As a long-time runner adding cross-training to her routine, there are things this runner doesn’t love about the gym. Being new to the whole gym system, I’m proceeding somewhat cautiously, doing my best to figure out the culture and the environment. So far, so good, but there are still some things that I haven’t adjusted to quite yet.
It’s Hard Being Inside
As a strong proponent of “get outside” whenever possible, the whole inside workout is challenging for me. This runner doesn’t love being cooped up indoors, even when the gains are worthwhile. On the plus side, our gym has high ceilings and lots of windows, making it more open. However, there’s still the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck inside, away from the sun and sky.
Being Part Of Everyone Else’s Experience
Running can be a very solitary activity. Even when in a group, everyone is all moving in one direction towards a common goal. At the gym, it’s a little different. The gym is full of sounds and movement, not entirely synchronized. There are grunts of exertion, conversation, banging weights, and people moving in and out of spaces and classrooms. For someone easily distracted by sensory stimuli, it’s hard to focus. And I hate the vibration of dropped weights, especially if I am downstairs or in a classroom. Mr. PugRunner even got me noise canceling ear buds to help keep me on track.
Knowing When Its Your Turn
I try to go to the gym during lower traffic times, but my schedule isn’t always quite that flexible. When someone is on the piece of equipment you want to use, it feels uncomfortable waiting. I never want to hover, but I also want to establish that I’m next. Ugh. I don’t love the feeling of that little dance to get on the leg press. It’s even worse when several people camp out at a machine, and make no moves to hustle through their workout.
People In Each Others’ Spaces
Of course, gyms are public spaces, and no one owns those spaces, but crowded days are hard with people being close together. When running, it’s pretty easy to adjust your pace and route if things get crowded, but it can be harder to navigate the gym floor during crowded times. Right now, I try to take up as little space as possible, but I probably need to get over that in order4 to feel more comfortable.
And What’s That Thing I Don’t Mind?
Honestly, I don’t care if people don’t wipe down the equipment after they use it. Yes, of course they SHOULD do it, and it’s a jerk move not to. The truth is, I’m going to wipe it down myself anyway, even if I see it being wiped down directly before I use it. I know this ranks high on the list of gym etiquette, and of course, I clean after myself, but this is one hot topic that doesn’t get to me.
If you’re a runner who just started with a gym, what are some things you don’t love?
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