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

32 VIPs have spoken »

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?

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32 VIPs have spoken

  • I’ll take a competitive person next to me over a man who wears those t-shirt thin undershorts to treadmill in WITH NOTHING ON TOP. He was a sweat-flinger, too.

    I am always angry when I go into a gym. Mostly because I hate it so much. I’ll walk outside all day but put me on a machine with chirpy people and Fox News blaring in the corner and I suddenly wish I was in an exercise class comprised entirely of punching people in the head. I feel good when I’m done, but while I’m there its downright Orwellian, though the Hate lasts much longer than two minutes.
    Shieldmaiden1196 recently posted..Swimming with the UndercurrentMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:




      I take back everything I just wrote in that post now that I’ve heard about that nasty, disgusting man who goes topless on the treadmill and flings sweat indiscriminately. You have my sincerest condolences.

      • Hmm. I was unclear. He was wearing those thin liner shorts. With no shorts on top to hide his block and tackle, which at the rate he was going looked like two squirrels fighting under a t-shirt.

        In my effort to avoid both this brain-searing vision AND his occasional sweat-blessing I drifted to the right of the treadmill belt, stepped half on the belt and half on the grippy side-rail, fell, and was unceremoniously ejected into an aerobics class, where I blew a lady off her step like a sidewinder missile.
        Shieldmaiden1196 recently posted..Swimming with the UndercurrentMy Profile

        • cardiogirl says:

          Um, Shieldmaiden? You’ve just walked in and snatched the Gold Star of the Day.


          I can’t tell you if it was the block and tackle that looked like two squirrels fighting under a t-shirt or if it was falling and blowing a lady off her step like a sidewinder missile.

          It was the squirrels.

          I’m pretty sure that’s the best line I’ve read so far in 2011.

  • RT @cardiogirl: Just so you know, it can be on at the drop of a hat, gingah http://bit.ly/gkUg1z

  • Elizabeth A says:

    I’m going to stick to my elliptical at home. That I did use this morning.

    • cardiogirl says:

      Way to go, Liz! I can’t even imagine having an elliptical machine at home for my personal use. And I’m talking about one of those industrial grade ones that they have at the gym.

      That. Would. Be. Awesome.

  • Solomon says:

    Your rules remind me of the men’s toilet rules.

  • Kittie Flyn says:

    So it’s not just me who feels this way at the gym. Regular gym goers unite!

    What is UP with the staring? That happened to me on Friday. As soon as I walked through the door, this woman whipped her head around. I thought she was pulling a Linda Blair. Then she stared as I walked to the cardio area.

    I hopped on a treadmill (already mad because in the row of 3, someone was using the middle on so I had to stand next to her). The woman dismounted her recumbent bike, which she wasn’t even using, she was just sitting watching TV. She jumped onto an elliptical and then STARED at me her entire workout, which thankfully wasn’t long.

    She oddly enough would pedal a few seconds, dismount, get water (despite also drinking from her water bottle), plug in her stats again then repeat. I suspect she was getting water because my treadmill was there by the fountain. She never took her eyes off me. I was in for a long run that day so she left long before I was done but seriously?!

    I can’t wait to be rich to have my own luxurious home gym.
    Kittie Flyn recently posted..dont you forget about meMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      Damn straight sister — Regular gym goers unite, form of the Exercise Police.*

      Get. Out. Of. Here. This chick channeled Linda Blair then put the unblinking stank eye on you? And then she she kept getting on and off the elliptical?

      Oy, that’s when the employees need to coordinate a swarm effort via their walkie-talkies to take that chick down.

      *Got any clue where that comes from?

  • v says:

    i left another comment and the connection at the pen made it go bye bye. what did i say?

    1. maybe she wants to be your friend.

    2. put a towel on the machine next to yours.

    not in those exact words, but i’m too pooped to type.

    night night.

    • cardiogirl says:

      Someone needs to make a command+Z function for lost comments. The back button on the browser never works when that happens.

      I might have to start asking for two towels. ‘Night Mommy.

