Friday, February 02, 2007

Gym Rats

Last week, I pondered an entire entry about the cast of characters I've observed in the gym over the past few months. I was gonna do multiple character sketches in one big entry. It seemed an overwhelming task, so I think I'll just keep it short and sweet and profile a new personality every few days or weeks.

My first installment is devoted to The Readers. You've probably seen 'em before at the gym. These are the people that work out and read. I don't think there's just one thing that drives The Readers to exercise and read simultaneously. I think different Readers take the risk for different reasons.

I imagine some fancy themselves way too important to devote a half hour+ to one non-intellectual activity. Too smart, too important, and too overloaded to focus on the exercise, they've gotta multi-task and fit in some catch-up reading during their time on the treadmill or stationary bike. There's simply NO EXTRA TIME in their day to devote to something silly like exercising the body separate from the mind. How could they? They're just THAT important.

I imagine others are simply too bored with their time on these mind-numbing exercise machines to NOT distract themselves with a little reading. They've got other options like iPods, TVs, or other folks in the gym to grab their attention, but I guess it's like they say, "You can take the worm out of the book, but you can't take the book out of the worm!" Wait, do they say that? Anyhow, I kinda can't blame these folks for requiring some distraction, as the machines at the gym, and particularly the way these folks use them, are about as thrilling as watching paint dry.

So you've got the type-A multi-taskers and the gym zombies...each reading for their own reasons.

Here's what gets me. How the f*ck are you getting much of a workout in if you're focused on a book or a magazine or the newspaper? I've noticed these readers are the same people who can spend an hour in the gym and walk away as dry as they were when they came in from the 30 degree winter weather. This is hard for me to stomach. My heart rate hovers in the 160+ range for upwards of thirty minutes for every hour I spend on the trainer and I probably sweat about 4 litres of liquid each time I visit the gym. I'm always dumbfounded by these people who can finish a few chapters of the latest Tom Clancy novel whilst "working out" and don't sweat a drop after 45 minutes on the stationary bike.

Anyhow....this rant is barely coming together. Point being, what the hell are you doing reading in the gym? Either commit to getting a workout in or stay at home in your bed or on your couch curled up with your novel or whatever.

Last week, I saw some dummy waltz in on a Tuesday with the entire Sunday Post. I watched her navigate onto the elliptical (otherwise known as the epilyptical) machine with the every section of the paper...including the plastic-wrapped coupons and comics section. I couldn't believe my eyes. Was this idiot really gonna try to make it through the Sunday paper all the while grinding out the miles on the epilyptical? I watched her nearly bite it three or four times. She was never discouraged and never appeared to think twice about her arrangement. I ran through the exchange she might have with the EMTs. "I dunno what happened. There I was, reading the engagements and weddings in the Style section when, BLAM, I rolled a cankle!" If only.

In closing, pick an activity and stick with it you morons!!

Next time...coke head freaks.

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