Please Hold…I have to adjust my weights.

I’m guessing that every gym in the country has a similar sign at the front door, by the locker rooms, near the weight machines….that says “No Cell Phones.” It always makes me chuckle to see such a sign – mainly because their locations often make me think, “Really?  You needed someone to tell you that?”
(In the interest of full disclosure…I feel I must admit…I have texted at the gym. Once when my brother was in town and got lost in Raleigh. Another time when a co-worker kept calling to track me down. Both times to say, sit tight…I’ll be with you after I kick this Hulk’s ass on the leg press.)

But about the “No Cell Phones” signs…and society’s need to be given common sense via such signs…like in the doctor’s office, on an airplane or at the library…sometimes I wish I had a big stamp that I could use in other places.  I want to hit the inside of the elevator and the produce section at the supermarket and all check-out lines and bathrooms with a big “No Cell Phones” stamp. 

I realize I’m a little bit of a modern technology oddity – in that I have no desire for everyone around me to listen to my calls…and, more strangely, I don’t actually ever feel that I have to answer the phone.  Someone long ago spent a whole lot of time inventing voice mail – and I’m happy to let their success work for me.

Back to the gym…there is a sign posted stating, “No Cell Phones; No Doo-Rags or Cut-Offs; Wipe Down Equipment After Each Use.” I don’t really understand the Doo-Rags…I mean, who really wants to put any effort into their hair before hitting the gym?  I do understand the Cut-Offs and certainly the request to clean the equipment.  It absolutely skeeves me when I see people finish on a machine and walk away leaving a puddle of sweat behind.  Really??

And that brings me to yesterday…I could not turn around yesterday without watching someone yammering on their cell phone at the gym.  (Is it weird that I took her picture?)


I’m no Jillian Michaels or anything – but I can tell you for sure, there has never been a moment when mid-crunch I’ve thought, “Oh geez, I need to phone a friend.” I can almost excuse the quick calls – the ones where you answer, say “Is everything okay? I’ll call you when I leave the gym.”  What I don’t understand are the people who spend their 30 Minute Maximum While Other Are Waiting Treadmill Time chatting away. 

Do they do it under the assumption that everyone else is wearing earbuds and therefore can’t hear them.  Well, here’s a newsflash…sometimes I only wear the earbuds…not my actual iPod…because I forgot it…but I still don’t want anyone to talk to me.  And when I am listening to Wicked or Les Miz (it’s no secret that I like to workout to showtunes), I don’t blast it, so, yes, I can hear the drone of phone calls.

Yesterday, I watched this chick sit on the chest press with her phone held tightly to her ear.  Friday, it was a lady on the Elliptical behind me – at an even greater disadvantage because she had to talk over the sound of the machine (or maybe it was my grunting). 

And that’s where the trouble usually starts…because, if you know me at all, you know the struggle I have keeping my mouth shut.  The problem is, I’m not even sure what to say…do I ask them to hang up?  Ask them to pipe down?  Tell them they are rude and inconsiderate to my workout needs?  Do hand signals miming a phone hanging up?  Move to a different machine?  Well, cross off that one…we all know the grown up approach is still years away from my young self.

At least if I’m in the bathroom and the gal in the stall next to me is chattering away, I can multi-flush to disrupt her chain of chatter.  I’ve got no recourse at the gym.  And trust me, I do not need any motivation to cut my work out short – I can do that all by myself. No Phone Call needed.

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