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Gym Giggles

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

When Awesome Husband and I first joined the gym I wrote a blog about all the characters there. There are some new faces at this point but the crowd has mostly stayed the same. We've learned a few names. (Hint: Every guy is named Paul, Phil, or Mike)

Recently we've made a pretty good "friend". And by "friend" I mean PLEASE JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!

Let me clarify. This man, whose name is Phil, is actually really really nice. He's just also a haunt. A barnacle. A parasitic growth. Follow along as I tell you the tale of our meeting!

A few months ago, Awesome Husband and I were on the treadmills. I was running (i.e. jogging pretty slowly and nearly dying) and AH was walking at a decent clip. He hates cardio. On the treadmill next to us was an older guy with the incline at max, pouring sweat and pounding away. He looks over at us. Here follows an approximation of the ensuing conversation:

Treadmill Guy: You guys look good!

JH: Thank you!

TG: I see you working out here all the time. You guys would do great in a 5k that's coming up!

JH: Is it the O'Putnam 5K?

TG: Yeah! It is! You should do that one. You know what else? You could do this race coming up in June at the speedway.

JH: The Warrior Dash? Yeah, we're signed up actually.

TG: Oh good, me too.

Blah blah blah, this continues. I think to myself, this is a nice guy. I kind of wish he'd stop talking, though, because my lungs are about to fall out onto the floor. He doesn't stop. He keeps going. He tells me about all the marathons he runs. All his injuries. His years of training. His belief in the Atkins diet (PEOPLE STILL DO THAT!?!). Who his girlfriend is. Why his treadmill is at such an incline. And his name.

It's Phil.

Meanwhile, Awesome Husband has seen that this situation is no good and has abandoned me to Phil. He keeps chattering. I finish up. I get off the treadmill and go do my s/t.

Little did we know that we had opened Pandora's box.

Next day, Phil waves at me across the gym until I finally notice and wave back. Then he goes up to Awesome Husband and tells him ALL the gossip about everyone in the gym. Every day from here on out, Phil catches our eye and waves and waves until we finally admit we can see him. Sometimes he comes over and leans on our machines to chat us up. He brings Awesome Husband a flyer to sign up for a race in May. He sits next to me on the recumbent bike and, despite the fact that my nose is one inch from my book and I refuse to look up, chatters for half an hour and compliments Awesome Husband on his upper body strength.

Um, thank you Phil.

Now it gets to the point where I'm terrified to walk into the gym. Phil isn't scary in the least. Nor is he intimidating. He's an old and very annoying man with no ability to discern the fact that people do not want to stop in the gym and talk for thirty minutes. But apparently he does it to everyone and it does not go unnoticed.

So one day I walk in and look at all the treadmills and I do a quick probability equation in my head. Which treadmill can I take that is the least likely to be joined by Phil? I choose the middle one in a bank of three. Awesome Husband takes the one to my right. Shortly thereafter, the one to my left is taken by one of the gym regulars. Let me set up the mental image for you. This guy is a bodybuilder type. Muscular, bald, always wears a knit cap and long sleeve shirt. Pants too, don't be perverts, guys. And wire-rimmed glasses. Kind of mobster-y. He's walking on the treadmill next to me when Phil comes by and says, "You're looking good!!" and walks away. Now mobster-y bodybuilder chuckles and says, "I see you made a friend!"

Oh dear. Phil is legendary, apparently. And this guy thinks it's hilarious that he's glommed onto Awesome Husband and I. I look at bodybuilder guy and say, "Let's just say, I am really glad you took that treadmill today." He laughs.

Later, I'm using the rowing machine and Paul (that's bodybuilder guy) comes over and he goes, "Hey! Want me to grab Phil so he can tell you how to use that thing?" I laughed and shook my head. So did he. And walked away.

I officially love this guy.

A few days later I'm using the cable machine doing tricep pushdowns when Phil saunters in, wearing his orange safety vest and running leggings. DRIPPING sweat. I mean this incredibly literally. His clothes are soaked. Visible drips are dangling on his nose.

