Thursday, August 16, 2012

Shelly's Laws of the Gym (With Apologies to Murphy)

I go to my gym on a university campus five or six times a week. I enjoy it. However, like Murphy's Law, there are several, irrefutable laws that hold true each time.

1. The Sweat Flinger Law: This mandate was specifically written to ensure the man who sweats the most profusely will, in a row of empty machines, end up next to you and will be sweating so exuberantly that his sweat droplets cascade upon you like salty rain.

2. The Racing Woman Law: An intriguing piece of legislation, this calls for a woman, preferably no older than 19, who is speedy and in incredible shape, to notice each time you head to the track to run your 3.5 miles. She will then immediately stop what she is doing, head to the track after you to race you without your knowledge or consent. The law stipulates she must exert herself as if she is overtaking Usain Bolt, even though it is only the two of you on the track. A provision in the law allows you to award her a medal for repeatedly showing up a middle aged woman on the track, if you so choose.


3. The Familiar Audience Law: The beauty of this law is it guarantees that ONLY when your trainer has pushed you to the brink of death and you are whimpering with exhaustion that a group of college students who used to be your middle school students will take places in the bleachers next to the court where you are doing the last set of boot camp exercises to watch because they are so happy to have found you at the gym. A last minute rider gives bonus points if they also shout encouragement and applaud while the last vestiges of your dignity evaporate as you complete a plank exercise your trainer calls, "humping the floor" .

4. The Annoying Flirty Man Law: This law dictates that Annoying Flirty Man will continue to pelt you with his attention, even though you clearly wear your wedding ring, you do not speak to him, you do not make eye contact with him, nor do you even acknowledge his existence as you run on the treadmill. An added bonus of this law includes the man must wear tank tops and have a forest of hair peeking out of the collar and arm holes.

5. The Towel Assimilation Law: Years of unregulated towel usage necessitated this legislation. The mandate covers those times when you drop your gym issued blue towel, identical to all the other blue towels issued, beside your mat as you work on core exercises. It requires other users of the area to plop their sweat soaked towels in a pile with your towel and ignore the vast open spaces near their own mats where towels could be segregated. When you reach behind your head for your towel without looking, it ensures you will also grab the other wet towels with your own. An amendment also allows for people with the same brand bottles of water as yours, partially filled, to place their bottles so near yours that it is impossible to distinguish one from the other.

Do you have irrefutable laws of life that govern your life?

60 comments:

  1. These are spot-on, Shelly! I have experienced most of these humiliating situations at gyms in my adult years and in high school and college gym classes. Nature's perfect young specimens always come out of the woodwork, pumping and preening, to show you exactly how it's done and make you want to head for the showers. It can be demoralizing unless you learn how to tune them out. There's no greater feeling than the one you get after chug-a-lugging a bottle of warm water that turns out to belong, not to you, but to "Uncle Fester." I can also relate to your experience with the annoying flirty man because, at times, I also received unwanted attention from MEN as well as women in such settings. As a teen, I was a very good basketball player when practicing alone at my backyard hoop. In game situations at school, with a crowd looking on (which included family, friends and the cheerleaders I hoped to impress) I usually froze, choked, under performed and embarrassed myself. It's great to find humor back on your blog, dear friend Selly (Shelly). Have a safe and happy weekend!

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    1. Shady: I think these gym experiences must have some degree of familiarity with anyone who frequents one. That Uncle Fester line was so true it almost made me gag! Ugh!

      I've learned to expect the unexpected anytime I go to work out, so at least it's not too surprising when something strange happens.

      Thank you and have a wonderful weekend yourself!

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  2. I'd just about convinced myself that it was time to buy a gym membership to lose fifty pounds and get myself healthy and in shape, but you've talked me out of it. Thanks.

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    1. Stephen: Now don't let that be an excuse- I've actually come to enjoy the gym culture. It just takes a little getting used to~

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  3. Honestly you are so awesome to put up with that and go to a gym - kudos to you. I ride my bike here at home. sandie

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    1. Sandie: I really do enjoy the gym- it's just such a different culture that it's very interesting in there. Good for you, too!

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  4. Oh the unhealthy things we do to get healthy! :-)
    Kudos to you for hitting the gym 6 days a week.

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  5. And somehow I suspect that on your days in the gym when all five of these laws are invoked, it makes you so mad you go home and throw your tractor tire all over the north forty.

