I’ve been trying to escape the gym for some time now. There are several reasons for this, all of which are laudable, and which I offer up, unasked, to anyone I happen to talk to. None of them are true. I did not leave the gym because I ‘am trying to save money’, or because ‘I believe in fresh air’ or because ‘I couldn’t stomach the irony of getting the tube to the gym, working out and then getting the tube home’. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure that isn’t just stupidity, masquerading as irony. There are more examples of this than one would imagine- most famously in Morrisette’s hit song of the 1990s: if there is a black fly (flies famously, like Fords, only coming in black) in your Chardonnay, may I suggest simply removing it before drinking? Or re-locating to a less infested drinking area?
Anyway, supposed ironies and stupidities aside, I’ve decided to leave the gym. I’ve left the gym because of the following, less socially acceptable but entirely pressing reasons, all of which can be summed up as ‘other people’. Here are the three most irritating habits of other gym-goers:
1. They wear clothes
Not just appropriate black running kit (nike kit is so expensive because it conveniently doubles as ninja uniform), but ostentatious, attention-seeking garments that proclaim all the charitable and impressive things they have spent their non-gym time doing.
2. They breathe
I used to think that it was only my little sister who was a mouth-breather, but now I see that her particular talents to irritate pale in comparison to the arduously infuriating panting of gym-goers.
3. They have bodies
And yet, seemingly no sense of where these bodies end, or the possibility that my own body has no desire to be so close to theirs. I had a t-shirt printed up saying: I hate camaraderie but this only exacerbated the problem, as people stepped closer to peer at my chest.
So, nowadays I am running about a bit outside, which is tremendous, except for the fact that there are clothed, breathing, bodied people out here, too.