Gym Rats, part 2

I like to people watch. Whether I’m shopping, driving, waiting for a movie to start or walking around my neighborhood, I love to observe people and make up stories about them in my head.

The gym is no exception.

I posted a few months ago about the various people and personality types I’ve encountered at the gym. I’ve now been going regularly for 6 months and thought it would be fun to provide an update.

In my original post, I defined some categories that I thought the majority of gym-goers could be grouped in to. They still hold true, although I’ve learned more about some of the specific folks over the months.

Muscle heads. This is the group of (mostly) men whose sole purpose at the gym is to get big. I originally cited Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as examples of this type. They are still there at the gym every morning, doing their exact same routine, with no variation. In my mind they are brothers who work for their father’s construction company, which probably has a name like “Polochek and Sons”.

A new addition to this group is Mr. Clean.

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As the name would suggest, he’s a big dude – tall and built – with a shaved head. I was originally intimidated by him but then one day he smiled and held a door open for me so I saw a crack in the exterior. And then I started noticing his OCD. He sanitizes his hands after every machine he goes to. Now, I’ll give you that the gym is teeming with germs. But to sanitize every minute or so is a bit of overkill. My guess is that he’s a fire fighter. Not sure why, he just seems like the type. And though I’ve never heard him talk, I imagine him having a voice that is higher pitched than you’d expect for his size.

Geriatrics. The old people. The elders who walk at level 2.0 on the treadmill or spend their time sitting in the hot tub.

The Godfather is still there holding court. I noticed him watching me one day while he was on the bike and I was using a nearby weight machine. I think if I had made eye contact he would have said something to me. He seemed to be waiting for the right moment. I probably owe him back payments for my 6 months of time there.

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Aerobics-aholics. These are the folks who only join the gym for the classes. Ironically enough, that’s the reason I joined in the first place. But I’ve ended up doing it on my own. Haven’t felt like going to a class yet, other than spinning.

In my first post, I mentioned “The Jans”. I’ve since met the Jans and know their real names (which I won’t reveal here, for the sake of their anonymity). I also know people who know the Jans. Small world, eh? They are both very nice ladies and I’ll be the first to admit they work way harder than I do. Tall Jan was sweating up a storm on the elliptical today (there are no classes on Monday mornings) and I was like, damn, I need to kick it up a notch!

Iron (Wo)men. These people live for the next race/event. They have a closet full of t-shirts and medals to prove it too!

An interesting update here. The Marathoners that I mentioned back in January seem to have broken up. He still comes but she does not. In my mind, I imagine that he cheated on her with someone else from the gym (he’s always flirting with the ladies) and so she broke it off and now goes to another location. To further back up my theory, I saw this Marathoner Man running with another chick this morning. Aha!

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Routine Warriors. They’re in and out, doing the same thing every single day. The Scowler is still there though surprisingly enough, she’s started mixing it up in the last week or so. I like to think that she’s a teacher and since school’s out, has decided to add some variety. She even brought her daughter a couple times and…wait for it…I actually saw her crack a smile!

It kind of freaked me out.

There’s another routine warrior guy who I like to call The All American. He’s your typical “dumb jock” looking dude. I’d bet money that we was an all-star High School quarterback. He has that vibe about him.

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(oh come on, I had to include the top 2 pretty but perhaps one yard short of a touchdown jocks in the NFL)

He does weights every day and then adds cardio on Tuesday and Wednesdays. He always wears a hat too, so it’s hard to get a good look at his face. He seemed to be a handsome dude and is most likely married to a cheerleader. Definitely fit, and with hair like Jon Bon Jovi (his current ‘do, not the 80’s mane). Then one day he came in sans hat and with a haircut! Suddenly I could see his face and was disappointed. I caught myself hoping he would start wearing the hat again. He wasn’t ugly by any means but the hat sure helped.

There are a couple of new characters too.

One of them is Kung Fu Guy. When I first saw this guy I internally rolled my eyes and thought “oh Lord.” This is a dude who truly does his own thing. He walks around the gym doing punching moves to the beat of his music and every once in a while he’ll throw in a kick or a shuffle. He’s the exact OPPOSITE of the routine warriors. Every day he does something different. I’ve seen him use the machines, run sprints in the gym, roll massive tires around, do calisthenics with basketballs, jump up on benches, and more. Always while rocking to his iPod and intermixing his Kung Fu moves. I initially thought he was just plain weird. Then I realized he was the same guy who works at the front desk who is really nice to me! I didn’t recognize him because when he’s working, he wears glasses.

You know how Superman is totally unrecognizable as Clark Kent simply because of the glasses? I always thought this was pretty ludicrous. I mean really, like glasses make that big of a difference.

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I guess they do! It literally took me 3 months to figure out that front desk guy and Kung Fu guy were one in the same. Now I have a healthy respect for him. Kudos to him for doing his own thing and not giving a damn about what anyone else thinks!

Maybe he fights crime too which would be super cool.

The other new character is Flirty Girl. This gal does her workout solely according to which hot guy she wants to talk to or flirt with. If she sees a promising dude on the elliptical, she goes over there. If there is a cluster of hotness using the weights, she’ll move toward them. She’s cute and fit so they always flirt back. She’s never given me the time of day – not even a smile – since, you know, I have breasts and so would be of no use to her. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen her chatting it up with any other women either. It’s always men.

As for me, I am probably still a combo of a Routine Warrior and Iron Woman. If I’m not training for a specific event, like the Warrior Dash, then I have a fairly set formula that I follow. Cardio every day + arms on Mondays, legs on Tuesdays, full body on Thursdays. I haven’t really taken the time to get to know anyone at my gym. I usually have my iPod strapped to my arm and that tends to signal to people to leave me be. Which is fine. I’m not there for the social aspect, I’m there to sweat.

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And to people watch.

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