Move over!

DD and I were at the gym early the other day. (Ha! Early! Who am I kidding?? It was just after 10 am!) It was pretty quiet at that hour, only one other woman there puffing away on a machine.

This gym we go to has a circuit comprised of fifteen machines and what they term a “recovery station” between each machine. The idea is that you work very, very hard for thirty seconds at a machine that is isolating one set of muscles, then you slack off a bit by jogging thirty seconds in place at a recovery station, then you move to the next machine and work very, very hard for thirty seconds again, then you jog in place for thirty seconds at the next recovery station, and so on. You go around the circuit twice, which takes about half an hour. Then you move on to the stretching room, where there are specific stretches that you do, taking maybe ten minutes. Then you go home and carry on with your day. Apparently there’s all kinds of science to support this kind of quick and dirty fitness training, and I have to say that I quite like it. It can be rather hard work, some machines being more of a challenge than others, but hey, I can work hard for thirty seconds at a time!

So DD and I started at our usual spots, two recovery stations separated by one machine. That way we’re not right on top of each other, but we’re still close enough to chat or giggle if we want to.

After thirty seconds, we moved on to our first machine stations. Right then, another woman, about 70 years old, came in to start her session. She looked around. Then she went to the machine beside the recovery station next to the machine DD was working on. I looked at the woman, then back at DD. We rolled our eyes. You’re supposed to start at a recovery station in order to start getting your heartbeat up. Also, there were only three other people in the whole room, so she had to choose to be practically right beside DD???

But it got worse. We moved on to our next stations, which were recovery stations. That woman should have gone to the machine on her left. But no. She skipped it and went to the next recovery station instead. The one smack dab beside DD’s machine.

Now, both DD and I need our personal space. We do not like people to get too close to us physically. It makes us uncomfortable, particularly if those people do not have to be so close to us. And this woman did not have to be there. There was plenty of space for all, if she had only gone to the other side of the room. But she didn’t.

DD lasted about thirty seconds more. Then she moved about three machines down, where she could be all by herself.

We rotated to our next stations. This time, the woman skipped several spots and moved ahead of me, to the station right beside me. And was she slow! When it was time to change stations, I had to wait for her to finally stop, then collect her thoughts or whatever she was doing, and saunter two steps to the next station. When you only have thirty seconds at a station, all this takes up about half of the time allotted – allotted to the next person, which was ME! I was not best pleased!

But then she skipped a couple of machines further down, past DD even. She then wandered off to the stretching room, having completed maybe half the machines in a very desultory fashion, I must say. Why did she even bother showing up?

But we weren’t yet done. DD and I started in our second circuit, and when we were about three quarters of the way done, another older woman came in. She gazed around the room deliberately and parked herself – guess where? Right beside me. I sighed and rolled my eyes at DD again. But we only had a couple more stations to go, so I toughed it out, and very soon we were in the stretching room alone together, complaining mightily.

I guess you might say we both have an overdeveloped sense of how much personal space we require. You might say we both have “issues” in this area. You might say that we are stressing over a trivial, silly thing, that we should just calm down and get over it … and you might be right.

But at least it’s both of us. We never argue over who gets to lounge on which end of the couch – we never want to sit together anyway!

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10 responses to “Move over!

  1. I’m surprised some people wouldn’t want to give more space when their sweating. Seems odd to want to invade someone space when you and they have been working out..

  2. I endure thirty minutes- with no break-of aerobic workout at my exercise club. The only way I can make myself stay on the machine is by reading a book.

    • Linda – I had always thought that working on a machine would be boring and repetitive and that I’d be reading too. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised with the routine my gym promotes. And if research supports exercise like that, I’m even more excited to do it that way!

  3. Jazz – And I think my gym is being overrun by those aliens at other times, too.

    Bevchen – I once arrived early at a lecture, got exactly the seat I wanted, then put all my stuff on the seat beside me so I could be alone, just like you. A woman arrived about five minutes before it started, walked over to me and asked if she could sit where I’d piled all my stuff. I said no, there were plenty of empty seats, pick one. Some people are just clueless!

    XUP – Running does have that whole solitary thing going for it, true. It’s the sweating part that I don’t like. And the panting part. And the achy shin part.

  4. This is why I run instead.

  5. That would have really, really annoyed me. But then I hate it when people ask if the space beside me on the train is free. Can’t they see I’m deliberately sitting on the outside so I can be alone??

  6. Saturday morning is obviously alien workout time.

  7. HA! I stay away from those places.

    My diameter of personal space is apparently my entire house….

    • Nora – Probably most people are incredibly annoyed by someone who invaded their personal space. I think those who do the invading simply may not require the “normal” (whatever THAT is!) amount of space that the rest of us do.

      Maureen – Your whole house, eh? I guess that makes you “above average” in terms of personal space requirements!

  8. That would have bothered me to the point of absolute and total irritation.