I’m a sucker for those late-night weight-loss infomercials and, as a result, own a library of workout DVDs and a machine that transforms into a torturous, in-home gym. At first I enjoyed exercising on my own schedule in the privacy of my home. I wore my ratty, spandex shorts from the early 1990s and didn’t care if I looked like a Jane Fonda reject.

After months of listening to the same peppy instructors encouraging me to sweat through the pain, I wanted to kick box the television. It didn’t help that my daily exercise regimen included an audience of snickering children.

I ditched the DVDs in favor of a membership at a women’s gym. Now I actually look forward to my workouts, but this enjoyment comes with a price. And I’m not talking about the cost of a one-year membership. While most of the gym women are considerate, there are those who make the experience less than pleasurable. They are:

Mirror Hogs: These are the women who run into class late and scoot in front to get a spot by the mirror. Coincidentally, they’re the same people who lack coordination and throw the entire class off.

Yappers: After living on rabbit food for a month, the last thing I want to hear about is your orgasmic experience with a seven-layer brownie cake.

Gym Poopers: These ladies drop their stink bombs off in the gym bathroom before hitting the treadmills. I understand the need to clean out the bowels before working out, but please do us all a favor and take your Milk of Magnesia AFTER you exercise.

DNA Swappers: Some people think nothing of leaving sweat puddles on the equipment or hacking up a lung while recovering from the flu. DNA samples are not necessary unless a forensics team needs them after drawing your chalk outline on the gym floor.

Chronic Farters: These women have blowholes like whales and no interest in corking it for the sake of other people’s olfactory systems. When I walk into their fart clouds, my nose hairs feel singed and my eyes water as if I’ve been hit by tear gas.

Exhibitionists: Women who come to the gym in shorts that scream, “Cooch Alert,” and tank tops begging for a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Go buy a damn bra.

Equipment Hogs: These people get lost in a daydream and sit for an hour on the machine instead of doing their reps. Makes me wish I had a pocket defibrillator or a Taser to shock them into moving.

Attention Seekers: You know the type. Surgically-enhanced bodies and yet they whine, “Oh my gawd, I need to lose twenty pounds!” Just. Shut. Up.

The real heroes of the gym are the seventy-plus crowd of ladies still shaking their retired money makers in class. I admire their fortitude and hope to be just like them when I’m older. Flatulence and all.



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  1. I don’t think I’ve ever set foot in a gym; my exercise is a combination of exercise bike at home and jogging around the local countryside at 6.00 am. After reading your hysterical observations of fellow gym attenders, I wont be going there any time soon!

  2. Can I add the People Who Ate Massive Amounts Of Garlic The Night Before to the list? Once they get up to mile two on the treadmill, the rest of the room goes into oxygen deprivation from holding their breath.

    1. OMG I never thought of that! One night I ate spaghetti and garlic bread before going to the gym. The next day, my girlfriend turned to me while we were exercising and told me I smelled like garlic!!!! She said it was oozing from my pores!

  3. You are SO right on, Marcia! As to my own gym membership, I often say, “This is the most expensive ID card I own.” One year’s membership divided by 2 days’ use. Sigh.

    1. It’s hard to get motivated—especially if you’re a writer, so I can relate. I’ve skipped plenty of sessions to stay home and write a blog post. Gotta strike while the iron is hot!

  4. Oh, I’m a yapper. Guilty as charged. But I am super polite about moving through the weight machines quickly and without leaving my DNA behind. Good luck avoiding the wacky folks.

    1. If I’m just walking on a boring treadmill, I like to talk to my friends who go with me. Not crazy though about people talking LOUD on their cell phones while they’re exercising.

  5. This is awesome 🙂 While going to the gym is an interesting people watching experience, some of these sillies really take away from your own work out routine.

  6. Marcia, have you ever been in a yoga class and accidentally place your mat behind a chronic farter? Well, I’m here to tell you it’s not fun, not okay. At all. I was once in a class, a hot yoga class, and had just gotten into a full wheel pose, you know, a back bend. The man whose gluteus maximus was right by my face let one rip. I almost broke my back. It should be illegal.

    My other pet peeve in the gym is the nudies in the locker room. I always say that I see more bush in the gym locker room than a horticulturist, and I don’t wanna.

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