One month till spring break and FitSpace is packed to the brim. All those Wednesday night beers and midnight McDonalds runs seem to have caught up with the world, and in a last-ditch attempt to shed the weight, hoards of would-be dieters flock to the gym. And much to my displeasure, I find myself fighting for a treadmill. But if the crowds weren’t enough, it seems everyone has forgotten basic gym etiquette. You don’t have to be an athlete to work out. I commend you all for trying to get in shape. But this isn’t Planet Fitness. This is a Judgment Zone, and I have a few bones to pick.
First order of business: sneakers. I thought this would be common sense — you work out in sneakers. Asic, Nike, hell, even Converse, are better than nothing. But never, and I mean never, are RAIN BOOTS okay to wear to the gym. Cardio is impossible in rain boots. There is no way you are running in those so don’t even try and pretend. Lifting in boots also seems a little far-fetched. So really, if you aren’t lifting weights, using an elliptical, or using any of the machines, why are you at the gym?
Perhaps you are sitting on the exercise mats playing Angry Birds. Here is rule No. 2 for the gym: If you are going to play videogames at the gym, DON’T! Playing with your iPod is just as much fun. It’s also probably more comfortable if you play with it in your bed. It probably smells a lot better too. Checking Facebook in-between sets? That is fine. No need to be bored while you rest. But to sit for 15 minutes on a mat, ignoring the lines of people waiting to stretch or work out their abs is extremely annoying, not to mention rude.
Improper apparel will finish off this tirade, but not because it is the least important. Every single person on this campus has suffered through 12 years of PE. There is no way that your school allowed you to wear jeans at PE. So why, after 12+ years of physical education, did you decide that gym shorts were overrated and jeans were the best option for exercising? They aren’t, and that is a fact. Wearing jeans to the gym, strutting around, does not make you cool. Similar to the rain boot philosophy, if you are wearing jeans, you are not running, you are not lifting, so why are you at the gym?
Maybe you are at the gym to hang out with the girls who look like they chose their gym attire in the dark. Cropped tops and fancy shirts are not gym apparel. T-shirts are. There is no person at this University who doesn’t own a t-shirt. With the number of free ones I have collected throughout my three years here, I’ll even give you one. My gift.
So please, if you are going to crowd FitSpace, do so with the proper courtesy to those of us for whom the gym is a daily routine, and not just a one-time deal.