Pretty simple Saturday around here for me. M was gone trail running with his buddies, so I met with a client this morning, had lunch with my son and future daughter-in-law, ran some errands, and did the laundry/housework type chores necessary.

I also went to the gym this morning, which is where I am mulling over my potential for terrible personhood. The silver lining in my less-nice ways? My hamstrings are absolutely SCREAMING from the sheer volume of Romanian deadlifts completed this morning.

What happened? What turned on my dark side? Funny story there ….

So J had reintroduced me to this Freemotion dual cable machine this week and suggested upon parting on Thursday that I try to practice the routine for several days in a row, which I took as the J way of telling me to do something without making it a request. So I did. Yesterday I got to the gym earlier than usual – M and his 3:30 a.m. alarm making falling back to sleep treacherous – and I used it and did pretty well, although it did feel as if it thoroughly kicked my ass. This morning I was at the gym shortly after opening, as I try to be most Saturdays, and was again able to snag it for my very own.

I am just starting the fourth set of my first series when this man walks up and by me as I am going through and counting reps in my head. I was just started the last exercise in that series when he walks up and asks me how much longer I will be using the machine. I glance at my watch and estimate 30 to 35 more minutes, to finish at least 4 sets of the remaining 2 series of exercises. He sort of harrumphs and says that he wishes they set time limits on these things. I smiled sympathetically and repeated that I’d be done in 30 to 35 minutes and he said okay, he’d come back.

Feeling pretty proud of myself for not just rolling over and relinquishing the machine to someone else, I continued with my series. But I felt out of my groove and went through another set – for 5 on the first series – after that.

Okay, so I begin the next series of exercises, which starts with a split squat. This same guy, though, walks behind me as I am about to set up that I pause to ensure he gets by before getting started. Then I get into position and start on my right leg, and he walks by again really close to where I am working, so close that I pause to ensure he does not trip over my extended leg or step on me somehow.

Passive-aggressive much bud?

This happens repeatedly throughout my first set of this series. I worry about elbowing him while doing rows or punching him in the stomach with hip rotations. And there is no good reason for him to be moving in so closely; there is plenty of floor space for him to give me wide berth. I know because other people have been moving to and fro behind and beside me for the last several days.

I finally get irritated enough to resolve to stay on and do 5 sets of everything because he’s being so annoying and distracting me from getting my stuff done. I do my best to ignore him, but it is pretty obvious that he’s loitering and not using the rest of the available equipment very intently.

By the time I got to the single leg Romanian deadlifts – the last exercise on this List – I don’t care if I kick him or not. But I am barely through 2 sets when the 30 minute mark passes and I see him checking his watch. I ignore him and just keep moving along. I think it’s actually 32 minutes when he asks me again if I am close to done, and I say I’m probably another 5 to 10 minutes. Big sigh, says he will be back then. I just keep working.

It is my habit to return attachments to wherever I found them, and in this case the rope was on the upstairs tower machine when I arrived. I finally finish 5 sets of my List (go me!), pick up my stuff, pick up the rope attachment and walk over to the tower machine to put it back. Honestly, there was no evil intent in my heart; I was simply doing what I do when I am at the gym. As I am walking up to the tower machine, another member is approaching it at the same time and asks me if I am about to us it. No, just returning the attachment, and he’s like great, I can use that and takes the rope from me … right as annoying member turns the corner and sees me handing it over.

It was not a deliberate thing on my part, merely a timing issue. Had he been hanging around as I finished and collected my stuff I would have asked him if he needed the rope, but he was nowhere in sight and I did not spare him another thought. I know he must be thinking I did it on purpose to further irritate him, and probably I mostly do not give a shit about him or his opinions, but I wonder if I was somehow inappropriate in my monopolizing the machine for an hour. Had he been a little more courteous I might have relinquished the machine sooner. Maybe. I was on a pretty good roll there for a while, although every single one of my limbs feels at least a little sore right now.

Gym etiquette is still such a mystery to me.

In the annals of terrible personhood this is not going to tip me over the edge of send me on the fast track to Hell, but I feel a little bad about it. Since this is my first Saturday upstairs in at least a couple of months, I have no idea what typically goes on up there and maybe he and that Freemotion machine have a standing appointment on weekends. Had the situation been reversed, I would not have bothered even asking, but then again, I have a whole sheaf of Lists and options for the other cable machines. Maybe he needs to engage a trainer for a few sessions? But I don’t think J or any of the others train courtesy.

I know, I know – me and my first world problems.

But other than that little incident, it’s been a lovely Saturday.


5 thoughts on “Terrible personhood … maybe

  1. What an asshat! You both pay to use the gym so oh well if he has to wait and really you should have kicked him instead of moving 🙂 But I know you wouldn’t and I am just feeling evil tonight

    1. Exactly! I did get through my sets and my workout today, and boy am I feeling it. But oh well – so sorry you had to pout instead of exercising.

  2. The only person violating gym etiquette in this situation was him. He was just being a bully. Bright side – he didn’t try to correct your form! LOL!!! Had one of these guys today at the gym – Dane gave him a look and he went away thank goodness. And good for you for keeping at it – progress on many levels!

    1. This is true – no form correction offered! Telling my son and K about it at lunch yesterday, G just shook his head and said that man had no idea who he was dealing with on his passive-aggressive behaviors, something I do not tend to tolerate well. I saw him again in passing today when he walked by the cable machine I was using on his way out and glared at me. Oh well. I guess he does not share my view that life is too short to be so pissy.

  3. Hmmm … I’m not a big user of gym equipment apart from treadmills, ellipticals, and some weight machines. But I do think monopolizing a single machine for an hour is unfair to all others. Not everyone has all morning to spend waiting.The gym SHOULD have some kind of time limit policy. As well, it would not have killed you to mention to guy #2 that someone had been waiting for a while and should probably have “his” turn.

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