Thursday, December 28, 2006

the lovers and the hairy twins

They do everything together. They start out with cardio - he runs for a few minutes and she really works up a sweat on the stairmaster. They nuzzle when they're finished. Their outfits match just enough that The Watchers notice. While he lifts weights, she tries to look interested and important, failing. She's only interesteed in making sure everyone knows she is arm candy.

The other pair also do everything together. They lift weights at the same time, they do cardio at the same time. They wear tiny tanktops (akin to back-muscle thongs) at the same time. They need to go get a back wax at the same time. And a chest wax. And an arm wax.

Thank goodness the pairs weren't combined.

A Great Lunch Location

Last Saturday was my older son's last swim lesson of the session. Seeing as it was right before Christmas and the middle of cold season, I felt it was safe to assume that a lot of people would be absent. Thus, the family locker room would not be nearly the horrific experience that it usually is. Unfortunately, many people also seemed to have used my reasoning because the locker room was fairly crowded.

After the swim lesson was over, we hurried in to stake our claim on a changing room and then proceeded to put on our shoes and socks on the bench in the middle of the locker room . As I was ranking the smell of pee(about an 8) and the smell of mildew (about a 6), I noticed a couple of new smells in the room: ham sandwich and coffee. Who the fuck would eat a ham sandwich and coffee in a family locker room? I turned around to see a guy strut past me and go over to what looked like his grown up kids and their children, who were in the middle of getting dressed. He began talking while simultaneously eating his sandwich and sipping his coffee. That just grossed me out for so many reasons. It also made me really mad. It was fucking crowded in there! The last thing you need in a crowded space is more people that don't need to be there. There was a dad in a sopping wet swim suit standing next to the ham sandwich eater shivering and dripping water on him because it was so damn crowded. Apparently the many tables at the Y were not good enough (do I dare say clean enough) for the sandwich eater.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Sadly, my beloved local gym closed because evil real estate developers obtained the property and are tearing it down to build obnoxious luxury condos because obviously what my neighborhood needs is more fucking asshole rich people. Once the building is up, the plan is to reopen a new fancier, even more luxurious gym than the old one was, which once again makes me cringe because I hate being near rich assholes and I am sure that the new gym will be even more chock full of them than the old one. Sigh.

Anyway, until the temporary gym opens on Thursday around the corner from the old one (which was across the street from me), I will be using a gym that is about a mile away. I went tonight for the first time and found it very pleasant. One thing that was particularly good about it was the air ciruclation, which was lacking in my regular gym.

However, not long after I began using a treadmill and watching "Jeopardy!," a guy stepped onto the treaddmill in the row in front of me. Normally this is not a problem. Except that this guy was about 7 feet tall and completely blocked my view of Alex as he sneered at contestants' wrong answers. Fie! After 15 minutes of running, I got a side cramp and had to move on anyway, so I chose an eliptical machine by another TV that was airing "Jeopardy!" By then, the hsow was almost over, and I eagerly anticipated the brainless fun of "Wheel of Fortune." (Pat Sajak is such a twerp with his fake home-spun "I'm just like you" attitude. No, you are a mutlimillionaire Republican. Yeesh.) I was enjoying the Wheel and had about 5 minutes to go in my workout when someone randomly changed the channel to Fox News. NOOOOOO!!!

Nothing pisses me off more than people who change the channel without checking with the people who are already there. I was ready to say some nasty shit to whoever subjected me to the brainless-but-NOT-fun Fox News, also featuring Republican multimillionaires who pretend to be like average people but clearly are not, but no one ever showed up to watch it. Fucking people.

Wearing a sweater is not the same as "hot yoga"

I was just in Puerto Rico and decided to work off some of my non-stop eating with a quick jog on the treadmill. Next to me was a women dressed head to toe in heavy clothing and running furiously. This is PR. It is 85 degrees and there is no air conditioning on. It is already boiling in the gym (so hot I decided not to work out and to walk the beach for exercise instead). But this women is sprinting with all her strength and the sweat is pouring off her body as she runs. I would swear her outfit looked like something I wear wear to do errands in the dead of winter in NY. Hmmm, wonder what she wears when there is air conditioning!

Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm that chick

In case you were wondering,

I'm that chick in the old punk rock t shirts (with the ever present colored hair). I'm the one who seems to be expending too much energy on the cardio equipment because she is also dancing. Subsequently, I'm also the girl laughing to herself because she's listening to dance music on her headphones. And dancing to it.

You'll see me doing other things besides cardio. I'm the girl using the weight machines. My hair isn't perfect, my clothes don't show off my tight butt or my perfect abs. My clothes don't even match. (Pink velcro sneakers? Yes!)

But I'm that chick getting a better workout than you, and having a better time doing it.

why even go?

A girl & I arrived and left the gym at exactly the same time. That was odd in itself. Then we walked to the cardio equipment at the same time. However, while I started with cardio and then moved on to other things, she stuck wth the treadmill. That's fine, my warmup was only 15 minutes. When I came back at the end of my workout to do 30 minutes on the bike, the girl was still there on the treadmill.

Problem I have, is that she spent the whole hour (+/-) walking. Walking. Not running, not jogging, not lunging. Walking.

