A serious pet peeve of mine is some people’s need to rest their workout gear – water bottles, towels, training logs – on top of nearby gym equipment rather than on the gym floor. Is this some form of unfathomable laziness (after pushing out a set of dumbell presses, you’re so depleted you can’t bend over to grab your water)? Or is this an irrational hygiene issue? (The floor might be dusty, but it’s not warm and sweaty.)
In either case, regarding each piece of gym equipment as an extension of your own gym locker is astonishingly self-absorbed. Stuff on a piece of equipment is, not surprisingly, the international fitness sign for “item in use.” Just because no one is currently using that incline bench doesn’t mean that someone very soon wouldn’t like to use that bench.
This equipment-as-hatrack issue has reached such crisis proportions that I have taken on the role of equipment vigilante. I have stopped pointing to junk on a machine I want to use and asking politely, “is this yours?” Rather, depending upon the size of relevant junk owner, I either gently remove the offending items or roughly sweep the stuff onto the floor. Almost always, people get the hint.
Today, I was ready to use the gym’s ab bench. An older man sitting in an adjacent machine had decided his gym bag was simply too special to leave next to him on the ground. He had looped the bag’s strap over the ab bench’s elevated footrest so that the bag dangled safely above the gym floor. I unhooked his gym bag, dropped it onto the floor, and settled into the ab bench. Looking confused, this guy scooped up his bag, walked it over to a neighboring back machine, and crammed it between two of the machine’s metal posts.
I give up.