I’ve got my bitchy hat on today, and I feel the need to share a few of the things (mostly people) that irritate me at the gym.

1. People using my locker. Ok, ok, I know it’s not really my locker, but I am a creature of habit! And there aren’t that many functioning lockers at my gym, some of them involve wrestling if you actually want your belongings back. When I’m only half-awake, finding a different locker and then remembering that my stuff is in said different locker is more than my little brain can handle.

2. Swimmers who are afraid of water. Seriously. You know the ones I mean, they swim with their heads right up lest a drop of water should touch them above the neck. They usually fall into one of two categories: the immaculates and the faux-crawlers. The immaculates usually have make-up on and their hair styled (why anyone would do this pre-morning workout is beyond me) and a drop of water would ruin everything I’m sure. The faux-crawlers do a bizarre front crawl where they are at a 45-degree angle, with their head and shoulders out of the water. Sorry if anyone reading does this, but that is not front crawl. Unless you have your face in the water, you will always struggle to propel yourself with front crawl as it produces a kind of flailing motion instead of a smooth swimming stroke. Also, it looks stupid and splashes the people around you – heaven forbid you swim next to an immaculate!

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3. Show-offs. There are two men at my gym who immediately spring to mind here. One of them I have only ever seen in the weights section, which just happens to be right outside the doorway to the changing rooms. Every time a woman leaves the changing room he starts flexing and preening.

White Goodman

The other one tends to show up wherever a female (or slender male) happens to be doing a traditionally “manly” activity like weightlifting or boxing, and start demonstrating his own prowess. I have genuinely never seen him go to either of those areas unless it’s in that situation. Women can be show-offs too, it isn’t just a male activity. They are often made-up similarly to the immaculates, and wearing designer gym gear, unlike me who rolls out of bed and into old trackie bottoms and whatever top happens to be clean. They don’t seem to sweat very much, and spend a lot of time looking round to see who is looking at them.

4. When the water is too warm. The pool water at my last swim was 32C (90F). It is regularly over 30C, and I just find it far too warm. It is about the same temperature as the hot tub, or so it feels, and it’s like trying to swim in bathwater. Not fun.

5. Poor etiquette. This applies to a lot of things, my personal list includes:
– Queue-jumping – on busy days, people have to wait to get in the pool since it’s very small, or to use certain equpiment. Darting in when there is a teeny gap is just rude, especially if you can see people have been waiting!
– Rubbish – because, why wouldn’t you throw away your empty water bottle? The recycle bin is just outside the changing room. You’ve just done a 60 minute workout but you’re too lazy to carry your bottle to the bin??

If no one threw their water bottle away...
If no one threw their water bottle away…

– Sweat – take a sweat towel, wipe down the machine you’ve just dripped on. It isn’t difficult. Please, just do it.
– Taking all the space in the changing room – there is one bench and a small counter in the changing room at my gym, but some women will take the whole lot to get ready, leaving the rest of us to get changed practically in our lockers. I use all the space I need if I’m in there alone, but if other people are sharing it then I move stuff around.

6. People who pretend they know what they’re doing. I know when you’re new to the gym it can be daunting. A new lady in the gym last week went round every single weight machine and did 3 reps maximum on everything. In the time it took me to do leg presses she went on 8 different machines . As I understand it, that’s not going to make much difference, although it could be an alternative method I haven’t heard of since I’m in no way an expert. It just seemed as though she didn’t know what to do, so she did everything! The gym staff are there for a reason, ask them for help!

I’m going to stop here, since I can see me descending into full-on cattiness. I love the gym, and most of the people there are helpful, friendly and polite. But rightly or wrongly, these things bug me!

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