SO, LEGIT QUESTION: Much like common sense, is common courtesy now also on the decline? Seriously... I'm asking.
Sets of unwritten rules exist whenever we find ourselves in certain locations or situations. When we ride on a public bus, it's both common sense and common courtesy to offer up our seats to the pregnant, the disabled and the elderly. When we enter a coffee shop, it's common sense and common courtesy to join the back of the line/queue to place our order. We don't just bum-rush our way to the front of the line and demand that the barista serve us our outrageously overpriced hot beverage pronto. When we go to a movie, it's common courtesy to put our phones on silent/vibrate, keep our feet off the seat in front of us if someone is sitting there, and to sit in the back rows if our only intent is to play kissy-face in the dark for the next 2 hours.
Common sense. Common courtesy. These are real things.
So when I muster up the will to drag my tired ass to the gym after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is have to silently 'check' people for lacking basic, common courtesy. I mean, they aren't committing the most dire of offenses, but at the same time, it's like... C'mon man. Don't make me hit you with the death stare. I already suffer from RWTFF (resting 'what the f*ck' face) as it is, so now... you're just contributing to my overall look of disappointment in humanity.
Gym etiquette, or SWEATIQUETTE is both very real and very necessary. And, if you're one of the following people, just know that I judge you (wholeheartedly and unapologetically).
ARE YOU ONE OF THESE "SWEATIQUETTE" OFFENDERS?
1. The Siamese Twin: In a vast sea of readily available treadmills and ellipticals, you, sir or madam, insist on choosing to get on the machine right next me so that we can sync our breathing rhythms and awkwardly try not to make eye contact with each other. Dude. Should we schedule a tandem bicycle ride together too? Cause that's how close you feel to me right now! The rule is at least ONE machine in between us whenever possible! Unless you're kin or a friend of mine, or your name is Idris or Channing - GTFOH and move the hell over! JUDGING YOU.
2. Tommy Talkative or Tina "Twitter Fingers": Yes, yes. I'm aware that we now live in the social media/technology age where being glued to a mobile device isn't considered an addiction, but "life". However, when you make the conscious decision to go to the gym, shouldn't your main priority be to break a sweat? How is it that you feel it's appropriate to be sprawled out on the bench press, one hand behind your head - the other with the phone at your ear, discussing the issues of the day, like you're laid up on a beach somewhere? Why are you on the treadmill, moving as slowly and unsteadily as a freshly birthed baby calf? Oh right! Probably so that you don't trip and break your stupid face while it's buried in your precious iScreen. Seriously yo. SPOILER ALERT! You can catch up on all of your friends' Twitter rants and DMs later. ALL. OF. THEM.. It's the Internet. It'll still be there in an hour... Promise. JUDGING YOU.
3. Mr. or Mrs. "Sweat It & Forget It": I don't know if I'm abnormal or what, but I sweat fairly profusely when I workout. I just do. After my first round of cardio, I'm pretty much dripping from every orifice of my body. So when I see you - another sweaty kindred-spirit of mine, getting your drip on, I don't judge. That is... until I see your ass walk away from the machine or equipment without so much as a quick wipe down. Stations on stations of paper towel and spray bottles at every turn in the gym, and you wanna act like you don't know they're there to keep the machines sanitary?!? B!tch, I don't know you or your germ pool! Plus, it's flu season! If you don't come & wipe down this gatdamn machine right now, I swear to... (exhales through the nostrils). JUDGING YOU.
4. Larry Lurker (aka The Gym Creeper): OK. It's no secret that the gym can be somewhat of a meat market for singles. Sure, most people congregate at the gym to work out and get rid of their muffin tops and to keep their "dad bods" in check, but some of us are also there to scope out the scene and check for 'prospects'. Nothing wrong with that. I'm guilty of doing a quick and subtle scan around the area as I move from one machine to another. The key is subtlety. What baffles me is when I sit down to do some lat pull-downs, all I can feel is you burning a hole through my back with your persistent stare. Word? So you're just gonna sit or stand there behind me - not even so much as pretending to do a set of something? You're really just gonna stare in silence until I'm uncomfortable enough to get up and move on to another machine? Awesome. Just one tiny question: exactly how many bodies do you have locked away in your basement freezer? Asking for a friend. Also, JUDGING YOU.
5. Last, but never least... Tarzan John: We get it. It's leg day. Gains, gains, gains! Gotta lift heavy. Gotta squat deep. Gotta go hard or go home. All that stuff. But, bruh... why do I need to hear Godzilla's voice every time you complete a weight rep? Why does the entire gym need to be put on alert via your impromptu base-filled grunting, that you just smashed your own personal record? Nobody asked for this. Please exit stage left, and take your faux juice-rage with you. Oh - and to those of you who let out these obnoxiously loud grunts while doing an exercise a) too rapidly and b) with horrible form - you look like an ass! And, not only am I JUDGING YOU, I'm also questioning your overall mental stability (as it often looks like you're either stroking out or having a seizure). But, mostly just JUDGING YOU..
Listen, at the end of the day - we're all just trying to make it out of the gym alive and a little healthier than when we got there. So I implore you: please be mindful of your fellow gym rats. Clearly, we've all indirectly opted to be stuck in a sweat-box together. So, let's not make it awkward, you know? Respect the equipment. Acknowledge personal space. And, most importantly - if you're one who's committed to taking/posting selfies every time you hit the gym, there better be some damn fitness progression being shown in your photos! If not? Congratulations! You've just taken the top spot on my Sweatiquette Offenders list.