Now girl, this is New York City. You have to walk places. Why pay $600 to come walk in a gym? I know it's cool to be in the window where it feels like you're walking over traffic, but you could save your money and go down and actually walk in traffic. Also I know that your hair & outfit are perfect, but guess what? More people will be impressed by it when you are out on the street walking. The 10 of us in the gym don't care what you're wearing. We just know that you're spending a lot of money to walk.

Give me your $600. You go walk in a park.

I Sure Could Go for a Nice Sandwich Right Now

While I was huffing and puffing on the treadmill at the gym this morning, a sylph sauntered by me. Like many women at my gym, she had incredible toned abs and wore tight cotton low rise pants to show them off. Also like many women at my gym, merely showing off her midsection through low rise pants was not good enough.

Nope, she rolled down the band of her pants further so that I could admire her pelvic bones as they jutted out at angles below her miniscule waist. They were so sharp I wondered if she could cut a turkey with them. Looking at her made me hungry for many reasons, particularly as I thought about sliced deli meat. Yum.

How Old Are You?

I'll be the first to admit that I've definitely had my issues with the Y that I belong to. And I just may have spoken to the manager on more than one occasion. One of my ongoing battles with the Y is regarding the locker room policies, more specifically my annoyance with the family locker room. Yesterday my older son (OS) had his swim lesson. Since I equate the family locker room with hell, my husband usually comes with us so that he can take OS into the boys locker room (not to be confused with the men's locker room) and I can change in the women's locker room (not to be confused with the girls locker room). However, my husband was pretty tired yesterday and we were running late so I decided just to take OS by myself. Due to the holiday season as well as flu and cold season, the family locker room was not as crowded as usual by which I mean the wait for a changing room was only about 5 minutes and the smell of pee was down from a 9 (with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest) to about a 7. The number of kids in various states of undress running around and climbing on everything was also significantly down. OS and I changed and went to class. After literally carrying OS back to the family locker room after swim class in a mad dash to get a changing room, we were able to successfully grab one without a wait. I managed to get my shivering 3 year old dressed very quickly. That's important to me for three reasons
  1. I don't want OS to be cold
  2. Someone else's little one is undoubtedly shivering with their shivering parent and waiting for a changing room
  3. I want to get the hell out of there
After OS and I got changed, we followed our typical pattern of putting our shoes on while sitting on the bench next to the lockers. I noticed a middle aged guy sitting there by himself and was a little suspicious. Where was his kid? Did I mention the naked preschoolers running around? I was shocked when a changing room door opened and out walked his kid, who had to be at least 10 (I'm thinking more like twelve)!

First of all, why weren't they in the boys locker room? Second, why was the dad there? Third, why the hell would anyone want to be in the family locker room unless they had to be? I mean I have a tendency to try and sneak OS into the girls locker room when the family locker room is just way too crowded (or way too smelly), but don't tell the management that.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is Christmas Over Already?

I have to admit that the first Christmas I was a Y member, I was caught off guard by the amount of Christmas decorations they had. Not only are there a ton of them, but they look like they were bought at Debbie Gibson's yard sale back in the 1980's. As a frequenter of yard sales myself (or as people say here "tag sales") I think that you can get some great finds at yard sales. However, many times there is also a really good reason why that particular item is at the yard sale. So back to tonight, I walked in and walked past the gawdy Christmas tree decorated with tons of odd colored extra wide ribbons and past all the scary cardboard Santa cutouts and plastic Santa knickknacks only to discover that an employee was taking down some of the decorations. What? Had Christmas happened already? I asked the woman what was going on and she said "The decorations were a bit much." I definitely second that one, but Christmas is right around the corner, why not just leave it up until then. I mean they've already been up since before Thanksgiving...maybe that's the problem right there.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Reader Contribution: The Staff Infection Sandwich

Thank you to bro92116 for leaving this hilariously gross story in the comments section of a previous post....

One day after exiting the showers at the gym I observed another guy, in street clothes sitting on the bench within the same row that my locker was. The locker rooms are equipped with televisions that were displaying some sporting event that I had no interest in. The guy was intently watching the television. While getting dressed I noticed that he began to pull out bread, peanut butter, and jelly from a plastic bag that was next to him. He laid the bread directly on the bench while he prepared his sandwhich. I though how that bench has probably seen more asses than the actually toliets at the gym. I was truly grossed out, so much that I almost asked the guy what the hell are you doing? Instead I said nothing while the guy enjoyed his peanut butter, jelly, and staff infection sandwhich.

A new Niche Markt for Nike?

I was working out at my parent's gym in their building, when my favorite regular came in. A man in his mid-fifties, he always wears scrubs to the gym - and slippers. The only thing he ever does is get on the treadmill and shuffle along at 1.6 MPH (I've seen the post-workout summary) for about 20 minutes. Then, he gets back into the elevator and goes to his apartment. The gym manager says he comes everyday at the same time, gets on the same treadmill (or waits if it is being used), takes 2o minutes and leaves. No one had ever heard him say a word (not even hello) and if you are on the treadmill when he comes in, he will just stand dangerously close and wait until you get off. The best part is, people know he is coming and his treadmill is almost always free, no matter how crowded the gym.