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    1. vanilla: Now my trainer makes me flip the tractor tires up and down a small hill, so I don't do it at home anymore! One time per day is enough for this old gal-

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  6. This made me laugh so hard!! The story of your weight loss and commitment to a healthy lifestyle is such an inspiration. Knowing what you put up with in the gym makes it even more inspiring. Shady's comment also made me laugh. I had no idea that gyms could be so EWWWEE! ;)

    Thank you for your comment on my post a few minutes ago. I've just discovered that if I type with one hand and hold my phone straight up in the air with the other, I can get a GREAT signal! (lol) You're worth it! I always love reading what you share. Have a great rest of the day, Shelly! :)

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    1. Jenn: There are some moments that could make me completely gross out, but I've learned to tune them out, kind of like when you change a baby's diaper for the first time. At least there's a health benefit!

      I can so imagine how you have to contort to get any kind of a signal because I've done the same with my phone when I'm out of town. Thank you for making such a sweet effort for me!

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  7. Oh dear, makes me appreciate my private class with only my friends and of course.....the trainer.

    With a room full of woman, I do believe he would dare not say, "Humping the floor."

    Keep up the good work!!

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    1. Saimi: Your class sounds like a dream- my trainer has all kinds of "imaginative" ways of putting things...

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  8. I love going to the gym. I have a zillion stories like these also.
    One day, this older man, with a huge white beard, got on the treadmill wearing worker boots and clothes to match. It was so weird.

    What annoys me??? The person who walks backwards on the treadmill..annoying and weird.

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    1. Christine: Work boots and work clothes??? I just don't get some people at all! And yes, I think the backwards walkers are showoffs in the worst way-

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  9. These are brilliant and so spot on Shelly :) Have a great day!

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    1. Eva: Gym rats are the same no matter where you go, I think- thanks!

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  10. Shelly I love these, especially #1. Gross. I can just imagine. Blessings.

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  11. I laughed out loud, Shelly! These are all the reasons why I don't like the gym. That, and the fact that you have to pay for it. But my biggest dislike is when you look forward all week to a particular class and when you arrive it's either A) ridiculously over crowded or B) its not, because the instructor is the worst ever. Why can't they ever offer more classes with the good teacher?!?

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    1. Karen: I really have gotten to like this gym, as long as people stay out of my way- ha! And I know what you mean about the classes- it's such a roll of the dice as to what way it will be-

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  12. If there's liquid, it will spill

    If I let the kids get their own juice (they do every day) they WILL spill it.

    They will keep trying every day though anyway.

    The baby will only have "blowouts" immediately after his bath, in his new clean clothes, and it will always go up his back.

    If I wear a black shirt, it will be puked on by said baby.

    If I go to the porch to pray or just to "get away" from the kiddos, they will find me within 30 seconds

    If I go to the bathroom (to you know, go) and I actually close the door, never fails, promise, someone will open it within 30 seconds.

    If I don't close the door, they will all be there within 30 seconds

    I should get a blog or something, huh?


    Shelly, your post had me laughing the whole time. (and kind of grossed out too) and feeling sorry for you all at the same time!!

    thanks for the laugh!!

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    1. Jamie: Oh, I had to laugh at yours, especially the ones about the bathroom! Why does it seem that things are fine, but as soon as you close the door, everything needs attention at once???

      We moms never need to worry about getting lost because our kids will find us in next to nothing~

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  13. Your first law made me gag. Your other ones made me laugh (while cringing). You are not enticing me to join a gym!

    Happy weekend.

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    1. Theresa: It was SO gross! Ack! But really, I love the gym. Most of it is so good~

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  14. My mom has been a fitness instructor since the 80s, so I pretty much grew up in a gym. (Richard Simmons held me when I was an infant.) You are spot on about everything!

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    1. Missed Periods: Richard Simmons?! Wow!!!

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  15. LOL, So funny :D
    You always make me laugh so hard :p

    HAve a wonderful day
    XoXo
    http://abudhabifood.blogspot.com

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  16. I agree with others that you are really special to keep going while dealing with all those strange people. Keep it up girl.

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    1. Odie: It really is a great place- minus those things...

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  17. I am now very glad that I always went to a women-only gym.

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    1. Belle: We don't have any like that here~

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  18. Hey, at least you don't get heat stroke at the gym!

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  19. I don't know whether to laugh hysterically as I have felt your pain or be grossed out by the towel thing. As you read my post today you know I dealt with the gross so I'll just laugh. :)

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    1. Craziness abounds: Laughing is about all there is to do when stuff like that happens!

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  20. So sorry for my belated comment, my dear friend~~~♪
    Wow!!! dearest Shelly, I never knew about "Murphy's Law"
    And your title "Shelly's Laws of the Gym (With Apologies to Murphy)" got me amazed and checked with PC, haha. First of all, I always DO admire your attitude for your health and trying to keep yourself in shape. And as you might know, I have no idea about Gym, haha. But At least I can see you have to deal with some things there. I think it is really fun for me to read this post later again (*^_^*)

    But, I think I have one thing I found from PC that applies to my husband; "It will start raining as soon as I start washing my car, except when I wash the car for the purpose of causing rain."
    Sometimes I know that if he washes his car, with high percentage it will start raining in very near future p;)

    Sending you lots of love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

    PS> Please delete my former one forever. I change some part, haha.

