Today at Zumba there was a crazy woman, probably mid seventies, yelling at gym-goers/ Zumba-"dancers" alongside her.
It was fabulous. It panicked the other gym-goers. Panicked them, I tell you. Twice, people ran out to alert the front desk personnel (all young, white, women) and they came in to "talk" to said crazy-lady. It solved nothing and she yelled at quite a few others as she was, eventually, escorted out of the gym.
So, it made me think about all of the lessons I've learned since I've been working out over the last year and these are my top five gym lessons:
5. Tell the Gym Daycare where you will be-- not just class/ weights/ cardio-- but mention where in the class you plan to stand. The last time somebody tried to find me I was right next to the window, nearest to the door... and they couldn't find me.
4. Don't bother with a class number if you're more than five minutes late. I used to be an avid rule-follower. Even for the most asinine rules. Now, I tend to pick and choose which rules to follow (yes, I'm one of those people) and one of the rules I detest is the one that says you have to reserve your spot in certain gym classes. I'm perpetually late, they should have a "mom" section, but alas, they do not. So, I sneak in about seven minutes after class is set to begin, which means I only miss about two minutes of the actual class and no one is the wiser when I skip the reservation part. (Or, at least they don't let on about it.)
3. Some peeps are SERIOUS about saving their spot in class. One day I walked in to class exactly on time. And, apparently another woman had just walked out before I came in. Nevertheless, I saw an open spot on the dance floor and grabbed it. Two songs in to our workout that other girl walked up and told me I was in her spot. Then she proceeded to talk about it with her buddy who didn't say anything to me to begin with. What the fuck?! I don't care if I end up in the back, especially when I'm not even close to early... but you can't be gone for ten minutes and get all pissed when someone else accidentally takes your spot.
2. Smile at everyone, but if you don't want to high-five the instructor, you don't have to. I struggle to smile at people. I have had to make myself do this since I was a senior in high school. In fact, the biggest reason I do smile at people randomly is because my high school boyfriend (now husband) was so impressed by a girl who smiled and waved -- all normal and friendly-like-- when he passed by her house in high school. So anyways, I use this at the gym too. I don't really want to strike up a convo with anyone, but I do smile. However, I do not high-five. I have abnormally sweaty palms and it's really gross to a lot of people. So I'm happy to smile, say hi, and explain to the instructor why I don't want to touch... but I refuse to high-five.
1. Compliment others. This one is something I didn't learn until I took my first step class in over a decade. I decided to get all crazy and try it out with two steps instead of one. I was super uncoordinated, and thus was hindered by the double steps, but I made it through without too much embarrassment. At the end of the class, another woman came up to me and complimented me on my ability to keep up with everyone else in light of my dub-steppin' (hahaha). It made me feel good for going to that class, and now I look forward to going to another step class, but in the meantime I look for people who do something cool and I TELL them about it. It makes people happy.
What rules have you learned at the gym?