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Gym étiquette question (i.e. am I just being an insensitive idiot?)

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ko4q
ko4q Posts: 46 Member
Ok, this happened to me this past weekend and I am extremely curious to hear the opinions of others on this matter. On Saturday, I went to my gym (which I love) for a run. I would normally be outside, but I got a late start and it was rising 90F by mid-morning, so the treadmill it was. Got to the cardio floor and spotted my "favorite" treadmill. This piece of equipment is one of the older treadmill varieties of which my gym has 3 remaining. I like this machine for a couple of reasons: the TV screen sits higher than some of the newer versions that are available so I feel like I am running with my eyes forward instead of looking down (which feels very unnatural to me and kind of hurts my neck/back), second, it is still manually operated by pushing buttons for incline/speed/channel changes. The new ones are touch screen and I have a terrible time trying to adjust anything on them without stopping. Finally, my old treadmill times out after 1 hour (instead of 30 mins) like all the other one. When people are waiting, I would obviously get off after 30 mins, but when it is quiet (like it was on Saturday), its nice not having to reset it and just run through for my hour of power. Back to Saturday AM--hopped on my treadmill and was about to fire her up, it just so happened that this machine was next to the only other one (of about 10 in a row) in use. The older lady next to me was walking with headphones on, watching an iPad. And then I heard "The Sigh." Any parent with kids old enough to talk will know all about "The Sigh," which almost always precedes the beginning of some sort of tantrum/argument. I was not disappointed. The lady started muttering and gesticulating "Typical, soooo typical, all these other empty machines, and you MUST pick the one right next to me. Whats wrong with you?"

So I told her as politely as I could (kill her with kindness, right?) that the other machines hurt my neck and back and I have a difficult time running on them. Apologies for crowding her, wasn't my intention, etc. She immediately backed down, said she was having a bad morning (you think?!).

I have a limited amount of time to get into the gym and get my workout done. When I am there, I could not care less what other people are doing as long as they wipe their equipment down. I don't care if they are next to me, I don't care if they are far away. But this is me. It would never have occurred to me to use another machine (one that I liked less) just because it was next to one in use. I feel like a pretty competent gym-goer, but I'm curious as to whether I have unknowingly crossed some unwritten line about equipment spacing. Thanks in advance, this has been irritating me for the last few days!
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Replies

  • Jruzer
    Jruzer Posts: 3,501 Member
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    I think you were fine as well. I could see being irritated if I were that woman (I am a known curmudegon), but you've got a good reason and don't have to justify it to anyone.

    That said, one of the common "gym complaints" around here is "Why does someone have to take the treadmill/bike/elliptical/bench right next to mine?"
  • Carl_Carlson
    Carl_Carlson Posts: 85 Member
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    The equipment is there for all paying members to use, that miserable old crone was the one with the problem. Just don't tie up my power rack doing 50 lb squats.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    if a station is open it is open ..does not matter if it is just you and one other person in the whole gym...if you choose to take the open one next to someone then it is not any fault of yours...
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    This lady was being unreasonable. If she had a legitimate reason to want more personal space, she could have politely asked if you'd be willing to move over one and explain that she gets a little claustrophobic.

    Then you could have explained that you prefer that style of treadmill and she could decide whether she wanted to move to another spot.

    Like she said, she was having a bad day. I'm glad she realized that and apologized at least.
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,590 Member
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    You didn't do anything wrong. I'd tell her if she has a problem then SHE can move.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,439 Member
    edited June 2017
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    Nah. I have a favorite treadmill, too. It's the only one like it at the gym. I will take it first, even if the only other person on a treadmill is right next to me. Headphones in, cares off.
  • rianneonamission
    rianneonamission Posts: 854 Member
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    Some people are just miserable, entitled gits. The fact she said "what's wrong with you" is just astounding.
  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,439 Member
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    Jruzer wrote: »
    I think you were fine as well. I could see being irritated if I were that woman (I am a known curmudegon), but you've got a good reason and don't have to justify it to anyone.

    That said, one of the common "gym complaints" around here is "Why does someone have to take the treadmill/bike/elliptical/bench right next to mine?"

    And I think they usually get answers like the OP's reasoning.