Tuesday, March 13, 2007

"That Guy"

Nobody wants to be "that guy." You know the guy I mean. I'm not talking about the friendly, helpful guy who encourages the newbie. I'm talking about that guy in the transition area or the gym who has all the answers, who knows that his aero helmet will save him .72 seconds per kilometer and your transition area would be 21.7% more efficient if arranged thusly, and optimal stretching is accomplished in only one fashion.

I don't want to be that guy, offering free advice on proper form to all the people in the gym. Much of my life can be explained as an ongoing effort not to be that guy. In fact, I think part of my quiet nature as a child came from observing many examples of very outgoing people who were actually "that guy" and did not know it. Thus, I became a reader instead of a talker. My policy: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."* Stated differently, "I have often regretted my speech, never my silence."**

Thankfuly, my industrial strength speech filter was in place at the gym today or else one might have heard . . .

"Um, sir. The exercise is called a crunch, not a jerk, snap, rupture, fit, spasm, or seizure. SLOWLY. And BREATHE for the love of God. This is not a race against the clock. At least don't rip your head from your shoulders or rupture a disc until after I leave."

"Excuse me sir. Do you hear that sound? The one that sounds like an M1 going off every time your foot slams down on the treadmill? STOP IT! Nobody else in the gym is running that way, and you're going to hurt yourself. It hurts me to watch."

"Stop, stop, STOP! You're going to take someone's eye out. Besides you're doing it WRONG. You're going to rupture your rotator cuff if you keep swinging the the dumbells around like that."

"SIR! PLEASE! That horrible cracking and popping sound when you slam down into a deep knee bend--that's just WRONG."

"Um, if you can read the paper and watch television on the recumbant bicycle without breathing hard, there really is no appreciable training benefit over driving your couch. Just thought you ought to know."

I was not that guy. I held my tongue, as I'm sure you do. Buuuuuuuuuut, if you didn't, what might you say?


*Abraham Lincoln
**Publius Syrus, Maxim 1070

18 comments:

TxSkatemom said...

heaven knows I am so far from "that guy" in terms of knowing-it-all, but I have had to quell a comment or two along these lines (especially at the college gym where I used to work out with all the gym-bunnies):

"Sweetie, when you have to yank that strip of string you call underwear out of your butt every fourteen steps, you'd probably be better off without them."

"I'm sure whoever you're talking to on your cellphone wouldn't mind if you cranked that elliptical up to 1.5. "

but i'd never say that out loud...

21stCenturyMom said...

If I belonged to a gym I would want to say, "Dude- that grunting is really not cool. Not macho. Not sexy. STOP IT!"

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I might say,

"holy crap - I bet that's really gonna hurt later!"

Or I might say,
"the workout is way more effective if you let go of the railing on the stairclimber, plus it is really uncomfortable to grab it there down by your knees"

Or I might say,
"no, lifting faster is really not better"

But instead, I say
"lalalalalalala I'm not watching you I'm not watching you."

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I have also been tempted to say
"having 'CHEER' written across your ass is not cute. Really."




I'm such an old fart...

mishele k said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mishele k said...

Wow. Tough crowd.

Form is really important to me. In fact, I often worry that I'm accidentally doing something wrong and others are laughing at me; usually I'd welcome gym advice. Unless, of course, you're slower or weaker then me-- then buzz off, man.

I only get annoyed at the regulars in spin class. If you're so regular, why can't you get your ass back over the seat on standing climbs? You know the beauty of riding a stationary bike is your arms don't have to hold your entire frame up nor control the bike, right?

Sigh.

Rural Girl said...

Silent but deadly. I like that motto. I will admit, however, that sometimes my mouth has gotten me in trouble.

Phoenix said...

At the pool:

"Um, I don't think that having your legs at a right angle to your body is the most efficient way to kick"

"Bobbing up and down in the lap lane isn't really exercise - and you could do it over in the kiddie pool area and get the $*%@ out of everyone else's way."

"I'm really interested in hearing about the results of your last 500 races but I'm kind of here to swim."

But I would never say those things out loud. I'm only bitchy in my head.

Curly Su said...

i've got you back! now i can see your posts. ha! and you were trying to hide from me...

Spence said...

"Um, dude, it's clear that you're getting a workout because you're breathing so hard your head is about to explode, but honestly, if you swim FORWARD instead of flailing your appendages every which way, there would be much less splashing and much more room for you to share the lane with me. I'm just sayin'..."

Tri-Dummy said...

Okay bro...the ultimate question.

What's your take on Treadmill Farters? Treadmill farting, since you're a lawyer, Guilty or Not Guilty?

tri-mama said...

You know, we're all about stretching here at the Y, but really, does it have to be in the shallow end with your leg up on the side wall giving everyone a panoramic of your privates. I guess I wouldn't have to say anything if I wasn't sharing a lane with you. EYE wash, where's the eye wash?

Nytro said...

let's see....

"sir, really? you're 40-year's-old wearing a tight top and spandex and you think that the 20-year-old girls think it's hot when you grunt and powerlift? really? here's the thing.. they're NOT looking at you. the only people looking at you are... well, just you. in the mirror. moron."

Iron Pol said...

I don't say anything. I just leave appropriate magazine articles where they can find them.

I'm still learning and trying to avoid my own faux pas. I know how batty it can make people when my open turns screw up their flip turns.

Carrie said...

I SOOOO wanted to be "that guy" at work yesterday. I had lunch with my co-worker and he ordered a bacon cheeseburger, french fries, chips/salsa and a diet coke. Afterward, we stopped at a convenience store so I could get some gum and he bought and ate a snickers. My inner voice was shouting, "What the hell are you doing to yourself?!?" My outer voice said, "Wow--I'm so jealous I can't eat like you and not gain weight." He's 27 and weighs about 230. He doesn't realize what he's doing!

Steve S. said...

Personally, I'm good at the "rupture" - I've gotten my form down!

I hate the grunters and the show-boaters.

Steve S. said...

p.s. Both of our current posts have us labeled as "That Guy" but for different reasons...

ironjenny said...

Even on outdoor long runs, you must drop to the back of the pack to fart. Don't make me tell you twice.
And if you forgot to do your laundry... yes, we will all be offended by the stench. Don't do it. You cannot get two workouts out of one outfit. Period. Don't make me tell you that twice, either.