The Lifeguard with X-ray Vision

Today when I was swimming at the Y, I reminisced about my "favorite" lifeguard. Not only could this fine young man save my life if need be, but he also had x-ray vision! I know this because he would guard with his towel over his head. To the casual observer he might look like he was sleeping with his towel over his face, but clearly the Y would not allow a lifeguard to sleep on duty. The obvious conclusion then is that he could see through the towel. What a special individual! Occasionally he would remove the towel and stroll very slowly (it wasn't because he had just woken up, it was because he didn't want to slip) over to the white board and write a new workout on it. Hey, he has x-ray vision, not magical powers to make writing appear. Obviously another pool realized his fine qualities and offered him an enormous pay raise to work for them which he then accepted because after a mere week I never saw him again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Random Celebrity Sighting at a Gym (Sort of)!

Yesterday as I was waiting for the elevator on my way to an appointment, a man that I swear was Jerry Stiller joined me in the lobby. He looked crabby, but I smiled at him nervously anyway. When the elevator finally arrived, we both got in. He exited the elevator at the 8th floor, which was the home of a New York Sport & Racquet Club. Perhaps he is a member there, although my brother-in-law works out at a JCC and says that he has seen Stiller in the locker room many times. Unfortunately, he was naked on each occasion sighted.

yes, that's the reason

A male friend of mine is convinced that the reason you don't see many guys on the Stairmaster is because

the guys are too wussy to handle it.

I'm sure that's why. Too wussy.

The Depressing Gym Bunny Wannabe

I've belonged to my gym for about 4 years now, and for a while there was this woman there who hit on almost every guy who came through the doors. It was both depressing and weirdly gleeful to watch. She would skulk around the weight equipment and then ask all these guys to help her out. The depressing part was that she was sort of gross. Most women who do that (and the ones who get away with it) are super tiny and botox their sweat glands or something which results in them never, ever sweating. This woman was always glistening with sweat and tying her shirt up to show her abs, which were not very impressive. Surprisingly, the guys were generally nice enough to get her set up with the weights, but also got away as quickly as possible. I always teased my husband, asking him if she ever hit on him. He always looked mortified when I did. Everyone definitely knew her. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen her in eons. I wonder if she moved on to victimize another gym.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Yesterday I started the Great Holiday Diet. This involves actually eating healthy foods and, horror of horrors, going to the gym at least 4 times a week. The problem is, I am usually totally bored and unable to push myself at the gym. So really, the best way for me to work out is to attend a class. Problem is, most classes at my gym are designed to sculpt and tone, and I really need to do more cardio.

So, I get to the gym prepared mentally to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes, when I notice a large group of people standing outside the doors to the class studio. I asked the woman at the front desk what class was about to happen and she told me it was Nia, a combination of dance, yoga and flexibility training. She also told me it was one of the most popular classes at the gym, although this was especially crowded because the founder of the Nia movement was going to be teaching the class. I heard dance and flexibility and joined the class.

Now, there should have been some warning signs, if I had been paying attention. First, I hate Yoga. I was once kicked out of a Yoga class for giggling at the woman next to me. But really, she was making sex noises (this of that famous scene in when Harry met Sally and you will get the idea) and I couldn’t stop laughing. Apparently, there is something wrong with my Chi and I was asked to leave. Second, when I walked in, I had to remove my shoes and socks. This is always a sure sign I will hate a class because if you are the kind of person who does not care how dirty the JCC gym floor is and are willing to walk without even socks, we clearly have nothing in common. Finally, when I walked in, people were making odd sweeping motions with their hands, although at the time, I thought they were merely, stretching. Ha!

The class starts and its all this weird stretching, but I figure its just the warm up, right? Wrong! The instructor keeps telling everyone to yell out “Yes” when performing specific movements because, “when you say yes, all your neurons say ‘yes’ with you.” Then she had us “shake our tails because shaking the tail makes you smarter.” The movements were ridiculous and if my heart rate went up at all, I would be surprised. The worst part was, people were really into it and yelling out things like “Yes” and “I love my body” and “Peace” randomly through class. It was like watching evangelicals during a revival. People even danced around trying to hug others.

At the end of seemingly endless hour, we were told to give ourselves “self-hugs” and yell out what we gained from class. People started yelling things like “confidence”, “trust”, and “empowerment.” All I could come up with was the knowledge that everyone else in the class was an idiot.


When was the first time you realized that the people at your gym are really, really funny? In an unintentional way?

The People Under the Stairmasters is here to capture the horror and humor of working out. We hope to make you laugh, cry, and cringe. Not in the typical mocking-overweight-people way; that shit's not funny. No, this is more about that woman reeking of desperation who ties up her shirt to show off her abs and then asks every man at the gym to show her how to use various weights. Or the guy with the muscles who doesn't wipe his sweaty ass prints off the mat in the stretching area. Or the woman who thinks she is Jane Fonda.

A gym membership can bring more than the benefits of health! It can provide hours of entertainment. Join us and experience the gym through the mocking eyes of The People Under the Stairmasters.