He's also a close talker. Did I mention that?

Phil: Ran five miles this morning!

JH: Five? Wow, that's awesome.

Phil: Yep. I ran with the girls this morning.

Now, out of nowhere, Paul appears behind my right shoulder and delivers this line:

Paul: Hey Phil. This one just told me she really wants to do a triathlon!

And then he disappears. I have never said such a thing. WHAT HAS HE DONE????

Phil then proceeds to tell me why that's awesome. Why I'd be great at it. How many he's done. FOR TEN MINUTES.

I look behind me and Paul catches my eye and starts DYING.

He trolled me. AT THE GYM!!! This guy is good. Highlight of my gym career so far.

I haven't seen him in a while. Paul that is. Phil I see every single day. He is unavoidable. He searches people out like a periscope.

But the brighter side of that is that today he invited Awesome Husband and I out on his boat for barefoot waterskiing. Yeah.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Somehow, I have stumbled upon this blog and the other one you mentioned before by my friends commenting!! I think this is hilarious because these kind of people always seem to be drawn to me where ever I go!! Glad to know it happens to you too emoticon
    2178 days ago
    ahahahaha.. Oh my word.. TOO FUNNY! Thanks so much for sharing this! Man am I glad I'm totally cool with home workouts! lol!
    2178 days ago
    hahahaha. And that is why I wear headphones at the gym!
    2179 days ago
    I am dying!!! TOOOOO FUNNY!!!!
    2179 days ago
    hahahah thanks for the laugh & giggles.

    2180 days ago
    Hahah, this really made me LOL... thank you!! I've seen every type at the gym, for sure!!
    2180 days ago
    I'm liking this Paul guy - great sense of humour and great timing.

    2180 days ago
  • CHRISTIE6625
    Hilarious. This is why I don't like the gym, all that interaction with people. My exercise time is my selfish time. Thanks for sharing the funny story.

    2180 days ago
    Whew! I'm considering myself so BLESSED to have avoided such conundrums at my fitness center...! There's a few regulars @ Spinning I'll do a little chatting with and a couple of older farts like myself and we'll chat a little. Another cyclist...and we talk up a STORM! :-)

    2180 days ago
    Bahahahaha I love it, that is the only problem I have with Webster, there are regulars EVERYWHERE...and they are always very friendly lol. I kinda miss it.
    Have fun with Phil! :)
    2180 days ago
    Oh my I'm over here dying in laughter! I feel your pain and will say a prayer that you have peace at the gym. LOL
    2180 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    LOL!! Thanks for sharing your story, and for the laughs that ensued!!
    2180 days ago
    Holy moly !! I'm in complete awe here! LOL

    I guess maybe Phil just wants to be your friend :o)
    2180 days ago
    LOL. That's hysterical. Problem, gymgoer?
    2180 days ago
    Too funny. Having worked in a gym for several years I can atest to the fact that there are the different gym personalities. Let me tell you that I often times observed people trying to avoid eye contact with the "Phil" of our gym! Thanks for the laugh. And enjoy training with Phil for that Triatholon!hahaha ;)
    2180 days ago
    OMG this was the most awesome blog ever to read on my crazy wednesday during my horrible week, not for myself, for the situation I am in and how stressed and how I NEED time to reading this and laughing made me feel a million times better and put a smile on my face...thanks friend!

    Oh and don't forget, we all want to see pics of that boat ride LOL

    Have a great day.
    2180 days ago
  • BECKY3126
    This almost made me laugh out loud in the middle of the office!
    I am a gym regular...but I have always been very good at keeping to myself and I never really talk to anyone for more than just the friendly "Hello. How's it going". There was one guy there though that was apparently training his best friends wife one day and had her come do everything next to me while telling her to keep up with my pace, follow my form, etc. It was really awkward. Then he would proceed to attempt to find me each day after that so we could work out together.....
    I think it is hilarious that Paul & Phil both seem to have you guys pinned down in different ways. Thanks for the awesome blog!! It made for very entertaining reading.
    2180 days ago
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