Monday, February 22, 2010

Gym Etiquette

The NY Times runs a complaint box column, basically an Op-Ed area for the masses, which typically just ends up to be a place were one New Yorker complains about the behavior of other New Yorkers, and then hundreds of other New Yorkers write in to second that complaint, take the opposing viewpoint, or point out other things that other New Yorkers do to drive them crazy.

Last week the subject was the clusterfuck that gym noobs, typically found in large quantities every January and February, cause for those of us who work out on a more regular basis, and have been for years. I've written before about the phenomenon, complete with brand new gym "outfits" instead of clothes, along with matching sneakers. You can spot a gym neophyte that won't be around past March if he or she is working out with makeup and/or jewelry on.

The article is pretty typical, along with an accompanying piece about the proliferation of people that insist on updating their twitter feed, or worse (IMO) making phone calls in the locker room.

What I found most amusing, as always, were the comments from the rest of New York, most of whom had an entire other litany of complaints, as well as those who basically begged for tolerance and patience, as gym novices be given the time and instruction to, you know, get off the phone and get the hell out of the way.

But there was one gem amongst all the other "Me too's":

Guys who put their shod feet on benches in the locker room to tie their laces. How witless can you get?

"Shod?" "laces?" "witless?" - where does this guy work out? A 19th century YMCA? And what is the objection/obsession I've discovered peeving New Yorkers about sneakers touching seating areas? There was a similar outburst when a subway rider was recently ticketed for putting his feet up in a car at 2:30am. People passed right over the outrage the article meant to invoke and went on and on about how filthy and nasty it is to put your sneaker on a seat. I wouldn't think twice about putting my foot on a bench in the locker room to tie my sneaker. Would you? Am I missing something?

Or is this another case where, in a city of 9 million people, someone will always be pissed off about something?

Meanwhile ... I'm having some serious connectivity issues, and I got Verizon on the phone to test my line. While at first he was claiming that everything was A-OK, my insistence that it most assuredly was not led him to run another diagnostic, which revealed that it's a miracle I can even post this blog piece. A repairman is coming on Wednesday so hopefully I'll be zipping along The Internets in a day or so.

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