Mr. Gym Manager

  I belong to a gym that is a very well known and successful franchise in the U.S. I was never overly excited to join this gym, but I thought I would give it a chance. It was a brand new facility and very close to home. My first impression of these types of establishments is what many refer to as a “meat market.” All the men strut around in their too tight, sweaty muscle shirts while the women parade around in spandex, air brushed makeup and questionable gym shoes. This is all well and good if you are the seeking a date for Friday night and not that interested in breaking a serious sweat. I go to the gym for two very good reasons. One is to stay in shape and the other is to stay healthy. I don’t go to socialize, pick up men or make friends. Sounds harsh to some I am sure, but to those that know me it won’t. I am a very compassionate person with a lot of love and friendship in my life. I just have no time or patience to cultivate personal relationships at the one place where I am free to be silent and focus on myself for a few hours a week. I just wanted to preface the real story with my opinion on this “type” of gym so you will have a better understanding of why this story is so frustrating to me!


  I begin my gym experience with the manager signing me up. Seems like a harmless guy, typical gym manager: young, built, slightly cocky, slightly annoying. Nothing out of the ordinary or that I can’t handle. I settle into a decent routine of post-work workouts.  I find it a great way to unwind after a long day in the cubicle. And for a few short blissful weeks (well there was the one time Mr. Gym flagged me down and invited me to some social gathering he was having and I politely declined) my workouts were a safe haven where I could unwind and recharge.  Much to my dismay my quiet little gym routine is disrupted by Mr. Gym manager taking a “special interest” in my workouts. He tells me I am not doing enough weights and too much cardio; that I am going to plateau and not reach my full potential blah, blah, blah. Which I know is true to some extent. I am not really pushing myself nor am I just sitting on an exercise bike pretending to work out while daydreaming. I would say I am a middle of the road type of girl when it comes to my workouts. Some days I push myself super hard and some days I don’t, but that is my business. Right? Um apparently not, because Mr. Gym Manager decided it was his business.


  One day as I enter the gym he pulls me aside and starts to go through a leg workout with me. This leg workout nearly killed me and caused me to walk around like I had just rode a horse for 24 hours straight, but it was an awesome work out! So I think to myself ok let’s see where Mr. Gym is going with this it can’t be that bad for a few free training sessions. Right? Um nope. Wrong again!  As the weeks pass and he becomes friendlier I start to dread my initial walk into the gym. I know at this point (after 4 or 5 sporadic sessions) I have to make a decision to stop training for free. So I do just that. But now it has become awkward. You know like when one of your friends hooks you up with someone and it doesn’t work, but you are in the same social circle so you are forced to play nice? I essentially had a breakup with my non-trainer and am forced to face him every time I want to workout!  I have to socialize and make small talk upon arrival. If for some reason he misses me upon arrival he will find me on a machine. Conversing is not easy when you are in the middle of hard core cardio and it is disruptive. Mr. Gym always wants to know what workout I will be doing that day, if I want to train with him, if I am in a good mood/bad mood and why. What my plans are for the weekend, if I have a boyfriend, if I am dating, etc, etc, etc. I start to pick and chose what times I will go to the gym based around the times I don’t think he will be working. I start going to the gym later and later in the evening. And then I start to evaluate the situation. I owe this man nothing why am I acting this way? It appeared that I was stuck between a rock and a hard place with this one.


   I start to reevaluate the situation at hand. I look at it from all angles and decide I will continue with my own work out routine. I will go when I want and I will just make it clear that I am not there for small talk. Well much to my dismay this plan really doesn’t work. And finally it came to a climax over the past couple of days. Mr. Gym starts asking me about men (again) and what type I am interested in. He then proceeds to tell me he wants to hook me up with his girlfriend’s brother. Which up until this point he never mentioned a girlfriend. He is quick to ask if I knew he had a girlfriend, and of course I say no to which he insists that he did. Ok great. Who really cares? I excuse myself from the conversation and move onto my workout which is the whole reason I am in the damn gym in the first place!


  The following day I try to sneak past while he is on a phone call, but Mr. Gym must sense my presence because he yells my name across the gym and rushes over to finish off the pointless conversation from the day before. But now in a mere 12 hours his girlfriend has been bumped up to a fiancé. And by the end of this short conversation she is 6 months pregnant with his child! All the while he is still insisting he shared this information with me months ago, once again I reassure him that I didn’t know until this very moment, but it still doesn’t matter to me either way. Then we are back to the pending “hook up” with what now appears to be his soon to be brother in law. He makes a few random and odd remarks about not wanting to hook me up just to see me all the time, but because he genuinely thinks we are a good match. Now mind you this man barely knows me so how he could know we are compatible on any level is beyond comprehension. I tell him thanks, but no thanks AND congratulations on the engagement and baby by the way! I am now free to move onto my workout which has now been postponed by 10 minutes of pointless banter. At last I have come to a very full proof solution to my problem: cancel my gym membership. There are plenty of gyms in the greater Miami area that I can go to and have a fresh start. Here is my point to this whole long and drawn out story: I don’t understand why any of this happened? Why does Mr. Gym feel it necessary to be invasive and disruptive during all of my visits? Is it a mixture of ego and curiosity? And how after all his talking and questioning did he NEVER not once mention a girlfriend, wait no a fiancé and a baby? It all feels very underhanded and dirty to me. And I want no part of it. I may have to deal with these types of men in certain situations but not at the gym.  As of today my gym membership has been officially cancelled and I am currently back on the market. I am in search of a nice, low key neighborhood gym. One with preferably a female manager!


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