I know, I have been on about Grunts at the gym recently.
My Spinning class seems to be particularly problematic. Here is my latest horror tale: The cycling studio was jam-pack crowded; favorite teacher, new year's resolutions still intact, convenient time. Normally, I choose a bike near the wall so I only risk one annoying person sitting next to me but the pickings were slim due to the turnout and I was stuck in the center--the airline equivalent to a middle seat, alas. You won't believe this, but I ended up sitting next to Mr. Handshake--remember him--he of the sweaty palms from last week's class?
Anyway, as I made my preparations--water bottle stowed, towel arranged over the handle bars, bike adjusted to my dimensions--my friendly neighbor shared his spin-thusiasm. "Are you ready to go? Gonna hit it hard today! You up for it?" Needless to say, these remarks were not pleasing to me, but there was nowhere to go. I replied with the barest minimum of courtesy, "sure." and hoped that ended it.
Do I need to tell you, Graces, that my one syllable was construed as an invitation for Mr. Thinks-he's-Lance-Armstrong to appoint himself my personal spin coach for the duration of the class? Yup. For the entire 50 minutes I had a motivational speaker on my left: "Go, go. I'm pacing you. Follow my feet. You got it. Push it, you can do it. Sprint, sprint. Endurance. Your head limits your legs, don't let it! Mind over Matter" and other suchlike muscle-head phrases that essentially ruined the class for me. I couldn't hear the actual instructor, I couldn't really go at my own pace with this shouter to my left, and I felt heckled the whole time. (Ok, I'll admit, I probably got more out of the class and worked harder than I otherwise would have, but the irritation factor far surpassed any benefit.) If I'm there, that's enough for me--I don't have to break any records or impress my fellow soldiers fighting the battle of the bulge.
I know the following spoof is well, a spoof. But this dork is really not far off from my nightmarish spinning neighbor. Watch:
And while I am on the subject of fitness Grunts, can someone please tell me when people deemed it de rigeur to display their midsections at the gym? I don't want to look at my own "work in progress" abs let alone anyone else's. Yes, I'll admit, some people can carry it off--they are generally 19, spend all of their spare time (which, when you are 19, you have a lot of) working out, and they have ripped tummies. Good for them. I get it--if you've got 'em flaunt 'em, emphasize your assets, whatever. They are not really the ones I object to, although I am not in general a proponent of exposed belly skin. The ones I can't stand are the ones who, well, really shouldn't be sharing that view. No one wants to see your back fat or spare tire--especially when it's jiggling on the treadmill or stairmaster. Trust me.
Here are some guidelines on when it's ok to engage in mid section exposure:
1. If you are at a beach, pool, or jacuzzi and there is no muffin top involved.
2. If you are built like Victoria (or David) Beckham.
3. If you are in the privacy of your own home.
Aside from that, keep it covered, and be ready, Graces, to avert your eyes, should a violator enter your field of vision!