Yeah, I know. It's almost Christmas. I'm supposed to be in a Happy Holidays cheerful mood.
But today I was reminded of two things that fellow users of Courthouse Club Fitness do that irritate me enough to warrant a complaining blog post on the eve of Christmas Eve.
One relates to sanitation.
I always carry a small "sweat towel" with me to wipe off the handles of the equipment I was on after I'm finished with it: first, the elliptical trainer in the aerobics room, then the weight machines in the circuit training room.
I also always wear a mask while exercising at the gym in these Covid times. There's a sign next to the door of the River Road Courthouse Club Fitness saying that a mask or face shield is required.
Most gym users don't wear a mask, though. I'd say three-fourths.
OK, that's an irresponsible decision that puts both them and other people at risk. But I wouldn't find those people nearly as irritating if many of them didn't also drench the machine they're using in sanitizer both before and after they use it.
The risk of getting a health problem, including Covid, by touching an unsanitized surface is hugely less than the risk of becoming seriously ill, or even dying, because of not wearing a mask in an indoor public space like a gym where many are maskless and breathing hard.
Maybe these people don't realize that Covid is almost entirely spread through the air, not by touching something someone infected with the virus has handled.
Also, I don't see them sanitizing the handles on the door they have to use to enter and leave the gym. For some reason they just have a fetish of wiping down the exercise equipment far beyond what is necessary for health and cleanliness.
My second gripe is about cell phone use by young people using the weight machines in the circuit training room.
I don't do free weights, so I'm not sure if they also clog up that equipment with their obsessive need to check their phone before and after doing a few repetitions on a weight machine. Me, I've got the old-fashioned attitude that when you're at the gym, you should be exercising, not clicking away on your phone.
Yes, I do some repetitions, usually twelve, then take a short break before I do eight more repetitions. During that break I -- shock! -- simply sit on the machine, take a few deep breaths, and then resume my workout.
But almost every young person at the gym carries their phone with them while exercising. I find this to be akin to an obsessive mental health disorder. It's hard for me to believe that whatever vital information they're reading and writing about on their phone couldn't wait until they've finished their workout.
When someone sits down at a weight machine that I need to use, pulls out their phone, and proceeds to type away for several minutes, I'm tempted to go over and say to them, "Are you done using this machine as a place to play around with your phone? If so, I'd like to actually use it for the purpose it was intended."
But because I'm a polite senior citizen, I don't do this. Maybe instead I should casually drop a copy of an article at their feet, "Get off your phone at the gym, says Lou Ferrigno."
Speaking on Instagram, the New York native said:
"It's very frustrating that you go to the gym and want to have the quality of time to workout.
"I can't tell you how many times I go to the gym, I walk over to a piece of equipment, and I see some guys sitting there, holding their phone like this."
Ferrigno didn't hold back when sharing his thoughts on time-wasting gym goers.
"I'm here to train. If you don't want to work out, don't waste your time at the gym."
Although Ferrigno is best known as the original Hulk, he's also a bodybuilding icon. He hails from the Arnold Schwarzenegger heyday, and actually finished third behind the Austrian and Serge Nubret at the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest.