Thursday, April 10, 2008


When I was child I had a staring problem. Whenver we were in a public place, I'd watch the people around me, I wasn't really concerned with their particular conversations, I just liked to observe. My mother would always chide me to "quit staring" or ask me if I had a sinus problem, inferring my noseyness.

In college my roommate and I liked to sit at this particular spot on campus and "people watch."

I still like to observe people, and the gym is a fantastic place to observe human behaviors and rituals. If you are a regular gym goer than you get used to the people who are also "regulars" at your same time. There is the woman who wears a pony tail on top of her head and goes a million miles an hour on the elliptical, and the old guy who pedals REALLY slowly on the stat bike while reading the sports section. There are the two girls who flirt with all of the guys lifting, and the woman who runs up an incline on the treadmill at a pace I can't believe.

And then there are people who do really odd/interesting things. The "cardio floor" at my gym, over looks the main weights area (there is also a smaller women's only weights area). I was on the treadmill, and watching this woman who was picking out some free weights. It's always interesting to watch people use the free weights. So this woman picked some weights, and was going to do step ups on to a box. On her first step up, as she was stepping down, she fell. We've all done something like that at the gym right? So she tried again, and fell again, and fell three more times before she got a smaller box.

Monday I noticed two girls who hadn't been to the gym before (At least at 6am) working out on the treadmills. They looked pretty young, probably in highschool. One of them had pants that were just a little too low and showed her butt crack. Today, the other one had on really short white shorts that showed her butt cheeks. Now, as far as workout gear goes, I'm pretty non judgemental, wear what you want to the gym, but be appropriate. Short spandex is different than shorts that are designed as women's sleeping boxers. Anyway....I just wanted to throw that's not really the point.

The point is...when do you say something to others at the gym? People at my gym are friendly, but most people are focused on their workout. It's not really a "chatty" gym, people are there to sweat. But, when is it common courtesy to let someone know that their butt crack is showing...
Or what about the woman who NEVER washes her hands and then and uses equipment?

And what do people think of me?


Sarah said...

haha i LOVE people watching at the gym! I have pretty much the same types as you, but there are some other great ones too. There's one girl who uses the elliptical without shoes---just socks. Then over the past few weeks I've seen the same man working out in regular street clothes. Like jeans, collared shirt, belt....Maybe one day I could understand, like if he forgot his gym stuff but was still committed to exercise, but its been WEEKS! Come on, if youre going to invest in a gym, you might as well buy some gym clothes! Oh, and today I got into an argument with the crazy elliptical girl who had been working out for over an hour when all the other machines were taken. She clearly was not abiding with the "30 minutes during peak hours rule" and I almost had to wrestle her down to get her machine...

Allison said...

I can't believe someone doesn't wear shoes! I don't think that has ever crossed my mind as something to do at the gym...unless it's pilates class or something!

Karen said...

I only talk to someone at the gym if it's someone I know. That said, a nice older gentleman started talking to me the other day. Turns out his wife was my 6th grade teacher!

Can't even begin to imagine the butt cracks and cheeks!

Lynn-e said...

I just realized that you live in the Treasure Valley...and I've been reading your blog for over a month. Observant is not a word used to describe me.

Seemed like a good time to delurk!

ANYWAY! I love people watching at the gym - and have wondered at a woman who shows up around 6:30am, all ready for work (hair done, make up done) - changes into work out clothes and proceeds to work out. And then changes back into her regular clothes & leaves. Does this mean she doesn't shower before going to work after a work out? Maybe she doesn't sweat? It just stumps me.

Allison said...

Nice to know there is someone else out there from the area!
Thanks for de-lurking.

Anonymous said...

I found you from spark and love your observations. Keep up the good work, I'm bookmarking you!