Archive for the ‘Dieting/Exercise’ Category

I have a few health-related questions

Monday, September 19th, 2011

I’ve noticed some strange and incongruent things happening at the YMCA, so of course I feel the need to share.

Rest assured, you will not contract hepatitis C at the Y

There are three locker rooms available at the Y — the men’s locker room, the women’s locker room and the family locker room. Since I’m a chick I can only tell you about two of those, but I’m guessing the women’s locker room always has a pillow fight in progress.*

So near the sinks there’s a biohazard box mounted on the wall to dispose of used needles. WTF? Who’s using needles in the locker room at the Y?

Maybe he’s trying to increase his lung capacity

I’ve never really considered what the other members’ lifestyles are like outside of the Y. I’m there with one goal in mind — to get a solid workout. I get pissed off when someone distracts me either by talking to me, by faux running on the treadmill or by passing gas repeatedly.

So it took me by surprise when I walked past a guy lifting weights and smelled cigarette smoke oozing out of his pores.

Do smokers routinely workout? I’ve never even considered that question before, but now I find it fascinating. Why bother working out if you smoke a pack a day? Is there a health concern? Is smoking a cigarette after a workout satisfying? Don’t smokers get winded pretty easily?

I don’t get that.

Is handicapped parking available at upscale gyms like Bally Total Fitness?

As you know I’m a cheapskate so you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that I’ve never set foot in an upscale gym. I can’t afford the membership fees or the workout togs necessary to fit in with all of the cool kids. And I think it’s safe to say the YMCA definitely caters to the blue collar folks among us.

The Y also has a hu-YUGE elderly clientèle. They usually descend upon the place when the doors open at 5 a.m. and most of them are gone by 10:30 a.m. They’re sort of the equivalent of barflies except they’re knocking back cups of coffee in the lounge after their workout instead of whiskey and bourbon.

It’s not unusual to see an obituary posted at the front desk by the check-in scanner and nine times out of 10 there’s a handy photo supplied with the obit. That’s a cool touch, methinks. So it stands to reason that there’s handicap parking available right outside the front doors.

Even so it still seems weird to see handicap parking at a gym; it’s like a fish riding a bicycle. And naturally that brings me right back to my question: Is handicap parking available at most gyms and if not is that considered discrimination?

I’ve got a bowl of pennies in the Lounge.


*How did that rumor get started? Was it the best they could do back in the 1950s?

Just so you know, it can be on at the drop of a hat, gingah

Monday, April 4th, 2011

TO: The Chick Who Broke the Rules
FROM: Cardiogirl
RE: Your major gym faux pas

Hey there fellow YMCA member. Good job showing up at the Y this morning to log some time on the elliptical machine. Half the battle is walking through the door.

So it’s awesome that you had a good workout today. However, I feel it necessary to point out a huge faux pas that you committed this morning.

As you know, there are two rows of elliptical machines — seven in each row — to choose from each day. And today you had your choice of 12 open machines.

I was on the far end in the back row and that old guy was in the front row toward the middle. When you are presented with a scenario like that, you need to leave at least one machine — preferably three machines — between you and the next person.

So I was really annoyed when you hopped on the machine right next to mine. That’s not cool. It’s just. Not. Done.

Rule Number One

Rule Number One of gym etiquette requires at least one machine between each person exercising when extra machines are open.

Next, you really need to work on your gaping technique. While you weren’t *quite* as bad as that woman who got on the elliptical next to mine just to molest my stats, you weren’t much better.

Rule Number Two

Don’t stare. That’s Rule Number Two. Didn’t your mother tell you it’s not polite to stare?

And now you have probably learned that when you blatantly stare at me and strain to see how many calories I’ve burned, the competition is on, gingah.

I will admit that I wondered if you were going to outlast my hour and if you had I would have been indignant in addition to being furious. If you lasted longer than me it would have been a hollow victory seeing as you did not step on the machine until I had already logged 24 minutes.

When I hit 51 minutes I really did start to wonder if you were going to best me. But you stepped off one minute later. And I did think, “I win!” as you leisurely cleaned your machine. Many before you have lingered while cleaning their machines to see if I will stop my workout two or three minutes after they’ve stopped.

It never happens.

I’m on for another ten minutes even if it means I have to workout into that five minute cool-down period after the 60 minutes is up. So keep a machine between the two of us and thank you for allowing me one more elliptical victory.

Because I did win.

My therapist says my competitive nature comes from a scarcity of love while growing up in a large family and that I have anger issues. But she’s probably just jealous because I could easily outlast her on the elliptical machine. Right?

A public service announcement from Cardiogirl

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Once again I feel the need to share some information to make all of our lives a little bit easier at the gym. I understand that working out among others creates competition whether you’re into that or not. So it’s natural to want to check out the people around you while you’re sweating away.

So far we’re cool.

I also believe it’s normal to be curious about another person’s machine settings when that person is either on the machine for a very long time or is running/striding at a very fast pace. That behavior catches my interest, too, so we’re still copacetic in our joint curiosity. I also want stats on the guy who is sprinting on the treadmill. Who can run that fast for that long?

Here’s where the PSA comes in: if you’re hellbent on getting that information, you need to be subtle about it. If you were at the race track making a sports bet you wouldn’t look over another person’s shoulder so you could copy. Would you? No, you would not.

Do not stare at the person in question. Casually glance in that direction and keep your eyes moving right along.

Do not get on the machine right next to that person when the rest of the machines in that row are open. Have the decency to keep at least one empty machine between the two of you.

Do not get on the machine next to that person and study their readout like you’re perusing basketball stats before placing a bet.

Yeah. I’m talking to you Nosy McPherson.

I did not appreciate you hopping onto the elliptical right next to me yesterday just so you could rest your chin on my left shoulder while you raped my stats.

Don’t do that again.

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