Song: Word Up by MSTRKRFT (Warning: song awesomely contains very bad language.)
I’m thinking about changing gyms because a personal trainer talks to me too much.
Well, that’s not the only reason, but it’s a big one. I’m putting this shit behind a cut because it is long and totally ridiculous. Also, please keep in mind that I have PMS.
I’ve been working out for a long time. I’ve been at my current gym for almost five years, which is the longest I’ve ever stayed with one gym. That said, I usually switch gyms only after moving; my general practice with gyms is to find one right after moving, join it, and stay there until I move again. The one exception is when I switched from 24 Hour Fitness to my current gym, a move I made because the drive to 24 Hour kind of sucked after we moved to our house and I couldn’t stand the thought of living through another season of New Year’s resolvers there (sweet fancy Moses that shit was annoying).
So it’s not like changing gyms is something I do.
That’s not to say I’ve never had eyes for other gyms since being with my current one. I’ve always been a bit googly for the Denver Athletic Club, although there’s no way in hell I could ever afford it. A couple years ago, a new gym opened near my house and I considered checking it out but never did. I considered checking it out again when I was pregnant, but around the same time, my current gym started offering child care (that lasted just a couple months) and anyway, I figured that, because I like my gym, I didn’t need to check out the other one. I’m kind of a loyal, low-maintenance customer.
Lately, though, I’m kind of falling out of love with the current gym. There are issues with the building. The other day, people were doing work in there and it reeked of some kind of industrial adhesive, so much so that I actually felt dizzy from inhaling it. Some of the equipment doesn’t work as well as it should (you can’t always get sound on the tvs and one of the ellipticals is kind of wonky).
These things aren’t enough to make me think about switching. However, when you add one over-eager personal trainer to the mix, things suddenly and drastically change.
This one dude has always been a bit much. He always says hi and how are you and — don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate friendly people or anything — I’m just not really into that level of contact at the gym (unless I know you from outside the gym, in which case it’s okay). In my world, a person wearing headphones at the gym is saying, “Yo, don’t talk to me.” I don’t want to have to take my headphones off to tell you I’m fine and ask how you are. I just don’t. I go to the gym and wear my headphones and want to be left alone. I’m in the zone there, you know? That’s kind of my thing. (One time I ran into a guy from the gym at a bar and he referred to me as the “Ice Queen.” I like this.)
Still, having to take my headphones off to exchange brief pleasantries with over-eager personal trainer isn’t the end of the world and didn’t really bother me all that much. I’m even willing to overlook the fact that a couple months ago, he started talking to me while I was on an elliptical, commenting on the fact that I’ve been working out at this gym for a long time and telling me to let him know if I need anything. I figured he was just being nice, which, well, fine, even though I don’t really want to talk to anyone while I’m in the middle of an intense cardio workout.
Then a week or so ago, he emailed me saying that I’ve been working out at this gym for a long time (really?) and I never did my evaluation/training session when I joined the gym 900 years ago when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and would I like to set up a time to do so. Well no, I wouldn’t. I hate that shit, which is why I never did it in the first place. I’ve done those stupid evaluations at other gyms and I never get anything out of the experience and, in any event, I’m never in my life going to work with a personal trainer, because, as I said above, I like to be left alone at the gym and anyway, I’m poor and a personal trainer is just about the last thing on which I’m going to spend the few dollars I might be able to scrounge together when I’m not buying too-short dresses on the internet. So I didn’t respond. (Maybe the better course of action would’ve been responding to say that I’m not interested? I don’t know. I don’t like the idea that I’m obligated to respond to someone trying to offer me something I don’t want.)
I wasn’t sure he’d take my lack of response as a sign that I’m not interested, so I started dreading seeing this dude at the gym. The next few times I went, I didn’t see him, so that was great. That ended on Monday. First he said hi how are you blah blah and I had to take off my headphones to engage in the kind of inane small talk I’d hate even if I weren’t trying to do my thing in my little Ice-Queen zone at the gym, where I go to be left alone.
Then the bottom fell out of my little happy gym world. Surely I exaggerate, but this shit bothers the hell out of me. A few minutes later, he came up to me to correct my form while doing bicep curls. I can’t be too mad because he was right. I was being sloppy and should be holding my elbows still and okay great, thanks. But the thing is? Honestly? I’d rather be doing it wrong than feel the creepy feeling I felt after being told by someone I don’t want to be talking to in the first place that I’m doing it wrong. Plus the way he said it was pretty condescending. As usual, I came off as very thankful for the constructive feedback but silently and angrily bristled.
I continued to feel creeped out during the rest of my workout, wondering if over-eager personal trainer was watching my every move, waiting to pounce and tell me I’m doing something wrong. And listen, I’m totally willing to admit that this level of weirdoutedness is unreasonable and my entire reaction to the whole situation probably indicates that there is something seriously wrong with me. But I guess that’s just how I am.
A while later, over-eager personal trainer approached me again to ask if I received his email. I lied and said I didn’t. (Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had the cojones to say yeah I got it and I ignored the hell out of that shit?) Then he goes on to tell me about doing this evaluation and blah blah we assess and then we come up with a plan and blah blah and he’s really doing a hard sell and the thing is free and I hate confrontation and actually am a complete wuss when cornered on a piece of gym equipment so I just say yeah, I’m really super busy but okay, I’ll do this thing.
He asks about my fitness goals, which is kind of what I was afraid of when I got his original email. Fitness goals? Listen, dude. I have a baby, a full-time job, and a bad internet shit-talking habit. I don’t have time to think about fitness goals and, in any event, I work out five or six days a week and weigh less than I did before I got pregnant, which I think is a fine accomplishment. But you know, now that you mention it, homes, my fitness goal is being at the gym working out while not talking to you. Thanks for asking!
Before I leave the gym, he stops me to schedule a time. I agree to something next week and then my poor little heart fills with the kind of anticipatory dread usually saved for dental appointments. The cloud of dread follows me around like a surly crowd of water bugs. (What is with the water bugs lately? They are everywhere — in our backyard, in the laundry room, in the kitchen and stairwell at my work. I even showered with one the other day without even knowing it (my inability to see bugs in the shower is one of only two things I hate about wearing glasses, the other being wearing glasses in the rain). Then — get this — the other day one actually bit me. I didn’t even know water bugs could bite and why in the hell was there a water bug on me holy shit that is terrifying and now I will never sit outside at night because apparently water bugs rain from the sky and land on me. And now today there is one dead on my office floor and what in the hell kind of loser water bugs even live in Colorado in the first place?)
Anyway, I hate this whole situation. Let’s be honest. Either this dude is going to try to sell me personal training services or he’s taken pity on me and the fact that I’m doing it wrong and wants to give me the help I so desperately need and would be lost in a fitness wasteland without. I hate both of these options, but I hate even more the fact that this guy keeps talking to me at the gym when I don’t want people to talk to me at the gym.
So all this turmoil has turned my mind to thoughts of other gyms, like the one by my house that opened a couple years ago. In addition to being closer to my house, this gym is a little cheaper than my current gym. It seems to have all the things I demand in a gym, including but not limited to individual tvs on the cardio equipment, clean facilities, and the absence of swarming meathead crowds. Honestly, I’m kind of mad that I haven’t checked this place out sooner because I could seriously walk, run, or ride my bike there and even save a little money.
I just hope that if I join, they can put a little note in my file (Do they have files?) that says, probably in all caps: DO NOT TELL HER SHE IS DOING IT WRONG. NO TALK NO TOUCH NO EYE CONTACT TCCCCCH.