Words have never been able to express my frustration with commercial gyms, until now. My friend Doug Hamilton-Evans, who is a copywriter by day and Girevik by night, wrote this for me. Doug typically trains at home with his (plug alert) awesome ProGrade Kettlebells from Bells of Steel! The below experience is why I avoid commercial gyms like the plague. How about you buy 5 less $15,000 dollar treadmills, get a few more racks/bells and put some of that money into having qualified attendants educate and assist your members? RANT 1 over, RANT 2 begins:
So I was at the gym last night – not my usual time – and I was curious to see what kind of human specimen makes use of the recreational facilities post dinner.
Well let me tell you, it was a spectacle! A feast for the ears and eyes of drooling man-children desperately clawing at shapes of metal that they did not understand and could not comprehend. Two idiot pustules in particular would have caught your eye and attracted your well-fined sense of infuriation as they were doing MULTIPLE SETS OF 95 LB DEADLIFTS! Sweating it out like this was a forced labour camp! Backs rounded, terrible form and for multiple, multiple sets. Chubby bellies protruding out their black wife-beaters, ill-groomed and patchy attempts at facial hair gathering sweat. These simian turds, these embarrassments to mankind, were busy making a mockery of anything strength related on one of only two squat racks, the other being used by a similarly confused, but very different kind of idiot, grinding out upwards of ten sets of squats at the whopping 105 lbs with a mean mug on his face that twisted into a cruel snarl as he supersetted with situps on those half bouncy ball things, adding on to his waste of my time and patience.
Well, do you?
I approach the duo of half-men after they each took an end of the barbell to raise it up to the squat position (safety first, guys!) and inquired if they were done and also, if it was any trouble, could they get out of my sight immediately. They replied, no, they were not done and they would not be restoring my calm by vacating the premises. In fact, they would be doing four or five sets of that underhand pullup thing that does nothing, but they mentioned that I was welcome to work in.
I was stunned. Not only were they going to further monopolize this important piece of equipment that must be taken seriously and treated with respect at all times, but they had the audacity, the cajones as some would say (not me though), to imply that what I was doing could be easily integrated into their farce? I stared at them a moment, taking in this unjust joke of nature before me. I shook my head, “no, I’ll wait for him,” gesturing to the distorted figure at the other squat rack giving it an honest go of resembling a human male that doesn’t subsist of a diet of paste and fish heads.
Then another character enters our story! Just as the half-child completes his awkward set and is about to clear the space for me, graciously and thoughtfully, I might add – my esteem for his character rising – a tall, lumpish dolt ambles up and makes pecking gestures at what I have patiently waited for. He is, as I mentioned in the previous sentence – tall and lumpy. His hair is jet black and perfectly coiffed into a shape that would look majestic at the head of a maritime vessel. He is adorned in figure-hugging LuLuLemon apparel. When he is informed by the half-man that it is actually my turn – I respectfully nod my head at him then fix a glare of disdain and loathing at the ignoramus in front of me – the oaf then meanders over to the nearest barbell and performs some sort of abortive maneuver with a barbell loaded with close to no weight that I can’t pay attention to or I would become distracted to the point of having to leave.
It as at this point that I wished you were all here to share this experience with me, not because I would wish it on you, but because I could have called on your humour and good character to guide me through this traumatic event. Also, I could have sorely used a reminder that this cluttering of nimrods is not the norm and that, in fact, there is good in the world. In this time of desperation, I would have liked to have pillars of strength such as you – as a metaphor for your good nature and principles, not physical strength in this sense – to anchor me in this storm of doubt and loathing.