  • junebug says:

    Wait a minute! I work out at the Y, too. I thought that was you next to me and I was waiting for you to notice me. I’m more annoyed with all the effin’ people who take up the back row machines at 5 am when they are only there for 10-15 minutes before they leave for spin. It is just rude to take up the popular row for a few minutes when you know you ain’t staying. I have to go to the flippin’ front row and tilt my head back to watch the TV. I listen to music but I can’t stand staring at a blank wall. I need moving targets. So what I’m trying to say is you were my moving target today. Thanks for helping me workout! I owe you one.
    junebug recently posted..C is for Cause – A to Z ChallangeMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      Junebug if I find out that was you I will challenge you to an elliptical duel and I will pedal until I have a heart attack and fall off that machine.

      Ohhh the front row bites hard. It does suck having to stare at the wall — or the mirrors which are in the front row at our Y. I do like having the option of checking out the TVs but usually I do stare at my stats or the wall.

      I just don’t want to stare at myself in the mirror.

  • Cardio Girl, you crack me up.

    While I could NEVER be as competitive as you – I DO NOT like when someone chooses an exercise machine NEXT TO ME – especially when there are so many other ones open!

  • Me thinks I didn’t miss much by not going to a gym! I keep wondering, but keep forgetting to ask what an elliptical is. Please clear this one up for me.
    Babs (beetle) recently posted..The day I almost lost Mo!My Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      Oh Babs, you’ve never seen an elliptical machine? It’s a beast and you can see a photo here — complete with all of the features! – but it’s much easier on my knees since there’s no pounding like there is running on a treadmill.

      • v says:

        what! the handles don’t move. interesting. i try not to hold on to them anyway, but sometimes my legs need a little help from my arms.

        yesterday, a woman on my job tried the elliptical for the first time. she did her entire workout striding in the opposite direction. 3.1 miles. she said she didn’t know how to make it go forward. i told her to just go forward! wth, i can only go in the opposite direction for about a minute before my legs are crying uncle. she did the whole darn workout backward. i expected to see her walking backward when she got back upstairs, but she was walking forward. i said that’s how you use the elliptical. O–>-< my laugh for yesterday.

        • cardiogirl says:

          No way! Every once in a while I will pedal backwards for a minute or a minute and a half but it takes a lot out of me. Like it seriously wears me out and it takes at least five minutes, pedaling forward, for me to get my stride back. That probably means it’s a more intense workout and I should probably try to stride backwards more often, eh? I can’t believe she didn’t know *how* to go forward!

  • tokenblogger says:

    Did she strike up and have to converse with you through her whole workout even though it was so obvious you were enjoying your workout with your iPod?

    No? She kept quiet.

    I WIN!
    tokenblogger recently posted..He liked it- he liked it!My Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      No. I *think* she knew better than that. And if you want to break through the fourth wall with me, you’re gonna have to touch my arm. When I’m in the zone with my headphones I stop for no one.

  • Linda says:

    It’s been a while since I used the treadmill or elliptical, but I do enjoy the elliptical. At my Y, we have one really long row of ellipticals and similar equipment and on the other side by the windows there is a long row of treadmills. Down through the center are several rows of exercise equipment (arms, legs, etc.). Each elliptical has it’s own TV, bottle holder and place for your magazine or book. In my limited experience, it has never been a problem with people not minding their their own business. However, I agree about keeping space if available and eyes on your own stuff.

    Currently I do group exercise classes twice a week, always thinking I need to kick it up a notch. I do have an exercise bike in my basement for extra workouts.
    Linda recently posted..Quote of the WeekMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      Our exercise room is right in the middle of the building with no windows at all. It would be nice to watch some activity while I worked out. Although I wouldn’t want to deal with those huge floor to ceiling windows.

  • Kathy says:

    Oh, you did the right thing by staying on. I do that myself now that I’m all bad-ass on the elliptical. With so many machines left open, she could have even taken four between you both. What’s up with that? I even felt awkward the morning I walked in and found 10 of our 12 occupied and I was forced to get on one next to another person. I scoped everyone out first to find the person who looked like they’d be the least annoyed that I picked one next to them. I’m always considerate of others’ personal space and I never stare. I’m a good gym person.

