Fight Club

I get into a fight in the gym about once every 7 years.

Every time, it’s with some steroid-addled gorilla. You know the type: a giant grouch, wearing a heavy sweatshirt and baggy running pants, acting as if the rest of us are invading his private gym.

Side note: If you’re built like a Greek statue, why are you all covered up under thick fabric?

Now I’m not saying this guy wasn’t huge. I’m just questioning the muscle to flab ratio. You get no points for flab.

So I’m resting between sets of incline dumbbell presses, and I hear someone behind me start barking out threats.

“I’m letting you know I’m coming through right now and if you don’t move that bench you’re going to get hurt.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’ve got that bench way too close to the dumbbell rack and I’m not going to wait for you. It’s called etiquette!”

Now technically, this butthead was right. The gym is cluttered with equipment, and I found a sliver of free space directly in front of the 70s, 75s and 80s. But what’s the expression – you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?

Besides, telling me I’m in breach of gym etiquette is like telling Martha Stewart she’s put the salad fork in the wrong place. Of course, this confrontation wasn’t about etiquette at all, but about my simply being in his way.

In my pump-induced fantasy, I considered taking this jerk on. Every guy in the middle of his workout imagines he’s Hulk Hogan, right? I also thought it would be interesting to see two guys with lactic acid-filled shoulders struggle to lift their arms, let alone fight.

But in the end, I decided it would be best to just move. You know, literally to come back and fight another day.

Later on, I looked across the crowded gym to see what this model of health club etiquette was up to. He was working out on one of the machines, with his gym bag and water bottles spread all over a nearby bench.

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  1. My mouth gets me into LOTS of trouble. Had I seen the spread of all his shit around, I would have quoted him back to himself and said, “I’m just letting you know I’m coming through right now and if you don’t move your shit, you are gonna get hurt.”

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