“My Life as a Gym-Rat,” aka “I Paid Money to Sweat in a Room Full of Strangers?”

English: an exercise of biceps

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As I type this, I can feel my entire torso tensing up. I feel tired and just want to lie down and avoid moving.

I guess that’s what I get for trying to be healthy.

My healthful efforts began as an earnest attempt at avoiding becoming a giant tub of lard. When you spend most of your time on a computer, your waistline has a tendency to try it’s best to double in size. I began running and eating nutritious meals, also known as less delicious meals.

These efforts were working out very well. I had lost weight and, I like to think, had moved from grotesquely out of shape to moderately out of shape. I was doing a great job of maintaining my ability to fit through doorways and at no point felt the need to use a scooter at my local Wal-Mart. While I was happy that I would not be the star of a TLC special called “The Man Who (Literally) Weighed a Ton,” I thought I could do more.

I was at this point one evening as I watched TV. Almost as if by magic, a commercial appeared on screen. Pictures of a shiny new gym flashed across the screen. It was a like an advertising executive was reaching out to me.

As much as I liked the idea of a gym, my wife was even more excited. She immediately made plans to check out this workout oasis the next day, calling me just after the visit to highly praise the gym, giving the highest ranking a huge room full of treadmills can receive. Within 48 hours, we had gone from bums who exercised outside to proud would-be gym rats.

Knowing that I was no paying money for the right to exercise, I woke up this morning and prepared for my first real workout. I laced up my shoes just right, put on my best workout shorts and, walking into the building, felt ready to finally become the modern-day Adonis that this world was truly needing. I triumphantly opened the doors and…

Sweat. All I smelled was sweat. Worse, it was sweat from other people. If I knew that it was my sweat, it would have somehow made it less gross. Instead, a room full of people running nowhere and repeatedly lifting heavy things, only to put them back down, had created a moist, thick air of body stink.


Despite this, I was determined to push on. I made my way to the bikes. I had been told that they had recumbent bikes, a luxury that I was very prepared for. Exercising on a recumbent bike is much like exercising on a comfortable chair. You get a workout and your butt is very comfy. It’s the best of both worlds.

As I reached the bikes, I looked around. All of them were occupied. All except one.

I was stuck with the one regular bike this gym possessed.

I precariously scaled this bike. At 5’7” and 90% torso, bikes like this are not made for me. In fact, they are only made for people who have 5’7” legs. I worked hard to maintain my balance as I programmed in my weight and age (it was a very nosey machine) before I began to pedal.

If recumbent bikes are like a comfortable chair, this bike was like being stuck at the top of a see-saw. For the next 20 minutes, I carefully avoided sliding off of this seat, knowing full well that falling from a height like this could kill a person my height.

To my right, a lady enjoyed a nice novel as she worked out. It seemed glorious. Instead, I enjoyed silently screaming for help as the pedals went faster and faster, threatening to rip off the small amount of leg that I do have.

Having finished the most harrowing stationary bike ride of all time, I made my way to the weight machines. After all, a modern-day Adonis must have pecs, abs, and all of those other muscles that, I’m almost positive, have been surgically implanted on people like Ryan Gosling to make us actual human beings feel terrible. These machines would help with this, I suppose.

I began to work out my flexors which is located somewhere above my knees but below my shoulders. That’s when I noticed it.

Just behind the machine, to the right, stood a lady. Staring. Her eyes shot daggers at me. I thought through my entire life. Had I done something to offend her? I couldn’t think of anything, but I usually offend a great number of people without even realizing it. She might fall into that category.

I stood to adjust the machine (You need to make sure you work out your left and right flexors equally, otherwise you will have uneven flexor strength. That’s what really killed JFK.) and, out of the corner of my eye, saw her begin to move towards me. The Jaws theme played in my head as she approached the machine. Then, as I sat down, she retreated.

She wasn’t angry with me for being a rude, inconsiderate person in the past. She was mad because I was preventing her from gaining flexor strength!

Having retreated, she resumed her attempts of killing me with her eyes. That’s when I made a conscious decision. Today, I would have the best and most thorough flexor workout of all time.

I did not keep very good track of my workout, but I would assume I did roughly 20 sets of 170 reps each flexor (still not sure I am using the world “flexor” correctly). I did so many that even body builders were starting to notice my amazing flexor strength. I was King Flexor.

I reached for my water. As I lifted the bottle to my lips, I was met by the sweet refreshing taste of absolutely nothing.

Now I had a decision to make. I could continue to use this machine, eventually thirsting to death, but proving a point to the angry lady waiting for the machine or I could enjoy a nice cool, refreshing water and live to see another day.

In the end, I chose life.

No, the gym experience was not as great as the commercial made it seem. Real life is rarely as great as a commercial. Commercials never tell you that a movie is, actually, really bad or that the Big Mac will probably make you feel like a greasy slob the rest of the day.

With that said, I will continue to go to the gym for one specific reason: I’m paying for it. I am cheap. I don’t want to waste money on a sweaty, stinky gym only to never use. I want to stink up the building with my own sweat.

