interesting things – a month long African safari this summer and last winter she spent in Southeast Asia. Certainly makes me seem dull. Oh wait! I am dull!

Again, I have to stop judging from what I can see or what little I know.

What’s really scary are the comb overs on the old retired guys. Seriously?

56 thoughts on “Lessons from the gym

  1. I haven’t been in a gym in years. Mostly because of how crabby everyone was. Which I get – exercise makes me crabby too. I have been thinking about it again. Exercise definitely needs to happen. But I don’t know. Maybe I can just do an exercise DVD at home? Also, guys definitely get RBF. Definitely!

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  2. I did the Elaine Powers back in the day with two friends, but it’s been years since I’ve been to a gym – not any around me. The walkers are dropping like flies at the Park. This is because they are at the mall or on their treadmills in the basement. We’re down to six “regulars” and that’s it. Wait ’til the snow flies. We don’t talk too much as our lips are blue these days.

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      • Kind of sad isn’t it? We have one guy whose nickname is “Coach” … he was a high school football coach and had a heart attack four years ago and never went back to work, walks four miles a day at the Park. (His first two miles, he picks up trash while he walks.) I ran into him a few times this Summer – clearly he could not speak clearly and I assumed he had dental work – someone told me Mike had a stroke, then another one, the second one so bad he is not walking anymore. He was a fixture, rain or shine, snow or not – he wore double scarves over his mouth as he was not supposed to breath in cold air. Gave me an uneasy feeling hearing that.

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        • Aging is sad. Premature aging is really sad. I’m one of the younger ones who walks. Some walk with canes but they walk. My walking partner is in her mid-80s but she’s very healthy and walks at a brisk clip which is good with me. There is something nice about having people you know there. Makes it feel like home.

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          • Yes, it is. I knew something was wrong with Mike earlier this Summer – he not only slurred his words, but looked very gaunt. And I asked one of the other walkers if he was doing okay and they said he had dental work. I knew it was more, then he had a second and more severe stroke. My friend Ann Marie is a bundle of energy – she will soon be 77 – she volunteers all over the place and like a whirling dervish. he also walks at a brisk clip, but she is not even 5 feet tall to my 5’9″ so we have to moderate our pace when walking together.

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  3. Yes on the comb overs. My G-d, the solution is so easy: just comb it back! I’ve never understand the comb over.

    At our gym the male/female weight lifters is always fairly even, which I think is a first for any gym I’ve ever used. But as in every gym in existence, they all have that hardened facial expression. It must be a rule. I do my quick routine with the free weights and get the hell out of there. – Marty

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    • I use the equipment rather than the weights but I also get the hell out as fast as I can. We have maybe 2 or 3 women that lift and are very muscular. Maybe slightly more men but the rest are all retirees with sagging bodies.

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    • Sometimes there are Starbucks stories but not as often. I don’t stay there. I also order ahead so I don’t have to wait. That means less people watching. Today is the first day of their holiday drinks. It was pure nuts in there. Fortunately they know me and gave me my coffee ahead of a lot of others. It’s like church. I’m a regular, not a person who only goes at Easter and Christmas! I get to go directly to heaven. 🙂

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  4. You’re very committed to the gym routine, despite the potential for stressful encounters. I really admire that! I think perhaps the reason I originally chose yoga practice is there is no potential for talking. LOL! I never thought about it before, but I’m sure that was part of the appeal. 🙂

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    • I considered yoga (and still do) but to do it on a regular basis is very expensive here as is Pilates. I also tried Zumba. Almost died. They had to call for help. I’d really like to join a dance group that isn’t for kids. It would be good for balance. Until I find something better (and more fun) I’ll stay where I am.

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    • Best to do what the doc says although you can work with equipment that doesn’t involve foot work (except for walking to and fro and of course again when you give yourself a treat afterward! 🙂 )

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  5. I haven’t been to a gym in years and when I went no one scowled, most people just attempted to look self-important, as if jostling themselves around on machines was part of their very important job. No one spoke to me, I assume, because I didn’t look important enough to bother with! Kind of liked that, truth be told.

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    • At first I thought it was weird too but people are there to do their routine. Most everyone keeps to themselves. I don’t take it personally. Like you I kind of like it. My last gym was uber friendly and I could get hung up with chatters and not get my routine done right.

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  6. This was funny. The Crazy Lady has turned out to be kinda charming in a crazy kinda way. I definitely can’t do a gym… too peoply. I love to use peoply. I’d like to get a treadmill and stick it here in the office but I am afraid the peeps under us would find that a bit irritating. I wonder if the 10 inch pour of concrete for our floor would silence me strolling on the dang thing?

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    • Are you on the second floor? Oh my! I don’t like friendly at a gym. At least not so friendly that I don’t get my stuff done. Getting me there is tough enough but wasting time is unthinkable. How could I possibly justify my mocha latte? (No worries, I would think of a way!) 🙂

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      • Yes, second floor. I like it up here where I can look out and see all the birds BUT it is going to go someday because steps aren’t going to work forever. We weren’t worried about the steps when we bought because this wasn’t suppose to be year round. Still checking out one level homes in Missouri while the weather dude here keeps telling us it’s going to cool off… HA! Well, it is cooler… it’s not 93 anymore… ah! Kate, there are bunches of reasons to justify your mocha latte!

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  7. Our health insurance includes free gym – there are three “approved” ones here in our little town. One appears to be more of a fashion showroom than a place to exercise (they don’t sweat – they get dewy), the other has mostly body building grunters, and the third is – well more our style but still kind of sad in its’ own way. SO, we are going to get a treadmill for home and get on a schedule to do our own thing REGULARLY here. We will probably giggle a lot more at home than we would at one of the gyms – and at our age (in our 70s) we need all the giggling we can get!!!!

    Hugs, Pam

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    • Good for you. We have a treadmill at home and I haven’t been on it in years. I truly hate exercise and doing it in my basement is the ultimate of boredom. The act of going out to a place commits me to it so it works for me and there is the variety of equipment. I was apprehensive at first but I got used to the place. Hope you get giggles on the treadmill.

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  8. This post is so funny, Kate! Thank you for putting a much-needed smile on my face. I’m sorry Crazy Lady can’t tell you and the other apart – she must be blinded by your beauty! I’m all for the queenly wave myself – the one that says I acknowledge you are in my presence but don’t come any closer. 🙂
    I don’t currently attend a gym but have done so in the past. I may join one again once I am retired and can attend when attendance is more sparse! Hmmm…you’ve got me considering the possibilities now. At the very least for the blog fodder…HAH!

    Deb

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