As Seen At Bally Total Fitness

I got up bright and early this morning and put on my workout clothes. Please congratulate me for actually getting up and putting on those workout clothes. It was hard to do. But, I'm supposed to be running a 5K race on the 28th so I figured I needed to see if I could go the distance after not running for a month.

Now that I have your congratulations, I'll tell you what happened next. I went and sat back down on the couch to watch cartoons with my boys. Then I read a book, figured I should go run, but I dozed off for a little while. Then I woke up, thought about going to run but instead I fixed my boys lunch, dozed off again, played hide-and-seek, thought about how I really didn't want to go run, read the book again, watched Discovery Health Channel... ah, you get the point? Several hours of procrastination later, I got in my car and drove to the gym, specifically, to the Bally Total Fitness in Hollywood.

I spent a whole hour and a half there, running on the treadmill, biking, lifting weights and observing the other gym goers. Now I remember why I stopped going to the gym and instead opted to run around my neighborhood and do free-weight workout tapes at home. You see, while at Bally's, I came across some gym-goers that I really could have lived without seeing.

Mademoiselle Rapunzel: Now, if your hair is longer than chin-length, guess what, common sense says pull it back into a ponytail. Right? Not if you're Rapunzel. I think she thought it was sexy, flicking that waist length mane back and forth over her shoulders as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror.

Mlle. Rapunzel, haven't you seen Pink's "Stupid Girls" video? Believe me, if you are trying to get attention from these guys up in here, you clearly have deeper issues. There are alot of therapists in LA. Find one.

Miss Wearing No Underwear With White Skintight Leggings: It takes skill to yap on a cell phone while simultaneously climbing a step treadmill. I'll give Miss No Underwear her props because I can only last about ten minutes on that evil thing. I can't talk while I'm on it or for a good 60 seconds after I get off.

But Miss No Underwear, let me tell you, having a great body doesn't mean you get to leave your panties at home. I know, I know, Britney Spears has made going commando the choice of a new generation. If you're going to do that though, wear black leggings instead. You were working up a sweat and, well, your behind was getting to be a trifle wet and see-through.

Now let's meet the guys.

Mr. Crotch Starer: I was getting that prickly feeling of being watched while I was on the inner thigh weight machine. Ah yes, there he was, Mr. Crotch Starer. I think he was hoping there'd be a strategically placed hole in my pants, just for his viewing pleasure. Believe me, there's not a hole, although he was staring so hard, I had to lean down and double check, just to be sure.

Crotch Starer, I know you thought you were Superman, trying to laser a hole into my track pants with your beady-eyed gaze. I didn't appreciate you winking at me either. I wish I'd had a sharp, red-hot fireplace poker handy. Mr. Crotch Starer, you suck.

Monsieur Sweaty Stationary Biker:
I had the "pleasure" of cycling next to M. Sweaty for a good half hour. I can see him now, staring intently at his reflection while softly singing along to the tune playing over the gym loudspeaker, "Love Don't Cost A Thing" by Jennifer Lopez.

But I hate to break it to you, Monsieur Sweaty: You aren't Lance Armstrong. When he rides, Lance's face does not turn the color of a bowl of borscht. Lance doesn't have gallons of sweat dripping off a pair of equally ruddy pimple-coated arms. Lance's shorts don't scoot down in the back to reveal a hairy, copiously sweaty plumber's butt. Plus, you had no towel in your vicinity and the sweat was pooling on the floor around you. Next time, I beg you to bring a full size bath towel to mop up your plentiful bodily fluids. I'll bet Bally's had to quarantine that bike after you hauled yourself off it. No amount of lysol can kill those germs.

Mr. Free Weight Grunter: Obviously, some guys think women will be impressed by watching them doing a seated chest press with two twenty pound dumbbells. Mr. Free Weight Grunter was clearly one of those guys. But, I'm not one of those women. You see, I happen to know there's another free weight section downstairs where only men hang out and lift.

Mr. FWG, how about you go loudly grunt "unnh" with the guys who are lifting twice that? Go join your fellow Y-chromosome brethren. Or are you too intimidated by all those masculine buff bods that can lift more than you? Yep, I think you may be trying to intimidate all the women upstairs that are struggling to heft the ten pound dumbbell into a bicep curl.


If any of these gym characters happen to be you, I'm sorry, but please don't go work out at Bally's anymore. I'm begging you. There's only so much my poor eyes and my nose can take.


Dena said…
so sorry about your bally's experience, but your recap is hilarious! LA Fitness opened a gym in downtown evanston.....i joined....and luckily my experience so far has not been as entertaining as yourz :-)
Anonymous said…
Hysterical, Liz! And now you've given me more good reasons to pretend that's why I don't work out at the gym. (I'm too lazy...and the treadmill upstairs may soon be in a garage sale...) Anyway, Happy New Year!
Moby Dick said…
You and I must go to the same gym! NOT! Here in Miami, the people may be different, but many of the bad habits are the same!!
Odat said…
That was one of the funniest posts I've read....I can soo relate to all of them!!! Gimme a break!
Just think of it as entertainment!
Ingrid said…
hilarious, liz! i just found your blog. kari c. told me about it. it turns out u commented on my blog and i mistook you for another liz in rogers park. (poor blogesque-sphere ettiquette on my behalf)
Liz Dwyer said…
LA Fitness...I always wonder about that name. Is fitness here in LA really that different than fitness in Chicago? Perhaps the company seeks to convert some Chicagoans into folks wearing white spandex?

You know, I did feel a bit like I was in a bad SNL skit or on some hidden camera show.

Happy New Year to you too! No gym today. I went to run on the track at the park. My kids came along and my five year-old can run as fast as me. He did close to two laps with me before he got tired. I was trailing him the entire time. Sooo embarrasing.

Glad to see that LA and Miami have more things in common than Shaq.

Highly entertaining indeed, but capable of fostering germ paranoia.

Hello and welcome to my small corner of LA! I used to be a Liz from Rogers Park. Estes and Sheridan in fact. I miss that place and that time in my life. I used to cross the street to jog on the lakefront...but only from late March to early November. One advantage (disadvantage?) of LA is that I can never say it's too cold to go run outside.
That was hilarious, although not to you at the time. Your descriptions were so vivid I realized I was holding my breath while reading this post so as not to smell these people.

And I probably could have smelled them all the way up here in SF.

Ewwww to all of them, especially Crotch Starer and Sweaty Stationary Bike Man. Rapunzel will get her hair caught in a machine one of these days, and the Free Weight Guy will have to save her. She'll be sorry.

I can't tell you how often I''ve donned running clothes and then not gone running. It's hard to keep those Virtuous Feelings going when that happens.
velvet said…
This post had me laughing out loud and I had to read it aloud to my husband. Hysterical!

Thank you for reminding me why I don't want to work out at a health club.

Good luck with your race.

TJ said…
I've seen some of these people. They're everywhere! They're everywhere! LOLOL...

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