    The end.
    Kathy recently posted..How to Change the Color of a Whirlpool DishwasherMy Profile

  • madge says:

    Ok, so you schooled me a few weeks ago about the stay the F away from me in the gym especially if there’s room to keep a machine between us. So now I’m bothered when people don’t follow the rules, I never used to care.

    But last week, there were a butt load of ellipticals available, and this hobag had to get on the one right next to my treadmill and put the push up to like 100 and so she was barely moving, I have a hard time keeping my fast walking pace next to a turtle. I wasn’t going to compete with her, but at least get some motion going sloth!!

    Wow, didn’t realize how much angst I had till now. Thanks CG
    madge recently posted..Tattoos 3-4My Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      I’m glad I can impart the societal expectations at the gym. It is a cause of mine.

      Oy, I would have been so distracted with her moving sooo slowly next to me. I really don’t know if I could take that.

    • madge says:

      PS I hate the eliptical… hate it. It hurts my knees, and I always wind up going too fast and I can’t keep up with myself.
      madge recently posted..Tattoos 3-4My Profile

      • cardiogirl says:

        Really? It bothers your knees? That’s the main reason why I started using it. My knees cannot take running anymore. I’ve been a slightly-more-than-casual runner since I was in middle school but I had to give it up a few years ago because my knees really cannot take it anymore.

        And that sucks because I really did love running.

        • madge says:

          My knees are a little arthritic, and my quads are week, so there’s not a ton of support for the joint. I just do the tread on a pulse measured incline just fast enough that I don’t get shin splints. Nobody ever taught me how to run, I’ve got really long legs and probably would be good at it if I had any sort of coordination and didn’t trip.
          madge recently posted..Tattoos 3-4My Profile

  • Therapists are notorious for being competitive bitches. I know you could outlast her on the machine. Actually, I don’t even know what kind of machine that is, but I’m sure it’s a hard workout. I don’t use machines but I do walk which is almost as good. You have to walk sort of fast, and sometimes I even carry weights when I do it. That’s a better work out, and it give me protection if someone wants to molest me or talk to me when I don’t want to talk. The stilettos help too. They can be dangerous.
    Linda Medrano recently posted..Parisian PerfectionMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      She *is* 67 so I’m positive I could outlast her, but like my husband she’s not competitive at all. She will always say, “Okay. You win.” Just like my husband.

      That’s no fun.

    • madge says:

      Don’t lie Linda, you are looking to get molestered, that’s why you walk in heels. And wine bottles don’t count as weights. :)
      madge recently posted..Tattoos 3-4My Profile

      • Wine bottles do too count. And the heels are deadly weapons if you know how to use them! Come on Madge, you know I’m right! And what the heck is molestered?
        Linda Medrano recently posted..Parisian PerfectionMy Profile

        • Madge says:

          What? You don’t know what molestered is? The person who does the moletering is the molesterer, and the person getting molested has been molestered. You must not watch South Park much.

          Cartman: Hey, yeah! We should all say our parents molestered us!
          from the Wacky Molestation Adventure – season 4

          • cardiogirl says:

            I gotta check out that South Park episode. I bet they made being molestered fun :)

            • madge says:

              Basically it was a don’t cry wolf episode.
              The kids wanted to go to the screaming pussies concert, but the parents wouldn’t let them so they all said they’d been molestered, and all of the parents went to jail. They had a great time at the concert, but then they realized that there wouldn’t be anybody to feed them, and they all started dying off.
              madge recently posted..Tattoos 3-4My Profile

            • cardiogirl says:

              I figured it would go all the way til the end and then the kids would find out what it actually means and then they would recant and go on like nothing ever happened.

  • brookeamanda says:

    This is why I workout at home.

  • Congrats on ‘winning’, I didn’t even know Charlie Sheen did the elliptical.
    If I Were God… recently posted..I dont exist hoax uncovered by thinking childMy Profile

  • Thomas C. says:

    One of the things I love about you is that you are not at all competitive.

  • Buf says:

    I love your gym competition stories…lol Glad to see you are still up to your same antics. :)
    Buf recently posted..Oops – Sorry about that!My Profile

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