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I am a giant bitch and workout at your gym, OR "Get your hands off of my elliptical"

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Old 01-14-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
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I am a giant bitch and workout at your gym, OR "Get your hands off of my elliptical"

So as if Leah McLaren wasn't annoying enough, she goes to my gym!

What a stupid article....and the general manager providing commentary for it too?? I'd be thinking twice if I were considering joining!

Quote:
It's a new year and I'm supposed to be thinking positively, turning a new leaf and generally snapping out of my morose self-absorbed funk. But, then again, it is January -- a month that makes me grumpy. Grumpy and lumpy. And when I'm feeling this way, I like to go to the gym. The same gym I've been going to for almost six years now.

I am not ashamed to admit it: I am a regular "gymmer." When my life is fully operational, I go three or four times a week. Not only do I enjoy the well-documented physiological benefits of regular exercise, I have also made friends at the gym. There, I said it. I have gym friends. Sometimes we go for beer and wings after spin class. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly normal and NOT EMBARRASSING AT ALL.

Like many regular gymmers, or "hardcores" as we sometimes call ourselves (oh, shut up), I find the new year to be the opposite of rejuvenating. For January is the month when serious exercise addicts see their clubhouse invaded by hordes of wannabe gym bunnies. The site of order and asceticism is overrun by a noisy herd of newbies shamelessly baring their holiday muffin top over Lululemon waistbands.

You think it's painful going to spin class for the first time in 18 months? You should try being the one on the bike behind you. Now that's scary.

I have urged the management at my gym (Eclipse Fitness on College Street in downtown Toronto) to institute a mandatory three-hour "how to go to the gym" seminar before giving new members their cards, but, alas, no dice. Instead, I've resigned myself to writing the following gym-going pointers for the uninitiated. Please read and follow these instructions before joining any gym -- especially if it's mine.

1) Defer to the hardcores -- or you will live to regret it.

Regular gymmers tend to be fanatical about their routines. As a new member, you will do yourself no favours by disrupting these rituals. As gym veteran Jennifer Crake puts it: "There is nothing worse than arriving to find someone new sitting on bike No. 2. That is my bike. Now I am not saying that newbies should be at the back, but why not ask and check it out when you arrive. Newbies are welcome, but they should be mindful of the hardcores and know that fitness freaks are neurotic freak shows and bike numbers do matter."

And yes, in case you're wondering, she is one of my gym friends.

2) Respect people's space.

Noah Vachon, manager at Eclipse, observes that the most common newbie mistakes are spatial. Among them, he lists people a) stepping over you when you're stretching on the floor, b) using the machine you're on between sets, c) taking your free weights when you set them down for a drink and d) stretching or working out way too close to other people.

He recommends that newcomers ask staff for help with equipment, and adds, "Make sure you aren't crowding anyone. Leave an arm length between you and the person beside you. No one wants a dumbbell in the face."

3) It's a gym, not a hotel room: Clean up after yourself.

You see those funny little spritz bottles and paper-towel dispensers all over the place? They are for wiping down the sweaty machines. That means you, not the cleaning service. And when it comes to equipment, remember what you learned in kindergarten: Put everything back where you found it.

4) It's a gym, not a cocktail party. Keep the flirting and networking to a minimum.

One workout friend of mine who wishes to remain anonymous recently lamented the amount of cruising and shop talk that goes on in her gym in January. "People don't understand the damn rules. There's too much cruising in the workout rooms and too much loud small talk in the change rooms. Not to mention the naked problems. Please don't hand me your business card when I'm naked."

5) Do your homework so you don't waste everyone else's time.

You're new. And Pilates can be daunting -- all that breathing in and out and tilting your pelvis this way and extending your tailbone that way. I get it. But honey, some of us have been coming to this class every Thursday for the past three and a half years. And while it's sweet and patient of the instructor to spend 15 minutes explaining the correct posture of the spine, it's also cutting into my day. Book a private session, or get one of those books with "idiot" in the title.

6) Know thyself. Don't commit if you can't commit.

Vachon likes to remind the hardcores to be patient. "Most of these people will be gone in a month or two and you'll benefit from the improvements the gym will be able to afford from the revenue in January," he says diplomatically. Or, as one irritated reader recently put it, "It's my gym, they're just borrowing it."

