Gyms and Sports Clubs: Working them out

Gyms by Tom NashI played Squash the other week. Other than walking places and an annual game of football, it was probably the first formal exercise I’ve partaken in since… A long time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and am pleased to report that I did not throw up or pass out even once.

While I was only there an hour, I met plenty of interesting people and I was also reminded of the brief period of time that I was a member of a gym, as the people I met in the sports club were exactly the same.

So who do you find at gyms, leisure centres and sports clubs? Without further ado, let’s get generalising:

The ‘professional’
Usually a shit one as they are supplementing their income by offering coaching services at a sports club in [your hometown]. Eternally sweatsuit-clad (personalised if they’re really delusional) they watch you playing (or working out) for a while before interrupting with handy tips and advice on how you are doing everything wrong. They are always quick to mention titles they’ve gained and tournaments they’ve won, as if being county champion is some kind of deal-breaker that will immediately cause you to sign up to one-on-one lessons…

Although they are infinitely less irritating than:

The pimp
Somehow, they always tend to be the person using the court, pitch or equipment before you. They feel it is their duty to interrogate you on your level of skill and advise you of the excellent coaching services the club’s professional offers… Possibly a shareholder.

The needlessly competitive
They might be using the treadmill, rowing machine or cross-trainer next to you or they could be the person you’re playing against. Whoever they are, they take their exercise VERY seriously. They will always have a faster speed and higher gradient than you on the treadmill, more weight on the rowing machine and give everything they have, whatever sport they are playing, no matter how little experience or skill their opponent possesses.

The boaster
This fella can bench-press a lot of pounds. Good for you, mate. Of course, those numbers mean fuck-all to me, as having been educated in the UK in the 1990s, my mind works in the metric system. To be fair, 110lbs does look ‘more impressive’ than 50kg… I wonder how busy gyms would be if blokes could exercise their cocks bigger…

The naturist
The fella that strides triumphantly around the changing room stark-bollock-naked. Usually middle-aged, very hairy and rapey-eyed.

The imposter
Like Ethan Hawk in Gattaca, this person is intent on denying their lack of fitness. They hide behind bravado and claim to have experience and knowledge of whatever it is they are turning their hand to. Five minutes of sustained activity later, their gasps, wheezes and intense perspiration reveal the truth, although they will always have an excuse ready to excuse their poor performance. This is probably the same person that gets really drunk, throws up and passes out then the next day claims that they ate something that upset their stomach.

More after my next foray into the world of exercise…