…at least that’s what I learned the hard way. As a good portion of these observations have, you know, observed, gyms are an interesting place. The dynamic of people from all walks of life and demographics, combined with sweat and grunting, really sets these places apart from others. Except from maybe a locker room after a soccer match in Brazil… Though I don’t play soccer and haven’t been to South America, so it’s anyone’s guess.
Now from someone who’s considered a germaphobe from his oldest brother, on account of washing my hands before I eat with said hands, gyms can be a challenge for sure. (He’s an indie general contractor, so his idea of cleanliness and hydration come from the same source, a garden hose.) Then again, I know actual germaphobes and they’d never set foot in a gym and in truth, I kind of don’t blame them.
Take the weight bench for example. When there’s a guy the size of two me’s, lifting an equivalent of four me’s, grunting a high pitched sound that indicates he’s ‘feeling the burn’ while also dying a little inside, to say the sweat is pouring off him is an understatement. I’ve seen hot yoga classes let out with less soaked athletic wear than what this guy was experiencing, cut off sleeves and all. (Note: I’ve never done hot yoga, as the closest I’d get would be doing so on a beach… Hot, but with ventilation that only nature can provide… And fine, I like the sound!)
So this dude finally gets done and uses one cleaning wipe for the whole bench. Yeah no, you read that right. That’s like using one tissue to blow your nose or one rag to clean your entire house, in polite society that’s just not done. And not to be underdone is that bench, which I took another whack at before I used it myself. The same also applies to when I’m done on it as well, because even though a river isn’t running off my back like the last guy, I still realize someone else is going to use the thing after.
And actually this example includes quite the sweat for myself, as I hit a new milestone weight wise. See at the moment, I’m not going to be putting on muscle weight in the kitchen, so I have to compensate at the gym. So though I’ve been called a cross between an ectomorph and mesomorph, which evidently isn’t an insult I’m told, I felt a bit cheeky when I was able to not rupture my spleen after lifting a higher weight. Looking around I noticed my feeling was a solo one, to which I laughed at myself thinking; “No one cares Matt.”
From there off I went to the back lift thingy in the one corner, as I’m not one to rest on my laurels due in part to being hyper (At least that’s what I’m called, though I prefer high energy, because it’s not all about being able to run a 4-40, though in fairness I don’t know what that is.) So I thought ah why not, let’s go for broke… So I upped the weight and went to town. In retrospect, I should have probably not done so during the climax of the one song I was listening to, and no worries about who it was by. (*cough* Sia)
As this corner afforded myself some privacy, I instinctively went into ‘singing to myself mode’, which for any number of reasons should not be allowed. My contracting brother? He was the singer for almost twenty years. Me? I’m the writer \ attempting actor. So when I start belting lyrics out because no one’s around just as I’m letting the weights up, what happened next was deserved… No worries (you were worried?) I just got pulled up by the metal bar and weights that were as heavy as I was.
Upon reflection I don’t think I hid it as well as I thought I did. You know when you stub your toe and try to play off like you meant to do that, or it totally didn’t hurt but now you’re limping, yeah I need to take those lesson again. I saw on the other side this guy noticed and was trying not to make eye contact, but I just shrugged and told him it was okay. He laughed and I blamed the weather, which perplexed him, but I mean it is 60 in November so yeah, weather.
Anyway with all that said, I’m not sure what takeaways you should be getting from this. I guess if you’re using the equipment, don’t mail it in with one wipey and a limp wrist. Get a bunch and get elbow deep in that cleanliness, like when you’re cleaning your tub and surround with cleanser… A light touch just won’t cut it. (Fourteen part video of Matt cleaning his tub, shower, and surround, with instructions given in various fun accents and dialects, will be behind our future paywall no one will actually pay for… Apologies in advance.)