Earlier today I read a great blog post by the fabulous Fit Chick in the City about being "That Person in a Fitness Class." She talks about how she is normally disapproving of people who don't do what the instructor is telling them to do, but due to an equipment issue in a spin class (it was a clip/pedal thang, for my fellow spinners out there) she had to modify her ride and stay in the saddle for the bulk of class.
This got me thinking about the fact that I too am now a different kind of "that person." As someone who has worked out sporadically, at best, throughout her life, it occurred to me recently that my latest fitness jag has really become a lifestyle change. Because it's been such a major shift, I am now "that person who talks about working out all the time."
Lately I catch myself telling anyone who will listen about my workout routine and the 1/2 marathon I signed up for (which isn't until September - my close friends may come to cheer me on just because they'll be so glad that it's over). When I meet new people I love hearing the about the different types of classes they've tried and how they manage to eat healthy (an area in which I still have a great deal of work to do). On Pinterest my "Working on My Fitness" board is easily my favorite. And I definitely get annoyed when I am taking a group fitness class and other participants are "doing their own thing."
Now I understand that one of the perks of living on Long Island is that I pay a measly $28/month for a gym membership that includes as many classes as I'd like to take. I also understand that one of the downsides to this is that some of these classes may be overcrowded (I've seen people arrive at spin class only to find that there are no bikes left; thankfully, I've never been one of them).
What I can't take are the Chatty Patties. These ladies seem to come in 2 forms:
The Instructor's Best-y: Some women choose to show how often they attend class not by their stellar form or amazing physique, but by how well they know the instructor. Kickboxing is not a time to chitchat (in my humble opinion, if you can breath well enough to do so, then you aren't working hard enough), so if you want to ask the instructor what she's up to this weekend, please hold your comments until after class. Since your such good friends I'm sure she won't mind sticking around to talk to you instead of getting home to her family. In last night's class the conversational actually devolved into a "I wish I had your thighs" style conversation - seriously? Inappropriate. This is not book club or wine night, this is the gym, you want her thighs? Shut up and do some more squats.
The Moan and Groaners: Group fitness classes can be hard because they do not target individual strengths and weaknesses; there will be moves that some people find easier than others and vice versa. When I take a class I try to take note of the areas in which I struggle (hello, glutes) and work on them at home - like extra credit! - so that I don't have to be a major struggles in class. Unfortunately, other women choose to vocalize their difficulties. A grunt or heavy breathing is semi-understandable, you gotta do what you gotta do to get through it, but you do not have to audibly complain to your gym buddy during class. It is rude and it makes me lose my focus. Please hold your comments until after class.
Part of me wonders if things are different at the fancy gyms. Lord knows that when I take SoulCycle classes, no one in there is messing around and talkers are seriously shunned (Woo-girls on the other hand abound). Perhaps, if I'm really going to get serious about my fitness, it's time to make like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan and Step Up.