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Thursday, November 10, 2005


You may think overpopulation is an issue strictly related to humankind's increasingly burdensome growth. However this problem may be detrimental to our environmental, our economy and our healthcare systems, it also appears to be a problem at the gym. Especially, at oh, say, 6:00 pm on any given week night. It's madness in there!

I made the mistake Tuesday night of reserving my run for the early evening, typically thought of as the dinner hour, but let me tell you, people are skipping dinner and are at the gym. When I got there, all but one treadmill was in use, so I quick hopped on before someone else could snatch it out from under my nose. Traditionally, I favor the back row of treadmills and prefer a corner one at that, but Tuesday was not a night to be picky. I was positioned front and center.

As the people who flanked me slowly left, two new people got on the two treadmills that surrounded me. I used to mind feeling cramped in, but I've grown used it, and generally it doesn't bother me, but that night it turned out that those two women knew one another and must have been there together. And they wanted to talk.

They didn't mind me; they just talked around me.

You have to talk pretty loud in the gym to be heard -- the hum of all the machines and the clinking of weights drowns out much of what people have to converse about, and when you're not standing right next to someone, conversation can be challenging -- these two women were up to the challenge. They were practically screaming back and forth to one another, and while the volume does indeed go pretty loud on my MP3 player, I do fear my loss of hearing, so I got the scoop on the kids, the neighbors, and the co-workers, not to mention the husbands and the mothers. In some ways, the conversation distracted me from focusing on the miniature red clock, but in in others, I prayed for the sweet release of death. I thought, perhaps, if I prayed hard enough, I would be swept up and gnarled by the treadmill and my ears would get a merciful rest from the mindless chatter.

I'm not against mindless chatter -- I don't want to call for any special legislation or anything; in fact, I love to engage in babble all the time -- however, I don't particularly like to sit on the sidelines of this kind of talk (I'm that way with sports too; I like to play, but hate to watch). So listening in, unless there was majorly juicy drama to get let in on, was largely just annoying.

I guess I learned my lesson. Do not go to the gym at peak hours. Stick to the middle of the day, very early in the morning, or late at night. Plus, then I'll be able to pick a prime treadmill.

1 comment:

Elle said...

OMG...I've had this experience recently! Except in my case the ladies had the gym manager change the overhead music to 50s/60s beach music. I thought I would go insane...thank God for 'the zone'...and a stiff drink afterwards!