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    1. Orchid: Murphy's Laws are so funny, and I'm glad you found them, my dear friend, Miyako! It's amazing the same things that seem to go wrong each time, no matter what. I'm sorry for your husband that it happens whenever he washes the car!

      The gym is a place I enjoy, except for those few little things I mentioned here. Thank you, friend, for stopping by when I know you are so busy right now~

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  21. Hi Shelly, I loved your gym stories. I understand completely about the creepy flirty man and the women who race. There is one guy who works out in my gym who has this strange habit of pacing the floor behind the row of eliptical and treadmil machines. When he gets to the end, where I'm usually running or climbing, he pauses and stands directly behind me for a few minutes, which makes me extremely self conscious. I think he's really just trying to recover, but it's weird.
    I found that I'm less aware of everything around me when my music is blasting in my ears.

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    1. Jenny: I really, really don't like when someone stops behind me, either, especially when there is a whole gym of room to choose from. I finally have a comfortable pair of ear buds of my own (without having to borrow from my daughter or husband) and music or finding a good show on the machine TV's helps so much. In fact, I kind of forget I'm actually exercising when I have that party happening in my ear.

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  22. oh my gosh...how funny. funny because it is true!!

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    1. Annmarie: Some things never change!

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  23. Hiya Shelley,
    I like women only gym's and attended Curves for that reason...I have since given up as I would rather sleep in on cold mornings..(just an excuse for laziness.) This is funny when you look at it without irritation.. xxxxx

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    1. Crystal Mary: And take it without too much irritation, I do, as I really do enjoy going to the gym~

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  24. This was so funny, Shelley. Thank you for these "laws" of the gym! They reminded me of the gyms I have belonged to over the years.

    I'd add to the list with the Angry Gym Patron Law. These are the people who think they can work out most effectively if they first think angry thoughts until they are in just shy of a state of rage. Then they come to the gym and glare at everyone, as they purposely knock weights around and grunt on treadmills.

    All in all, though, aside from tolerating the occasional weirdo, I have enjoyed being a member of gyms. The good outweighs the bad. :-D

    Have a great week!

    ~Janette

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    1. Janette Dolores: I think I heard one of those Angry Gym Patrons this weekend when I was at the gym- lots of banging of weights (even though it's against the rules) and grunting. Ha! That's a funny one-

      And yes, absolutely, I'll put up with the bad for the good of the gym anyday!

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  25. Sweat Flinger normally is next to me in the yoga studio, but it's really more of a POOL than a proper flinging...

    *wrinkles nose*

    :-)

    Happy Monday! My laptop is back!

    Pearl

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    1. Pearl: I burn extra calories just trying to dodge his sweaty bullets- and welcome back!

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  26. Ha ha, hilarious. This is why I often work out at home.

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    1. Lydia: I just started at the gym this year, after years of doing it at home, so this is all a learning curve for me yet-

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  27. Dear Shelly, now the horrible truth comes out--I've never joined a health spa or gym or had a trainer or exercised in front of/with other people. For years I walked daily--about three miles--in a cemetery in Stillwater (MN). Then I moved here to Missouri and had so many health problems that I did no exercise for three years. Only now am I walking again and this time it's in a gym at the senior citizen center, which is located in a refurbished grade school, hence the gym. But even there, I go at a hour when I'm the only one in the gym (this is because of my writing schedule). So I know nothing of these "laws"! Always behind, always behind! It seems that always I'm marching to the tune of a different drummer. And he doesn't exercise much! Peace.

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    1. Dee; Great kudoes to you, my friend, for walking at whatever hour. I would love to work out early, but I already wake up at 4:30 as it is, and so I must settle for late afternoon/evenings. Your drummer and mine are much the same, I think~

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  28. Doing my round of hugs. Blessings dear.

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  29. Shelly, I already admired your commitment to the gym, but now that I have read the laws which govern those outings, my goodness, you now have my undying admiration.

    I cannot imagine anything much more revolting than being pelted with either someone else's sweat, or their unwanted attention. ICK!!

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    1. Marsha: The benefits of the gym far outweigh the annoyances, but I do wish some of them would go away!

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  30. ALL true! A man flung his sweat on me the other day and I gagged so much. I couldn't take a shower fast enough!

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    1. Crack You Whip: COMPLETELY disgusting- blehhh!!!!

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