Friday, October 12, 2007

Workout Buddies

I get up now at the completely indecent hour of 5:00 so that I can work out before I go to work. (That might alter a little bit as I establish my new routine.) And yet I'm often not the first person into the exercise room.

Frequently there is this weird old man who sits there in the total darkness with just the TV on -- tuned to FOX News, of course -- using the weight machine in his bare feet. He sits on the bench and uses the lat bar with a 10 lb weight, and pulls it down over and over again for about half an hour. Then he goes away. The TV is usually on so loud that I can hear it outside the building.

I always ask him if I can turn on a light. I tried to indulge his preference once, but couldn't see well enough to manage the settings on the elliptical. But I only turn on the light I need.

I work out with my iPod. I don't really like TV much; I can't stand TV news or any of the other fluff that most people watch in there: "reality" shows, celebrity "news," blech. I find it highly distracting. (And depressing.) I prefer just to get absorbed in my music and let the rhythms set the tempo for my workouts.

Then there's this lady. She just has the sourest expression on her face. Now, as a proper Al Gore fan, I try to be always conscious of energy usage. I usually only turn on the light in the area of the room that I am using. She comes in and turns on everything.

She's also a FOX News watcher. Does she say, "Do you mind if I turn on the TV?" No. "Do you mind if I change the channel?" No. She just sweeps in and in the same brusque manner as she turns on every light in the room, she turns on FOX, cranks up the volume, then hops on a treadmill (where she goes 2.5 mph for about 20 minutes), turns on her iPod, and then reads a magazine.

She's not even watching the damn TV. It drives me insane.

She brings bottled water with her and when she's done, she throws the bottle in the trash and leaves the TV on. Global warming is entirely her fault.

Sure, I might work out to Götterdämmerung (which is not a heavy metal band), but that just makes me eccentric in a sophisticated way. These people are weird.


Jess said...

Yeah, that's why I stopped going to the gym. I blame Fox News and the obnoxious old people!

Jade said...

Part of what sucks about using a little gym that is attached to the apartment complex... nowhere else to go. But you have the convenience of it being included in your cost of rent, and being able to go back to your apartment and shower (as opposed to trying to navigate the showers at a Gold's or 24hr fitness with flip-flops on)

Back when I used an apartment gym I noticed VH-1 had their high-energy-workout videos playing early in the morning... not sure if their scheduling is still the same, but if that lady is reading and listening to an iPod anyway, you could put the TV on VH-1 and pretend to be watching it, then if she tries to change the channel tell her you aren't done yet? At least it wouldn't be Fox news.

Jeff said...

My dad watches Fox News for fun. It's really weird. I can't stand to watch it because it just makes me angry. But he watches it ironically, because he thinks it's funny.

He doesn't work out at a gym and lift 10-pound weights, though.

Andy said...

Jeff: I can kind of see that. I watch The Hal Lindsey Report mostly for shock and awe.

N. English said...

Universal remote control. Get a small one. Just when she gets a good ryhtm going, change the channel or turn it off. Just every now and then, not too much. The TV will still be annoying, but your smug level will be greatly increased!

Matthew said...

I seem to recall seeing an ad for a key chain sized universal remote. That would be very handy in this case, but I can imagine why a passive/somewhat aggresive fight for TV control dominance might be a bad idea at that time of day.