So far, it has to be said that 2016 has, to put it politely, sucked. For a variety of reasons I’d prefer not to discuss I’ve yet to swing a club this year (my last trip to the range was just before New Year’s back when we were enjoying that oddly warm weather around Christmas), which has left me taking advantage of my gym membership to retain something resembling fitness.
So rather than enjoy the sodden fairways that we’re looking at (with all of this rain it’s understandable), I’ve been trapped in the bubble of going to the gym 1-2 times a week armed with the flurry of fitness tips and information that the various golf publications churn out. Most of it, for what it’s worth, seems to contradict the articles from 1-2 years ago (and wow is that ever helpful).
While we’re on that subject, when did Golf Digest turn into BuzzFeed golf? Their website is little more than a series of badly-written and not-at-all-mobile friendly listicles (which shouldn’t be a thing but somehow…they are) combined with pin-up photos of LPGA players (what next- their spin on the ESPN bodies issue) wearing anything but golf clothing. I have nothing against the female body (I happen to quite like it if we’re being honest) but I don’t need Golf Digest trying to be Maxim or FHM. Yes- there are some very talented women on the LPGA Tour who don’t get 1/20th of the media attention that their counterparts on the PGA Tour get. It would be nice to see their talent the principal focus, and not how well they look wearing a bikini.
I do enjoy the Undercover Tour Pro articles in Golf Digest; it falls under the request I make of magazines….it’s called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. If you’re not following @secrettourpro on Twitter, you should. I have a pretty good idea of who he is, but there’s no reason to out him. His candor has been enjoyable. Jack Nicklaus’ one-pagers are a good reminder that he still knows more than anyone else out there (and at some point, the tours are going to heed his 30-year plea to roll the ball back and we won’t need 8,000 yard courses).
Oh, and if you have auto-play videos on your website, I hope a giant bear comes into your house and eats your arm off (looking at you, Golf.com).
So with my gym visits being the only interaction, I’ve begun to notice that there are some rather distinct and rather odd people at the gym. While I’m hardly a paragon of physical fitness, I do make an effort to work out (scotch does count as a suitable post-workout drink, right?). With a bad knee I can’t do a lot of running, but I try to do the best I can. However, the people at the gym make for, well, strange and inappropriate behavior that has run amok. Shall we point these people out?
1) The double-park. Parking spots aren’t the biggest, but that doesn’t mean you can, or should, park in 2 spots. It’s almost always a giant SUV that is roughly the size of my first apartment, and 70% of the time it’s a woman with a yoga mat. I mean, you could do a yoga routine in the damn car, so why double-park?
2) The fashionista. Mostly guys who are head-to-toe in matching stuff. One guy I see far too often is head-to-toe in Atlanta Falcons stuff (hat, tshirt, sweatshirt, shorts, socks). I keep meaning to ask him if he’s aware that this isn’t Atlanta. You’d think it would be women that would be the equivalent of what Men in Blazers call “Full Kit Wankers”, and you’d be wrong. It’s the dude-bro types who are wearing Under Armour (or Nike) from head-to-toe, and my guess is that they aren’t being sponsored by Under Armour (the golf equivalent is the 25-handicapper who has a tour staff bag but couldn’t break 100 playing Fairway Hills from the First Tee set of tees). A sub-set of this are men who wear compression shorts (or bike shorts) and that’s it. Great- we all wanted to see that. I wear compression shorts UNDER actual loose fitting gym shorts, because nobody wants to see me in a pair of those things.
3) Inappropriate nudity. I’ve about given up on using the locker rooms unless it’s to answer nature’s call, because inevitably, there will be a group of men hanging around, fully nude, talking as if they’re re-creating a Dockers commercial but without the triple-pleated comfort of Dockers pants. Just picture these nit-wits hanging brain in a locker room, and you get it. Don’t turn away…look at it. LOOK AT IT! Don’t worry because odds are they’ll talk to you. Shouldn’t this sort of thing be illegal?
4) The cross-fit bros. My gym is not a cross-fit gym, and yet these cross-fit bros hang out (always in groups), and by hanging out, I mean they spend more time shooting the breeze than actually working out. I don’t really get this (which is why I’m not a cross-fit bro), and it’s annoying as all get out because it’s how you get one machine taken up for the better part of 30 minutes (while the machine is being used for maybe 1/4 of the time because nobody knows where Kyle, or Todd, or Hunter, or Logan is). They work out for 4 hours but spend 3 1/2 of those hours talking among each other. But they’re very good at giving each other high fives and what someone described to me as “bro-hugs” so that’s been fun to watch. They also like to encourage each other…loudly. Luckily our gym has a ban on using chalk; otherwise I’d have to dust myself off before leaving.
5) The drink carriers. I don’t get this. Our gym has drinking fountains that work and even have a water station where you can get a cup of ice water. Plus, the gym is indoor and climate controlled, so we’re not out in the middle of the desert in July. And yet, you have at least half of these people carrying around something to drink. The water bottle people are bad enough, mostly because they end up leaving their crap all over or will forget their water bottle because their brains have shriveled up like a raisin. There’s also the people who drink…stuff. I’m not talking about Gatorade or Powerade; I’m talking about the people (and you know who you are) who drink…stuff they made up that is made from powders you buy at GNC or some bizarro website. In these containers that look like they are used for storing bodily fluids. These liquids are in colors that aren’t natural. The smell is a medley of vomit, asparagus pee, flop sweat, flatulence from Guy Fieri, and just a hint of Thunder Muscle (look it up). I like to think I work out pretty hard, and I’m able to handle driving back home and having something to drink at home or on the way to work without grossing people out. I even see people with Starbucks (my gym is next to a Starbucks) coffee. How can that possibly be refreshing?
6) The mobile phone users. At my gym there are numerous signs about not using mobile phones, and yet- you see people (of all ages) on their phones. Is it really that difficult to say to whoever called them ‘let me step away’ and then walk somewhere out of earshot of everyone? I had someone run into me (physically run into me) because they were so engrossed in their phone that they didn’t see me (and given I’m not anorexic and not exactly inconspicuous). It wouldn’t have been so bad except it was some old man, and not some clueless hipster.
7) The space-challenged. Our gym has open space which is great for doing exercises on a Swiss ball or lunges. Inevitably, there’s this one older jack-hole who insists on getting as close as he can to people while doing whatever it is that he does. If there’s 8 urinals in a row, and only 1 is being used, he’s the guy who will get right next to the one urinal being used. And then pass gas. If you’re in your mid-50’s like this dill-weed, trying to grow a hipster beard doesn’t make you look like the Trivago guy. It makes you look even more disturbing.
8) The TV watchers. Our gym has two rows of televisions in the main gym area, which is great while you’re on the recumbent bike or on a treadmill. If you’re using equipment, and you stop to watch while people are waiting for you to finish so they can use the equipment, you’re a wart on the ass of society. The TV’s are on the local networks, CNN, ESPN (if they’re showing scores and highlights it’s not unbearable, but their army of talking heads makes me want to take a hammer to random things), HGTV (never know when the inspiration to remodel your kitchen is going to happen) and Fox News Channel (it’s mid-May so their “War on Christmas” coverage should start any day now).
So yes, I’m the quiet guy who does his routine, doesn’t talk to anyone, and tries to finish as quickly as possible.
Lastly, a relic. If you’ve watched AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire” it’s a fantastic series, mostly because of the music. Here’s an example:
Hopefully I’ll see you out on the links fairly soon. In the meantime, hit ’em straight.