Yes, I will be there again. Just not in the next couple of days.

At least not until I can move my body again.

22 thoughts on ““My Life as a Gym-Rat,” aka “I Paid Money to Sweat in a Room Full of Strangers?”

  1. You need an EMS. It is likes shock collar an you attach the leads on whatever muscle you want. It flexes the muscle for you, so you just do whatever while you work out. Of course, you don’t get the evil eye from people who might see you…I’m going to go to the tough-man competition when I get super buff.


  2. Did you know that if you bought an adjustable incline weight bench and some dumbbells, you can save $480 a year? I work out at home bro. I don’t want to sound all conceited, but my sweat smells better than the stank at the gym….and why would I want to pay to smell someones sweat? Well, okay I would pay to smell Kate Upton’s sweat 🙂 I bet her sweat smells awesome! http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012_swimsuit/models/kate-upton/?sct=swimhp_t3_a15


  3. I have a gym membership, and like a fool, I rarely go to the gym. It isn’t even the gym that I hate. It is the trip to the gym. I went yesterday and did the elliptical machine for twenty minutes (or 400 calories – whichever comes first!)
    I don’t like the chicks that think the gallon of perfume they wear covers up their nasty sweat smell. The perfume makes it much worse, ladies!


  4. Oh no you poor thing! I hate gyms for all the reasons you have just said about! I’m lucky in the fact my job is exercise so I don’t have to visit that hell hole! Just get out for a good 20 min brisk walk everyday and that will serve you better! And smells sweeter! X


  5. I have always wondered when someone would finally invent TV with smell, and whether that would make say, 24, unwatchable because of the toxic gas attack scenes. Or a gym ad less effective because the stink would kinda betray the intended message of rainbows and unicorns that they are trying to sell.
    I do have a gym membership, too, but only because:
    1. I can use their 25m fitness pool for free
    2. I can use their leisure pool (with all kinds of slides, water features and hot jacuzzis) with my little monster for free
    3. The classes I attend (yeah, legs, tums and bums is one of them I’m not ashamed to say) take place in a large, well-aired sports hall.
    I have never set foot into the stinky machinery section and I don’t intend to change this anytime in the future.
    Happy exercising.


  6. Great post–I can relate! Especially to the part about going because you are paying for it, and being 90% torso. Thanks for the laugh this morning!


  7. lmao!! One of my top faves! This is why you rock. I know just how you feel. I felt/did/experienced the same the very first time I went to the gym. And it worked. From blubberball to fit. Sadly, after two years of not exercising, I am getting back to the gym again a blubberball … best of luck. Keep us posted!


  8. Pingback: Dear Bike, My Bum Will Not Be Able To Make It Today…. « free2live282000

  9. Oh man up dude, the world doesn’t need any more wussbags, the smell of the gym is that bad, get your wimp ass and go to a new one, the effects will be well worth it. Sweat is part of nature, and you won’t get 6 pack abs and ripped body by complaining about sweat sitting on your butt typing blogs.


    • Wow. Someone takes their blog reading very seriously! I wish I was that passionate about something, though I would choose something much more relevant than a stranger’s blog. Like world peace or collecting stamps.

      Also, you have no idea how actively I type my blog. When I write a blog, I run back and forth, hitting one key each time I pass the keyboard. This usually lasts for about four hours before I finally am done. Then I do 1,000 squats.

      So here is what I recommend from now on. When you have a comment for a blog, write it, sit back, then look at it in a day or two and remember YOU ARE CRITICIZING A FREE HUMOR BLOG BECAUSE I MADE JOKES ABOUT GYMS!Maybe then you will write a comment that does not make everyone hate you.

      In conclusion, you are a wiener. Thank you and goodnight.


      • Its a day later, Im looking at it, and it still makes sense. I’m glad you think I’m a weiner, because I actually enjoy being called that. And dude seriously who gives a s*** about grammar these days anyway? I’m not being judged on my grammar I really hope, commas, periods, Who the f*** cares. It’s not that important, ok; ok” , ? And now man the f*** up, grow a set of balls, and stop being a little male femenine weakling.


      • You enjoy being called a wiener? Why? Not that it is all that bad (It’s definitely no “little male femenine weakling”), but I don’t see any positive to being called that.

        You need to relax a bit. Might I suggest some herbal tea? Perhaps you listen to too much speed metal and you should take a chance with a bit of smooth jazz. I bet a masseuse could get you to relax a little bit, but that would require some money.

        I am so sorry that you don’t care about grammar. Punctuation can be very important. For instance, if I said “Help, Jack!” it would mean I really need Jack to help me. If I said “Help Jack!” it would mean Jack really needs help. See the difference? I personally would hate to die because I forgot a comma.

        Thanks for commenting back. We should totally hang out sometime. I was thinking about joining a quilting bee. Would you be interested? Let me know.



  10. Pingback: I Swear, I Didn’t Mean Anything By It! « The Life and Times of Nathan Badley…

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