Monday, January 28, 2013

Gym People, Part 1

As with anyplace where people congregate for one reason or other, the gym where I go has quite a crew of 'folks.'  This is the first of a two-part look at the people I share the gym with.

I guess the first person I want to discuss is the owner.  He is about the age of my oldest daughter.  He is nice to me--as he should be--but we definitely aren't buddy-buddy.  His father is my personal trainer.  Anyway, M, the owner, intimates the bejeebers out of me because he is so intense.  He is in fantastic shape--as he should be--and I feel as if he thinks every person in the entire world should be in the same shape as him.  I am SO happy that I didn't pick M as my trainer--I don't know if we would have gotten along that well.  MY trainer seems to understand my limitations--well, my 'right now' limitations--and doesn't push me beyond what he thinks I can handle.  M, on the other hand, might not do the same.  I was thinking of going to the once-a-week yoga/tai chi/pilates class that the gym has, but M runs it himself and I don't think I'm quite at the point where I can make it through one of his classes--even if it is supposed to be 'low impact' and 'relaxing.'  I'll have to see what I feel like in a couple of months...

When my trainer was gone during the Christmas holidays, another trainer filled in for him.  I absolutely ADORE T and wouldn't mind it at all if he was my trainer.  The guy is funny and talks non-stop.  We got along very well and I would never hesitate to have him 'put me through my paces' if the opportunity arose.  Down the road, if I ever need to change up things by getting a new trainer, I will definitely ask T to take me on as a client.

My trainer is a year older than me.  He was raised 'up north' just as I was.  He had his own rock band and still plays guitar.  Both he and I are convinced that the best music came from the 60s and early 70s.  Before becoming a personal trainer, G was a registered nurse and supervisor in a cardiac care unit.  He also served in the Coast Guard and retired after 20(?) years.  We get along wonderfully and have a lot to talk about besides what is going on in the gym.  I know I wouldn't have kept up with what I'm doing if our personalities wouldn't have meshed as well as they have.

I mentioned in an earlier post that the goalie for the university's hockey team trains at my gym.  I am absolutely amazed at what this kid can do!  I have been known to stop my training session just so I can watch this guy work out!  I have seen him jump--from a dead standstill--SIDEWAYS over a hurdle that is 2-3 feet high.  And he does this not once, not twice, but numerous times without stopping.  His strength and flexibility are astonishing.

One young guy trains at the same time I do and I just found out he is a skier.  I was watching him the other day and he is very close to the goalie in strength and flexibility.  I watched him jump--from a dead standstill--over platforms that were 18 and 24 inches high and then he jumped straight up onto platforms that were 30 and 36 inches high.  And this was accomplished with no running start whatsoever.  The leg muscles on these guys are incredible.  I only hope I will be one-tenth as strong when I get in my best shape.

My gym specializes in personal training.  The main areas that they help people with are weight control and pain management.  They also seem to do quite a bit of rehab work.  I have seen a little old lady--must be in her 80s--working with one of the trainers and it seems as if she must have had a stroke and is working her way back to health.  There is a young guy--late 30s, maybe early 40s--who I think is either a war veteran or accident victim.  He is in the gym every day and it seems as if the main focus for him is trying to walk 'normally.'  He has other problems, too--it seems as if there is some brain damage--but physically he is doing quite well.

One guy that astonishes me is the one with a severe physical handicap.  He was born with almost no legs, just feet attached to his lower body. His attitude is great and he gets around wonderfully--he drives a modified Prius--and he works with a trainer a couple of times a week.  From watching him in his training sessions, I would pity anyone who tried to intimidate him in any way.  With his upper body strength, he doesn't need to worry about anyone taking him out!

There are a couple of people that I have seen who HAVE to be runners.  You can pretty much pick runners out of a crowd mostly because of their physical features, but also because of their attitudes.  (And I apologize to those runners who are NOT like this, but I know too many who ARE this way.)  Almost all of the runners that I know--these two included--have the same air of superiority.  It is as if they feel they are better than anyone who doesn't run.  And it really pisses me off.  I don't understand the attitude and really don't appreciate it.  But, these two don't really get in my way and I don't have to interact with them, so it is okay.

Of course, there are many more people in this gym who I could talk about.  There are the ones who I'm sure have had bariatric surgery--you can almost tell by the amount of skin that hangs off of them--and there are the ones who have been going to gyms their entire lives.  Some of the people seem to want to be left alone to their own devices and others are there to be social.  It is a grand sociological study every time I walk through the doors.  And in the next post I will talk about the ones who go to the same class that I do--and this is where we find the REAL wackadoos!

No comments: