Recently, I’ve been getting tons* of requests from readers who want me to write more shit where I complain about stuff. And since my motto here has always been give the people what they want!**, today I am going to complain about people at the gym. Get into it!
So I’ve told you about the family fun center in our gym, otherwise known as the place where you can go to ignore your kid while playing on your smartphone***.
I don’t have a smartphone so I’m probably just jealous, but I JUST CAN’T with these parents who unload their kids onto a playground and then stare at their phones the whole time.
This happened the other day when an older kid (probably four or five, old enough to know better) started pushing Kenzie around. I didn’t say anything when he pushed her away from a toy and took it from her, or when she was behind him on the play gym thingy and he turned around and shoved her. But I nearly went ballistic when he turned around again as she was trying to climb up onto the next platform and he pushed her off of it and then climbed down and walked over her. I stomped over there, took Kenzie (who was wailing) into my arms and snarled at the kid, you push her one more time you little turd and I’ll fucking kill you. LOL NO, I didn’t say that. I’m not a monster! I think I was like, you stop pushing her! I know that’s not as good but I think the look on my face was pretty convincing because he immediately jumped off the platform and ran to his mom.
Kenzie was still crying so I decided it was a good time to leave. I walked past the mom (who had not caught a moment of this exchange because she was still glued to her phone) and I told her, you need to talk to him about being more gentle with the little kids, he was pushing and shoving her. And pay attention.
I wish I had said something meaner and awesomer, but I think I got the point across. She didn’t say anything, just shot daggers at me with her eyes until I was out of the room.
The very next day a little girl peed all over that same platform on the play gym, and I mean all over it. She was wearing gray stretch pants (an unfortunate color when there’s any kind of moisture involved), and they were soaked all the way to her feet. Kenzie was up there next to her and started squawking WATER! WATER! (I’m just relieved she wasn’t shouting PEE!)
My husband was there with us this time and without missing a beat, he says, “All right Kenzie, time to go!”
I don’t really know who to hate in this situation but I thought it was still worth including in this blog post. I guess I just hate the idea of pee, anywhere. I couldn’t bear the thought of not knowing whether the platform would be disinfected (when we left the parents had not noticed yet), so I mentioned it to someone at the front desk, and she told me me she’d send someone in there to clean it up right away. She also assured me the whole room gets cleaned every night. It’s made me feel somewhat better about taking Kenzie back there like, every day since.
The day after THAT, I was bouncing along merrily on the treadmill, my earbuds firmly planted in my ears, when a girl approached me. She actually stepped onto the treadmill next to me and just stared at me until I glanced over.
She gave me that universal gesture that says can-you-take-those-things-out-so-I-can-tell-you-something? and so I warily stepped onto the edges of the treadmill and removed one earbud (which is the universal gesture for you-are-only-worth-one-of-my-ears).
“Hi, I’m ________!”
Me: [inward sigh] “Hi.”
Her: “So, I run cross country for _____ High School, and I noticed you’re wearing that [calf sleeve****], are you injured?”
Me: [what’s the best response to get me out of this conversation quickly?] “Oh, uh, yeah.”
Her: “Well, you’ve got great form, your back is really straight.”
Me: [chuckling] “Thank you.”
Her: “Uh-huh. But I noticed you’re a heel-striker. And that can lead to injuries like tendonitis and SDLFJAEOSIJFSLDKFJSLDKFJ [I think I blacked out for a moment here] … think on your toes!”
Me: “Oh, okay…thank you?”
She nodded as if I’d given the correct answer and then repeated her name and said nice to meet you! and mercifully, she walked away. I shoved the earbud back in my ear and stepped back onto the treadmill, feeling more bemused than annoyed.
Who are you hating?
Has anybody at the gym ever tried to talk shit to you? Or said anything else weird? What did you do? My other favorite gym story is when I was pregnant and half naked in the locker room and this lady next to me suggested I get dressed in a private changing stall.
**eat shit and die
***also known as the place where every surface is likely slathered in e.coli.
****I wear the calf sleeve every once in a while, even on shorter runs. I haven’t had any pain in weeks, but sometimes it just makes me feel safe and cozy. Of course after this episode, I’m never wearing them in front of the general public again. The lesson here (and this is Introverts: 101, folks) is never do anything that might lead a stranger to try and strike up a conversation with you.