I may be super stressed about a million and one things this semester but I’ve been making a lot more time for the gym to clear my head. This opened up my eyes thanks to me going at different times every day and adding weights to my workout. Unwritten rules exist that you have to be in the know to…well, know. A lot deal with being respectful and I like that but I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of people at our school who just decide to workout one day and never come back and break all the rules in the process.1. You can’t workout and socialize at the same time.
I know there are times when this can be broken. You can hang around the front desk and talk to your friends, and you can talk while you are letting your muscles recuperate after lifting between sets. However, you cannot talk while you are doing cardio. Technically our gym closes from 2-2:50 for a gym class (I think it’s the same one Michael took last semester) so I waited until 2:50 to go in and start my workout. I have a pretty stable routine but it’s stricter with cardio because I don’t do as well if I change the order. I always start on the elliptical and then move to the bikes. Unfortunately, we only have two of the elliptical-esque bikes and I can’t do the normal ones because my butt is too bony and it hurts (Plus, it’s easier to play Angry Birds on these). Enter two girls (We really do mess things up a lot).
I was just about to switch when two girls took both bikes. I would have been fine with this but then I heard words come out of their mouths that made me cringe–“Oh, girl, did you hear…?” Not only was it the most annoying conversation ever but they screamed it over the music in the ears. I stayed positive, splitting the rest of my cardio between the elliptical and the regular bike. That’s when I usually go to the mat and plank and so a few lift lifts before heading to the weights. I couldn’t do that. Why? Because these two girls decided to “stretch” and take up the whole mat, continuing their “Girl, he said what?” conversation. I gave up and just went to the weight room.
2. Your machine is your machine as long as you are using it.
This one is kind of two-fold with my recent experiences. We’ve all kind of realized each other’s routines and are courteous about taking turns and switching our order up so everyone gets to use what they want. Yesterday though, the weight room was crawling with boys. Two of them kept using the last machine I needed to use. I had patiently did everything else and waited for them to finish. What made me mad was the they spent the 30 minutes I did other things lifting a few reps, taking a break for a few minutes, coming back, and repeating the process. Why not do your reps and do something else to let you muscles feel better and then maybe come back? Let me have a chance to use it for about 5 minutes. I promise I won’t take long. One left for a little more than 3 minutes so I jumped in because he’s given it up at the point if you ask me.
The second part comes in a very odd experience I had yesterday, too, ironically. Same machine, different situation. It’s one of those Matrix machines where you can change the level of the weights and the handles and work different areas. The first thing I do (because it tires me the most) I only use one side when doing. I had the other side set so I could move on right after. What happens? This girl (I guess she’s been waiting for the machine, too) comes over and uses the other side of my machine for her legs. I was really weird because she was in my space and I couldn’t fully extend because she was there. I think she could’ve waited the 5 minutes for me to finish, too, considering she was done after 2. If someone is on a machine and psychically using it, don’t make things awkward. Just let them finish.
3. Be courteous to your friends.
Okay, so we aren’t really friends but you get used to seeing the same faces at the gym when you go repeatedly. You form a respect for their efforts and they do yours. Normally the few guys that are there when I go early in the day go out of their way to not make it weird that I’m the only girl there. They let me use my machines for as long as I need and don’t take up too much space with the free weights when they are using them. They’ll even help me if I can’t get the pins out to change the position of something on a machine. They always tell me hi and bye and have a good say and stuff (I even got offered a doughnut for Fat Tuesday today) and I return the favor by not spending a long time on the machines I know they want to use. I get my reps in and let them bulk up.
The majority of the girls are just as nice. I watched one girl yesterday clean off the bike she just used because she was done and new someone was waiting to use it. We share the mat for all our girl things we do. We fit about 3 or 4 on it at a time so everyone can be happy. One nice girl was super nice after I moved my headphone cord so we could fit her in and we watch each other so we can figure out what to add to our own lineups. Athlete girls tend to have a respect for each other.
It’s lame I know but I really wish everyone would just follow these rules. I’m not a fan of awkward situations (And I was really freaked out by the girl using my machine while I was too). It’s great when someone wants to start working out but figure out the rules of the land and respect everyone else when you are doing it. It makes a happier time for everyone and who knows? They just might be willing to help you out if you do.