Having said that, I would caution newbies on the pitfalls of spending $600 on a gym membership if you're going to use it only three times. That's $200 a visit. And while I dig the new hand dryers, it's unfortunate they had to come out of your pocket.

7) Get some real clothes. Your trainers are blinding white. The tags are still hanging off your shorts. Legwarmers never did make a comeback, despite what the shopgirl at American Apparel told you.

8) If you want respect, earn it. Remember the intro to the TV show Fame? The one with the chic black dance instructor walking through the studio telling her students that if they want to make it, they are going to have to sweat? That's how hardcores feel about the gym. Working out is not a mere lifestyle choice -- it takes hard work and real dedication. If you want the respect of the people at your gym, learn to work out their way. You might even make some friends while you're at it. And there is nothing embarrassing about that.

lmclaren@globeandmail.com
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...clipse+fitness

At least I know where to find her if I want to throw my lululemon mat at her.

Last edited by Skipper; 01-14-2007 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
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ew!
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:20 PM   #3
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Yes, it was ridiculous. The most stupid part was when she referred to herself as a 'hard-core' gym goer because she has been going 3 days a week. Wouldn't that just be normal? If she was going every day it would be ok to call herself that.

And it happens every year, so just plan around it. You can reserve your spinning bike in advance, so there is no need to miss out on your class. I go to Sports Clubs of Canada at King & Yonge and the new years resolutions have already faded. Gym is totally back to normal by now.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:23 PM   #4
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The bike part made me laugh. It's first come, first serve and registration opens up when the gym opens that day.

Leah, tell your friend to get her gymmer ass out of bed and reserve her bike before anyone else can. lol
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:45 PM   #5
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eww and this is another reason why i refuse to join a gym.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:20 PM   #6
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Guess she's trying to keep people from joining her gym?
I've always found her to be annoying but wow. Must be great to troll for a living, like Rosie DiManno.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:26 PM   #7
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uh, I've been going to the gym for 6 years, 5-6 times a week for the past 2 and I have none of those complaints about newbies, or new year's resolutionsists. Ever.

If you're going to standard gym-offered rinky dink exercise classes religiously, and you think you have some kind of gym authority because of that, you need to get your head in check. "body pump level 2" is not a sport, yo. you're not a blackbelt at spinning. chill the fuck out and hit a trail if you're going to take it that seriously.

I mean, honestly. it's like that seinfeld episode. oooh you're all training so seriously...for what? for nothing. you're going to the gym and doing second rate pilates on a mat next week too. *golf clap*

if your day is ruined because someone used your free weight and interrupted your already half-assed muscle building routine, you have larger problems than free weights.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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you have larger problems than free weights.
Large, like her ginormous forehead.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:53 PM   #9
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It takes a hack writer who specializes in "me, myself and I" literature to write an article implying that gyms are consecrated shrines where peons/pilgrims are required to kow-tow to elders and embody virtues/disciplines a la Gladiator (strength, honour, tenacity, braf). She makes it sound like going to the gym 3-4 times a week is equated with becoming a fucking Navy SEAL or something.

Someone should email her this link and/or feed her, Rebecca Eckler and Rosie DiManno to Jabba the Hut. Or better yet make her sit behind Jabba the Hut in spinning class.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:23 PM   #10
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I'm just disappointed the gym itself was part of such bad PR! I find this gym is sort of different - more of a casual, not so uptight like other clubs.
"Yes, I can't wait for all you new members to abandon your new years resolutions so I can continue to affiliate myself primarily with local celebrities like Leah"
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:24 PM   #11
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This article is totally doing more harm than good. I wouldn't want to join a fucking gym after reading this either.

To anyone who is all discouraged about joining up at the gym after reading this, this so is NOT the case at most places. Over the years, I've worked out at The Y, Premier, Bally, U of T and Goodlife and like, anyone prancing all around the locker room like they know somebody spouting out bullshit like, "you gotta earn respect as a gymmer before you're really working out" would pretty much creep everyone in the place the fuck out.

Use whatever fucking bike you want, you're all paying the same price to be there. Anyone so hung up on their exercise class routines that they're going to fight you after the ten minute cooldown for taking bike number 2 needs to have their bike stolen anyway.

Get to the gym, do your thing. Be as respectful as you are anywhere else and if you have questions about machines and etiquette and crap, just ask the people around you who don't look too busy.

