Tuesday, September 30, 2008

No shirt! (gag!)

It should have been very simple. An easy, distraction-free, simple training session. Functional strength: one hour (give or take) doing functional strength. So simple, that I can do the workout at the gym in our apartment complex.

Perhaps that's where I went wrong.

After all, at Whiting Field NAS or Pensacola NAS (oops - Naval Air Station for all those non-military-speak people out there), last time I checked shoes and shirts were required apparel.

Its about safety after all, right?

Who hasn't dropped a weight on their foot at one time or another? Jeez, I hope I'm not the only one with my hand up here. What I meant to ask: who at some point hasn't dropped a weight or plate close to their feet at some point?

And at the military gym, shirts are definitely a requirement. Although some of them are so stretchy that you can't really tell. And I'm talking about the guys here, not the ladies. Anyways, sweaty skin all over benches and other equipment. Yuck. I have a pretty bad gag reflex, so the last thing I want when approaching a weight bench is Mr. I'm-too-hot-for-a-shirt's imprint on the thing.

I have been known to walk around with a bottle of disinfectant. Only because I don't like seeing the sweaty imprint left over the equipment. And it would be even grosser (is that a word?) if they were shirtless.

But that's not the case at the apartment mini-gym.

About 15 minutes into my workout, a young-ish guy walked into the gym. Immediately he set out on the treadmill and spent a good 20 minutes running. I didn't pay too much attention to him; I was more focused on holding my planks or not dropping the 12 pound weights on my feet (ahem). I did noticed that he worked up quite a sweat.

Apparently Mr. Treadmill-Runner wasn't all that familiar with deodorant. Oh well, it's a gym. What should I expect.

After completing his run, my companion headed over to one of the bikes. Without wiping down the treadmill, I might add. Something that I find very offensive 1) Because he was really sweaty 2) Because I am a stickler for wiping down the equipment even if I've only been warming up for five minutes on it and 3) Because once as the Fitness Director of the New Bern YMCA, I wiped down equipment all the time after sweaty individuals. It was gross. And sweat corrodes and breaks down the machines.

For a moment I thought about saying something, but then decided against it. I'm not a big fan of confrontation and besides, it's not my gym. If the guy wanted to be a jerk - let him be a jerk. I'll pick my battles, thank-you-very-much.

So I continued my functional strength and noted Mr. Biker work up an even bigger sweat. But only out of the corner of my eye; I didn't want him thinking I was watching him. After all, there were mirrors all around.

Focus Marit! Form on functional strength! Abs tucked in and tight while you do your backward lunges! Balance and posture! No sense in falling over because you're amazed at the sweat rate of the guy on the bike!

Okay, I do talk to myself.

And that's when it happened.

Mr. Sweaty got off the bike and removed his shirt.

Time out for a second. I'm a fan of the male physique. I really am. I've been known to admire a good looking body any day - and of course I'm partial to Nathaniel's.

But there are just some people that shouldn't remove their shirts. At the beach - totally acceptable. You're at the beach and lack of clothing is acceptable. If you're fine with your body the way it is - that's great. More power to you. I've got my own body issues and it's rare that you'll find me in a two piece unless I'm at top form. And I realize that. I do admire others who can simply let it all hang out. They're accepting of themselves and that's wonderful.

But when your back hair looks as though it needs to be mowed, taking off your shirt in the gym and then leaving it off while you lift weights for 20 minutes is totally unacceptable!

He could have been a Wookie from the rear view. (Close your eyes, and imagine the Wookie sound). A cousin of Chewbacca, as far as I was concerned.

I didn't know weather to laugh or to throw up.

It was so gross: the hair on this guys back was - for lack of a better word - amazing.

You could barely see any skin.

The front part - aka his chest - was fine. It looked suspiciously smooth, but I wasn't about to move closer for inspection. A few glances confirmed that the front side of him was a hairless wonder.

But the back was a different story. He looked like he belonged on Planet of the Apes. Seriously. And he wasn't that old - perhaps mid 20s?

The thing is, it was so distracting. You know when you're driving past a car accident and you know that you shouldn't look out of respect for the victims, but you can't help yourself because its so fascinating?

Yeah, that was me at the gym.

I kept telling myself to not look, to not take a peek.

But it's like with junk food or my favorite piece of yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The minute I tell myself "no", I want it even more.

From an anatomical standpoint, it was fascinating. You could teach little kids about "smooth surface" "hairy surface" by simply having this guy turn around.

And the problem was, is that he didn't put his shirt back on. For the remainder of his workout, he lifted weights, sat on the equipment with his shirt off. I was more disturbed than anything else.

Well, he was confident. I'll give him that.

And I realize that my gag reflex is getting better.

So there you have it; my adventure at the gym while doing functional strength. There really should be a disclaimer; no shoes, no shirt, no entrance to the gym. Unless you're hairless and well toned on both sides. Then I'll consider it. Until then, all bets are off.


Muppetdog said...

Ewwww! *gag* indeed! Between the heavy sweat and not wiping anything off and then going shirtless, it's a miracle you didn't clock him over the head with a weight! I'd have been tempted!

Anonymous said...

wow. this was funny- i especially like the part about his back hair needing to be 'mowed'. audible chuckle...


rr said...

Yuck. This is why I can never, ever go to a gym. Or lift any weights :)

Hope you're not scarred for life..

Damie said...

This makes me want to get Dave to check my back immediately for hair! However, I very, very rarely take my shirt off. but just in the off chance....

Kim said...

You crack me up! Yes, I do wipe off the equipment - like every time.. every time..I swear.. Don't hurt Ms. YMCA director! Ha! I loved the part about his back hair needing to me mowed. I laughed out loud and yes, I have seen it before, and would um rather not ever see it again. I know we are not all models and such, but courtasy to others is always nice. I don't go around showing people my un-shaved armpits when I have a week of "sorry no time to shave"!!

Alili said...

ROFL! Oh Marit, you crack me up!

Bob Mitera said...

You should have asked that guy, "Nice sweater. Does that come in a V-neck?"

Or walk past him and say, "What's up Sasquach?"

Or ask, "Have you seen Han Solo?" (my personal favorite)

The Movie 40 year old Virgin comes to mind...

I will be swimming in a t-shirt in Kona. (fatness)

Bruce Stewart (施樸樂) (ブルース・スチュワート) said...

When I was younger I used to think that ladies (at least Western ones)were only interested in the gorillas among the male population, so after reading your viewpoint I don't feel so inadequate anymore. I'm sure glad that I can glide well when swimming!