Like many people, I prefer to exercise at home instead of in public. It’s not because I’m sweaty and ugly while exercising—who isn't? Gym memberships are expensive, but nope, that’s not it either.
The real reason I work out at home is this: I’m very vocal when I exercise. I cheer myself on. Sometimes there’s profanity. Occasionally I insert a Bob Costas-like commentary marveling that this athlete (me) has overcome great obstacles just to compete in the day’s events (meaning, I’m tired and cranky and don’t feel like exercising, but I’m doing it anyway).
How does anyone exercise without saying anything? When I see people jogging down the street, they might be huffing and puffing, but I never hear them singing along (loudly, and way off-key) to their iPods. Or making “neeer, neeer neeer, neeerrrrr!!!” noises during guitar solos. Come on--how do you get a good workout without all that? Nor do I hear any of these runners saying the things I mutter while riding my recumbent bike: “Keep going...you can do it....” or “Twelve more minutes? Are you #*@% kidding me??” I guess with a gym membership, you might have a personal trainer to keep up this dialogue with you. But hello--what a waste of money, when I can just stay home and yell at myself for free!
Let’s imagine me in a yoga/aerobics/whatever class. If my behavior toward my Wii trainer is any indication, I’d probably get thrown out for mouthing off at the instructor. My Wii trainer takes a lot of verbal abuse. When she tries to encourage me by calling out things like, “Don’t give up!” I tend to snap defensively, “Who said anything about giving up, beeyatch?!?” Plus, sometimes I accuse her of lagging behind because she’s hungover. (Seriously—I think she has a problem. She frequently rubs her head and reminds me how important it is to get enough sleep. Uh-huh.) I’m guessing that would be frowned upon in a real class, right?
I’m no expert on gym etiquette, so maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. But when I pass by health clubs with large windows and see the people inside, I’ve never noticed anyone completing their workout, climbing off a piece of equipment, and marching around the club with their arms upraised, hollering “WOO-HOO!” and waving to an invisible crowd. Does that ever go on? Also, as far as I know, gyms generally don’t allow cats on the premises, so to whom do their members direct their post-workout imaginary press conferences? (“Well, thanks, I appreciate that. It wasn’t my best, but I feel pretty good.”) Again, I’m ignorant here. That’s not my world. You tell me.
Anyway. I’m pretty happy with my current workout regimen of pedaling a rickety old recumbent bike and beating the crap out of computerized boozehounds, so you won’t see me testing these theories in an actual gym anytime soon. I’m sure you’re all relieved about that.