I don't mind taking 5 seconds to show someone how to use an elliptical, but I do mind waiting for some chatty naked regular to stop the towel show in front of my locker so I can leave. Socialize elsewhere, "gymmers".

/rant.

Last edited by ila; 01-14-2007 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ila
"body pump level 2" is not a sport, yo. you're not a blackbelt at spinning. chill the fuck out and hit a trail if you're going to take it that seriously.
mahaha
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper
I'm just disappointed the gym itself was part of such bad PR! I find this gym is sort of different - more of a casual, not so uptight like other clubs.
"Yes, I can't wait for all you new members to abandon your new years resolutions so I can continue to affiliate myself primarily with local celebrities like Leah"
You should say something to management. It's such bad PR. And as commented above, I'd TOTALLY not want to join a gym after reading this.
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dr. claw
Someone should email her this link and/or feed her, Rebecca Eckler and Rosie DiManno to Jabba the Hut. Or better yet make her sit behind Jabba the Hut in spinning class.
<3 <3 <3 <3
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Old 01-15-2007, 08:41 AM   #15
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LOL or 'hardcores as we like to call ourselves'

WHO HERE CALLS THEMSELVES A HARDCORE?

because i will mock you.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:43 AM   #16
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"Hardcores" is actually a derogatory word in my gym vernacular. I reserve it for the people who I project to have the exact same feelings as the author of this article. They feel an ownership of the gym, usually spending more time chatting with their gym buddies while using shit-ass form. They are the people who are chumming it up with the instructor like they are best friends. Once you have been deemed "hardcore", you lose all respect from me.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:00 AM   #17
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My boss knows the owner of both locations as he works out at the eglinton one - maybe I'll pass this along.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:01 AM   #18
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You should...Maybe they'll revoke her membership. God, what I wouldn't pay to see that.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:07 AM   #19
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This the dumbest thing I've ever ever read. WOW.

You think it's painful going to spin class for the first time in 18 months? You should try being the one on the bike behind you. Now that's scary.

I have urged the management at my gym (Eclipse Fitness on College Street in downtown Toronto) to institute a mandatory three-hour "how to go to the gym" seminar before giving new members their cards, but, alas, no dice. Instead, I've resigned myself to writing the following gym-going pointers for the uninitiated. Please read and follow these instructions before joining any gym -- especially if it's mine.


I've been spinning for many months, and sure there's a bike I like, but if someone takes it..ok, I'll take another one! Of course there are others who like the bike, and many times have I walked in, put my towel on there so I can go change and hear:
Her-"Excuse me that's my bike"
Me-"Umm, I don't see your name printed on there"
"Yeah but I always use it, and I'm here everyday"
"Good for you, I got her first, there's plenty of other bikes"
"Look, you don't get it, I only spin on this bike, it's mine"
"No, you don't get it, I got here before you..simple. If you had asked nicely and not turned into a grade a bitch and demanded the bike like you're the friggin queen of cycling, then I probably would have given it to you."

Regardless, she back'd off. A few weeks later, I got the bike again. She came in, saw me on the bike and went to another one. Theeen the next week, same thing, but this time she came up, apologized for a being a deevah...I still didn't give her the bike.

Im tight with 1 or 2 of the instructors, but I don't complain about little shit or bitch about people on a bike that I regularly use. New members have every right to be in a spin class as much as I do.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:11 AM   #20
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P.s. sarah if you see her, and can you just slap her upside the head and tell her Timmy thinks she's a moron

thanks.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:16 AM   #21
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There are a lot of really anal retentive people who do spinning.
Do you ever see anyone get visibly annoyed when a new person to the class takes their yoga spot? Noooo....

I sent my boss the link, but I would not be surprised if he agreed with the whole blurb about spinning. I think he might be one of *them*
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:27 AM   #22
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my best friend Erika is like that woman. If something goes wrong or if the instructor doesnt do something or something, she gets anal. She's been spinning for years constantly at Yonge/St Clair Goodlife, so yeah, she has that mentality of being a "hardcore". Many times I've walked away or just told her to shut up because she complains.

It's embarassing. I've also written a letter to the editor of the globe over this, this woman writing is a moran.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:28 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper
I sent my boss the link

um.....
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #24
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The link to the globe and mail article.
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:31 AM   #25
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ooooh! okay. omg - I thought you meant to this page!
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