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Rage Against the Machines

The gym is a sacred place to me. Yeah, working out is good for me yada, yada, yada. But the real reason I work out is to have an hour to myself to work off the stress of my day and my get my aggression out.

I used to be hardcore about it—I’d work out about 4 to 5 nights a week. I even had a personal trainer a couple of nights a week. It made me feel happy and healthy. I’d walk into the gym, keep my head down, mind my own business, wear my iPod, shove my headphones into my ears, blast Motley Crue, Metallica and Jay-Z, and really move some heavy metal. It was better than therapy.

So there is nothing that pisses me off more than people who walk up to me and try to hold a conversation when I’m clearly trying to tune out the world. A couple of years ago I forgot my headphones and it was like working out without a my invisibility shield. The second I walked in, this dude made a beeline for me from the other side of the gym to chat me up. His opening line was “You usually have your headphones in, so I never get to talk to you.” I tried to sort of brush him off politely, but he didn’t get the hint, so after about 10 minutes of this, I told him that the reason I wore my headphones was so guys like him wouldn’t approach me in the gym. Rude? Probably, but if I wanted to get hit on, I would’ve gone to a bar. (Which I also told him.)

Flash-forward to tonight. I was on the elliptical machine when all of a sudden my former trainer walked over and started chatting me up. Rather, he was doing the hard sell. I had to pull my headphones out, turn my body sideways on the elliptical and turn to listen to him. At one point I stumbled because of my contortions, and he didn’t miss a beat. I kept the volume loud on my headphones so he could tell I wanted to get back to my workout but he was totally Chatty Kathy, telling me about all the special deals he has going right now and that he already talked to Bill who said we’d sign up. I told him I needed to talk to Bill and that I’d get back to him. But he just kept at it.

After a few minutes, I got kind of pissed. I was trying to be polite because I’ve known him for years. But he of all people knows better. We used to talk about how annoying it was when people would interrupt your workout but there he was just talking, talking, talking, totally interrupting my workout. He finally walked away for a minute to talk to someone else, and I moved to another piece of equipment. Next thing I know, he was right there again, talking loudly to be heard over the headphones that I had shoved back in my head.

The really obnoxious part of the whole conversation was when he said I needed to sign up with him so I could start getting in some good workouts.

Really? I thought I was doing okay until he walked up.

I got so irritated that I ended up cutting my workout short and leaving.

So now I’m cranky—and clearly haven’t worked out all of my aggressions.

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3 Responses

  1. Next time, tell Mr. Trainer if he doesn’t leave you alone during your workouts, you definitely won’t be training with him. Also, Steve Mazz used to call me “a lifting bitch” for doing exactly what you do. I say, All Hail the Lifting Bitches!

  2. Perhaps you could get a t-shirt that says, in effect, piss off!

    And what Carey said.

  3. That is the most annoying thing – ranks right up there with people trying to talk to you when you are reading. I have been blessed with a face that makes me look like an uber-bitch (even though i am all sweetness and candy) so I rarely have this problem. Makes it hard to meet new friends, but I never get pestered on the elliptical!

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