Thursday, June 14, 2012

Antisocial gym-going

I am pretty antisocial once I set foot in the gym.  Sure, I'm at least polite and friendly if someone smiles, but I'm not out to make friends.  I'm here to get my sweat on, alone.

I put in my earbuds as soon as I walk in the door, and I don't take them out until I'm changing out of my shoes.  I'm even guilty of keeping my earbuds in even if my charge has died.  It's pretty much the opposite of when I run outside, which I've absolutely never done with music.
All sweaty- and the earbuds just came out.
I like to drown out all of the noises.  The gossipers and cell phone talkers, the squeaking and clunking of cardio equipment, the Bigfoot-esque thumping on the treadmill, and what's usually awful music that the gym has pumping through their own system.  Not to judge, but one of the gyms I frequent is guilty of blaring Spice Girls circa 1998.  Another (very small) gym I go to has 4 TVs, all usually playing different stations at a "just loud enough to bug you" volume.

I like that it gets me in the zone, hearing nothing my tunes in my ears.  It pumps me up, keeps me going, and helps me block out anything else that I may have "carried in" with me at the end of the day.

And the last reason, and one I sometimes almost feel guilty about, is that I just don't want to talk to you.  Whoever you are, other people working out around me, I don't really want to strike up conversation while I get my sweat on.  Sometimes I can tell that people are talking out loud anyways, hoping someone will respond, but I can't really hear them anyways.

Sometimes people talk anyways though, and I promise I don't bite their heads off no matter how badly I sometimes want to yell "Can't you tell I'm not as friendly as I look!?".  Usually it's just a polite question of whether I'm done with a piece of equipment, which I always appreciate.  Other frequent chatters include guys asking how the Pigeon pose isn't incredibly painful, or someone commenting on not having the balance to do Bosu squats.
Photo Credit:
A friendly middle-aged man made that Bosu squat comment yesterday, saying he had no idea what the "thing" even was until he saw me squatting and lunging on it (FYI- hundreds of other things you can do with a Bosu!).  I made the mistake of mentioning that I'm a PT, and that we use them with patients a lot.   I tried to not be rude and get back to my workout while he chatted about his own ailments and upcoming surgery.  It's not that I don't care, or even that I'm not interested, I actually kinda dig hearing those stories.  But not between my sets at the gym.

Where am I going with this?  I know some people are just natural extroverts that love to chat up strangers, and some people go to the gym specifically to socialize (especially when the Silver Sneakers crowd rolls in).  I can't blame those people, and I can't say that a gym would be a bad place to meet someone if you're single.  But I've witnessed some chatters that just don't realize when their intruding on someone else's workout.  One chatter in particular yesterday kept talking to a 20-something girl that clearly wasn't interested in chatting.  It's like personal boundaries just disappear for some people.

I don't see me dropping my earbuds and trying to not look too friendly habits anytime soon.  I like my space, I don't need a date, and you can chat to me about your carpal tunnel later.  For now, I'm getting my sweat on solo.

Question of the Day: Are you a solo sweater?  Gym chatter (I won't judge!)?  Block it out with earbuds?  Anyone else get as irrationally annoyed by chatters?

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