The Real World ... Blogger Style: My Experience Having an Altercation with an Old Bitch at the Gym

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Experience Having an Altercation with an Old Bitch at the Gym

Background: I recently switched gym memberships because another chain of clubs is much closer to my apartment. When I negotiated this new contract, I got membership to any club within the chain (rather than just one particular location) because I like to have options. My new chain's "Super-Sport" center is only a 3 minute drive from my apartment, so that's the location I was mainly using.

The 3 minute commute is extremely important because I like to wake up early 5-6am and get in a thorough workout before I have to be at work at 8:30am, so even a 15 minute drive to a gym can really interfere with the plan. There's nothing more invigorating than showing up at work in the early morning freshly showered after a heavy workout. Also, you can then devote the entire afternoon and evening to the pursuit of leisure since your workout is out of the way.

Normal Routine:
I'm really a huge fan of the Tread Climber. It is a cross between a treadmill and a stair climber and it burns twice the calories when compared to a conventional treadmill.

Tread Climber.

I normally run one hour on the Tread Climber at full speed, which burns about 1,000 calories. The Tread Climber is a new machine, so there are only about 6 of them in the gym. They are often full when I first arrive (even at that early hour), so I play around with weights for 15 or 20 minutes until a Tread Climber is free. After my hour on the Tread Climber, I go back to the weights until about 7:30-7:45am when I hit the shower.

Altercation: Last Friday, I was happily running along on the Tread Climber before work. I just crossed the 30 minute mark and was just getting my second wind, over the hump. I had my headphones on and was listening to the morning news on CNN when a motion in the periphery caught my attention. Somebody kind of nudged me and I thought it must have been an accident, so I ignored it. Soon, there was an old lady yelling in my face. I pulled off an earphone so I could hear what she was saying. She asked if I've been running for more than 20 minutes. I said, "Yeah". Then she got all smug and started yammering about how if somebody is waiting and you've been running for 20 minutes, you have to stop so they can use the machine. I don't know who has the gall to interrupt somebody's workout routine like that, but it really pissed me off. It would never cross my mind to insist that somebody stop running so I could have a turn on their machine. The machines are normally full when I first arrive, I do something else until somebody else finishes.

Well, I didn't want to make a big deal about it. So I shut off the Tread Climber and let her have it. I was all pumped up with adrenaline from running for a half hour and I thought about how I'd just made it over the halfway mark, then had to quit because of the impatience of this pushy old bitch. I took a deep breath, then as I exhaled, I heard "Fucking Bitch" boom forth from my vocal cords. Well, that old bitch heard it too and she apparently doesn't have to deal with very much adversity in her life, because she really flew off the handle. She was completely out of control, flailing her arms around and yelling, it was pretty embarrassing.

We walked over to the front desk where a staff person was working and that old bitch was making it sound like I just walked up to her out of the blue and called her a "fucking bitch". I was trying to explain I was pissed that she interrupted my workout and I didn't actually know if she was really a bitch or not at that time, I was just venting (though after seeing her reaction, I was pretty sure she was, indeed, a real bitch). Anyway, in any altercation between a guy and an old lady (especially when he does not deny calling her a "fucking bitch"), people will side with the old lady. Some kid walked up and was all, like, "why'd you do that for? What's your problem"? I was like, "What's MY problem?? What's HER problem?? I would never interrupt somebody's workout because I wanted to use their machine. I would do something else until they were finished"!!!

At times like this, you can sometimes apologize and see if it helps to calm the other person down, so I apologized. She didn't calm down though, she got worse. She took it as a sign of weakness and doubled her attack - "I don't want him here! He might hit me next time"! Before I knew what was going on, I noticed I was yelling just as loud, "OH JESUS CHRIST!!!...". The staff person didn't want to deal with it at all and you could really tell she wished we would both just leave. She politely offered that she could write me up, but the old bitch kept insisting that I shouldn't be able to use the club because she didn't feel safe. I was like, "if you weren't so pushy and didn't interrupt my workout, I wouldn't have ever said ANYTHING to you in the first place"!

I finally announced that I would happily switch to a different club location just so I wouldn't have to keep running into that bitch anymore. This wasn't the resolution she wanted, but the old bitch walked away. I went in and showered, then on the way out, I was hoping they wouldn't stop me to write me up. That's all I need in my record - a record of the time I called an old lady a bitch.

They were having the morning staff change as I exited, so I got out without having a note added to my record.

Luckily, there are a couple of other nearby gyms that are still part of that same chain, so I should be able to continue my morning routine. I'll find out tomorrow if the next nearest one has a Tread Climber.

I'm not at all sorry, I think that lady was a self-centered pushy old bitch and she needed somebody to tell her so. It's incredible though, the inconvenience that can come from losing your temper just for a second; so I guess I learned something from the experience. It's better to learn a lesson like that at a fitness club than at work.

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