Monday, April 09, 2007

These are the people in your neighborhood gym

There are a few things you are legally required to do when you pick up a Los Angeles zip code. One is to drink more coffee and eat more sushi. You have to start liking avocado on your burgers. You have to make yourself react to rain as if it's sky poison you've never encountered in your life and never want to again. Lay on the horn, turn left on red, and randomly change lanes at every opportunity. But most importantly, as soon as you cross the border into Southern California, you must join a gym. It's legally required. If the authorities catch you not exercising in a building full of mirrors and sweaty people they will throw you on the sidwalk and make you jog as they pelt you with sushi and spray you with a hot coffee hose.

My gym of choice is Bally's in Hollywood. It's a big, busy room where you can see most of the other parts of the gym from most of the other parts of the gym which is great for someone like me who likes to watch people and make arbitrary judgments about them based solely on their looks and workout behavior. That's where I see John Billingsley, Ron Glass, Slow Old Lady, Martial Arts Guy, and My Stalker, but I'll discuss those guys at a later date. My gym has a track and lately I've been ordered to run two miles at a time, which gets a little boring on a level oval path with the same scenery around every curve. I used to give all the trainers nicknames, but ever since Captain Forehead bowed to the inevitable and shaved his head it just hasn't been as fun. Plus I know their names now. Trainer's name used to be Hotness before he became Trainer, although you may be shocked to learn that his name isn't actually Trainer and I call him by his real name to his face.

Anyway, today I identified the types of people I see at Bally's. Feel free to add to the list at will.

1) The Pulser. This guy gets on a machine and pumps one muscle really fast while abandoning the others in what I can only assume is a vanity project. Sure, his bicep looks good, but he can't actually lift anything because it's the only muscle that works. He's not getting full range of motion. He is an idiot.

2) The Clueless. These people show up in jeans and sandals, hair long and flowy, no work-out towel or water bottle, no idea how to work the machines. They're too self conscious to ask for help so they watch other Clueless people, or God help them, The Pulser, and copy things the wrong way. They do everything too fast because they think it will make them fit faster, but it just makes them work really hard with no results so they give up and are replaced by a new batch the next week. You see a lot of these people the first week of January.

3) The Jacuzzi People. They don't work out. They don't swim. They come in their one-piece bathing suits and bathing caps, sit in the jacuzzi for two hours then walk around naked in the locker room complaining about how dirty the water is. Then they come back the next day and do it again.

4) The Princess. You will never see this girl in a torn T-Shirt. Her spandex outfit matches perfectly, her hair is never out of place, and sometimes she even wears makeup. She sees no reason to look like a slob while she works out and is completely aware of every man in the gym and whether or not he's looking at her. She always smells like lavender.

5) The Hook-Up Artist. I'm surprised this guy doesn't get whiplash from the way he watches The Princess run around the track. He thinks every girl at the gym is just dying for him to take her back behind the dumpster and show her a mediocre time. This guy also likes to watch himself in the mirror a lot.

6) The Slob. These are the people who don't look in the mirror at all, even though the gym is filled with them. They're a mess even before they get to the gym and they don't really care if you know it. Their B.O. might melt your nasal passages if you get too close. This is The Princess' arch enemy.

7) The Talker. You can be listening to Good Charlotte on your Ipod, reading a copy of Lolita and wearing a T-Shirt that says "Get the fuck away from me I hate people who talk to me at the gym," and The Talker will still smile and attempt conversation. Their usual aim is to infect you with their supposed knowledge of how to work out properly. They think everyone they meet is one of The Clueless and it is their mission to educate them, whether they want them to or not. Do Not ask a Talker about the nutritional content of a mango sunset smoothie.

8) The Dedicated. These are the people I like. They've done the research, they're kind enough to put on deodorant and wear reasonable clothing, but they don't care what you think of them because they're trying to get in shape. They tend to be a little rotund but they're fixing that the hard way as they show up every day and sweat out a few more pounds.

So which one am I? Well, let's just say you won't catch me at the gym in a torn up T-Shirt and I am never without my flowery body spray.


  1. It's okay that you're a Princess. But if you're going to go behind a dumpster with some guy, at least make sure he shows you a good time.

  2. There's something to be said about a mediocre time, you know? There's no pretense behind it. No act. No show.

    Just a lewd, tawdry interlude between two people that isn't perfect, because it's not supposed to be.

    Doesn't make it any less beautiful.


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.