I love to work out. Not only does it make you more physically fit, it is also a great time to think things through, sort out your day (whether you work out first thing in the a.m. or last thing in the p.m.), plan what you want to say to so-and-so about such-and-such, etc. And when your iPod loses its charge like mine does (I have one of those little mini ones that's the size of a stick of gum), then you are really stuck and really have to go through a ton of stuff in your head. Today was one of those mornings and I started thinking about something that happened in the cardio room last week. Now it's winter so it's cold outside. But today is one of those funky weather mornings that we get here in the Washington, DC, area - it was 56 degrees at 5:00 a.m. The forecast is calling for a 70-degree day today with severe thunderstorms later. But this day last week was more normal - it was below freezing at 5:00 a.m. Bitterly, brutally cold (or as I frequently say, "cold as a b----!"). Often I stay in bed on really cold mornings or if there is any ice coming down out of the sky. Well, I had been working out for a while and was coming to the end of my workout so had worked up a pretty good sweat. All of a sudden I became aware of a cold blast of air permeating the room. Looking over in the direction of the cold air, I saw that the side door had been propped open, not a little crack but a rather big opening. Next to this open door was a woman I recognized as someone who works out there sporadically over the years. She will come to work out for a few weeks, then stop and not come again for a year. She's been doing this for years. Maybe she works out somewhere else during the time she's not at my Y. Plus, she's probably about my age but maybe a few years younger - so I'm guessing she's about 50-52 years of age. I thought to myself, "WTF, I don't remember her making an announcement about opening the door, like 'anyone object if I open the door?'" Then I noticed that the handful of men that had been in that room had made a bee-line for the exit. Not enough adipose tissue, I guess. All the women kept working away, and her neighbor even chatted happily with her in that freezing blast of air! What d'ya think? Maybe she needs to try soy milk - it really worked for me!! (Hot flashes, ya know?)
Unfortunately, it seems pretty common that people behave as though no one else exists when they are at the gym. Between grunting, moaning, letting a weight stack crash, wearing strong perfume, or no deodorant (the list could go on and on), the gym really does seem like a place where people put their egos on display. In fact, this behavior is not limited to the gym! I witness all sorts of wild behavior when I am running in Central Park. The one thing I have noticed most recently is spitting and burping. I understand that as you run, your saliva tends to accumulate (gross but true) and your insides get sort of shaken around. This is inevitably going to result in a need to spit or expel some of the air that seems to be building up inside. But please, don't spit directly into the path of someone behind you or coming toward you. And for the love of all things good, please STOP BURPING as though there is no one around to hear you and you're alone in your living room at home drinking beer and seeing how loud you can burp or fart just for the hell of it. It is extremely disgusting.
Lack of common courtesy comes in all forms, but as Mama Sue points out, one of the most frustrating times to have to deal with it is while working out. This should be a time to relax, clear your mind, think about your day, etc. and not a time to have to tolerate other people's annoying or disgusting habits!