Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wisconsin 101: Rules for the Y and a perfectly-toned nose

I have some advice for you new-to-the-YMCA-ers.

That's great that your New Year's resolution is to get into shape.

But you're bugging the rest of us who have been coming to the gym for years.


Because you are breaking the rules.

Don't break the rules.

That's my advice.

Here are the rules I mean.

1. Have your card ready when you get to the front desk. Do not make me stand behind you while you take off your gloves, remove your sunglasses, chastise your child, and dig through your purse to find your wallet. You'll make me late and then I won't get the Good Spot in step aerobics.

2. Don't change your clothes in the upstairs restroom. Notice that there are a bunch of women at the Y in the morning and only two, yes, that is correct, only two toilet stalls in the ladies. That means that only two of us can pee at a time. Which means that the rest of us have to wait and heaven forbid that it be a school's out day and the teachers are taking all the little kids to the bathroom because then none of us will ever get a turn. Do not use the stall to change your clothes. There is 1. your house or 2. a locker room where you can compare your body to everyone else's and realize that hey, we're all in this together and nobody looks that great naked in real life.

3. If you knock over the stand holding all the exercise bands on your way back from picking up your hand weights, do not just leave it there on the floor with 100 exercise bands scattered next to it. Do not walk to the front of the class and ignore the mess you have made. Do not continue with the dead lifts. Do not wait for appalled Midwestern ladies to look at you, look at the mess, shake their heads, and drop their weights so they can clean it up. Be ashamed of leaving a mess for others. Be very, very ashamed. And don't even dare to return to class a few weeks later and then start yelling at the guy behind you. That's the only time I've ever regretted wearing earbuds and listening to the radio instead of that awful Les Mills Body Pump music. I couldn't hear what you were yelling but boy did I want to know.

I wrote an opinion piece for the local paper about going to the gym after the new year. I told people to stay away - that they would be wasting their money to join a gym in January. One commenter wrote,

tired of having gym rats with their perfect bodies look down their perfectly-toned noses at them with disdain. The same disdain that drips from Class Facotum's every word.

Obviously someone who has never seen me and who didn't understand that my main point was that these new people are taking up all the parking.

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