I Can't Stand Exercise Fanatics!


  They are everywhere, everyday.  In your county, in your city, in your neighborhood, and on your block.  Indoors and outdoors, at home or away.  Some start early in the morning; others begin at night.  They are exercise fanatics.....and I can't stand exercise fanatics.  I can't stand the visible exercise fanatics - the ones who jog or run every day.  No matter what the weather they are out there, running, running, running.  Paying attention to nothing but their mp3 players plugged into their ears.  If you get in their path they'll plow you down faster than a speeding car.  Don't bother waiting for a hand up - they are hit and run.  They keep on running, blissfully unaware that you are scraping yourself off the ground, bleeding from both knees, the contents of your purse or backpack strewn about.  You'd pull out your cell phone and call the police except what do you report?  A hit and run runner?  "Describe the vehicle, m'am," the operator will say, and you respond with, "He was six foot tall, brown hair, blue running shorts, with size nine Nikes.....".  Click.  The operator has no time to waste on obvious prank calls when there are people out there in serious danger, like those who eat at fast food restaurants.  The very places the runners gather after running, to have some morning coffee and breakfast.  After all, they just burned off fifty thousand calories!  Joggers go a bit slower than runners; when you are in their path, they will continue jogging...in place, waiting for you to move.  It's sort of ridiculous - here you are, waiting for the jogger to continue jogging around you; the jogger is jogging in place, waiting for you to walk around him.  No ones moves for ten minutes - until you realize you'll miss your bus and be late for work if you wait for the jogger to jog around you.  So you start to move at the same moment the jogger has the same idea.  Another standstill.  Finally, you give up and escape through an underground sewer. 

  I can't stand exercise fanatics who tell you about the "gym".  For some reason, exercise fanatics feel they must persuade all their family, friends and general acquaintances to join the gym and get some exercise.  "It'll do your heart good," they say.  You want to tell them your heart is just fine; in fact, your blood pressure is so low you're sinking, but instead you mumble something about "weak knees".  Big mistake.  Weak knees won't prevent you from lifting weights, will they?  How is it that every member of a gym has a wallet full of "free one hour at the gym when accompanied by the person who gave you this pass" coupons?  What do you  have to lose?  It's a free hour, and you can use all the equipment except the best exercise workout equipment reserved for paying gym members.  You could use the free hour to attend an exercise class offered at the gym.  How many years has it been since you've done jumping jacks?   Too many, you remind yourself afterwards, when soaking the aches and pains away in a hot, hot tub.  Your new gym buddy reminds you that it'll stop hurting once you do it every day for a year or so.....

  Another type of exercise fanatic I can't stand is the "show and tell" exercise fanatic.  "Look at these biceps!" and "check out my abs!".  Looking is fine, but you really don't want to cop a feel of his "abs".  "Go on - touch.  Rock solid!".  You feel if you "touch" you're sending the wrong message.  Other show and tell exercise fanatics love to pull out their "before" photos, like a magazine ad.  "This is how I looked two years before joining the gym and losing one hundred pounds of flab and fat".  The flab has firmed up and now is displayed as tight, solid muscles arching proudly across his chest, making him look like Tarzan.  "You could look like this, too," he tells you, forgetting, temporarily, that being female you don't want to look like He-Man.  Another show and tell type is the friend, coworker, or neighbor who invites you over to see their latest acquisition - the Stair Master, or the exercise bike, or the three thousand dollar contraption that lifts, separates, and does all the work for you so you don't have to pull a muscle yourself.  Wouldn't it have made more sense to buy a car, drive to a gym, and use the equipment there?   Have you ever noticed, though, that exercise fanatics are only seen once they are in shape?  Think about that one.  Those who are out of shape sweat in private until they have something to brag about. 

  I can't stand exercise fanatics because they appear so lonely.  Why else would they keep bugging you to "join them"?  Running is a solitary thing; try running with someone.  Once one of you outruns the other, you're alone again, running.   Only one person at a time can use an exercise contraption.  Of course, a bunch of people can all take a class and touch their toes at the same time.  I guess that's one of the few "group" things you can do in terms of exercise.  As for me, I'll stick with walking.  I walk up the stairs to go to bed each night.  It's all the exercise my weak knees can handle.