an open letter

Dear Very Hairy Man on Elliptical Machine Next to Mine,

First, I’d like to congratulate you on your return to the gym after “rehabbing” your knee for ten months. I hope you’re able to return to running the marathon, as you said you did this February. Assuming, of course, that by “running” you are referring to event planning and logistics. Judging by your, uh, heft, I don’t think you’ve run anywhere recently except to the refrigerator during Trim Spa commercials.

Second, not all of us are gym rats. Therefore, there’s a sort of camaraderie that exists among the non-bodybuilder types. This camaraderie means you can ask for assistance in getting a machine going and exchange the pleasant hello (the pleasant nod is actually preferred), but that’s it. You are NOT, I repeat NOT, allowed to make comments about someone’s workout. For instance, I am currently doing interval training. That means that I will exercise at a moderate pace for a pre-determined amount of time and then will seemingly burst into a very heightened level of exertion for a shorter period. While I understand this is all very exciting, you yelling, “Yeah, baby, you get on it girl!” does not really do much for my workout. I know you were just trying to be supportive, but someone has to tell you that this isn’t kosher.

Finally, when you are experiencing your own heightened level of exertion, grunting and saying “oh yeah” and “yeah, that’s it, that’s it” like you’re about to… you know… does not do much for the rest of the people in the room. I understand that some athletes get a great endorphin rush when working out that leads them to a natural high, but your first five minutes on an elliptical machine after ten months of Cheetos does not take you to that place. Trust me, I know.

I wish you the best in reaching your exercise goals and getting back to that marathon. As for me, if you get on a machine next to mine and I jump off in mid-stroke, you can yell “Yeah, baby, look at you go!” as I’m hot-footing it away from your hairiness. It’ll probably make me laugh next time.


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