The dos and don’ts of the UMass recreation center
Okay, let me preface this by saying that I am in no way a gym buff. I don’t like the idea of walking down to the Rec Center to work out and then having to walk back up to my dorm afterwards. It’s just not an ideal way to spend my day. But I’ve been bombarded with enough media, health classes and lectures from my parents to know that going to the gym is key to a healthy lifestyle. So when I’m motivated enough, which isn’t as regular as it should be, I get off my lazy butt, throw on some sneakers and make my way over to get my daily intake of 60 minutes of physical activity…okay monthly intake of 45 minutes of physical activity.
The other day I was quite proud of myself. I wore my gym clothes to class, packed a water bottle and made sure my iPod was fully charged. I got on the treadmill to run, and because it would be the first time in seven months that I ran, I decided to start slow by going a walking pace…can’t overexert yourself too quickly you know. At this point it was about 11:00 in the morning so obviously the Rec Center was completely empty; all but five treadmills were available.
As I started to get my rhythm by walking I began to think about increasing my speed sometime in the near future. All of a sudden some girl who thinks she owns the place picked the treadmill right next to mine and starts off with a running pace. Like, really? There are literally open treadmills as far as the eye can see and you pick the one next to me and go twice as fast as my pace? Not cool. Let’s have some gym decorum please. If you’re confused as to what is and is not acceptable to do at the Rec Center check out these tips:
1) If you’re using a weight machine do not sit on it for 20 minutes in between your sets. We get it. You’re so strong and are exerting so much effort you need time to break and blah-blah-blah. Lift your weights and move on.
2) If I’m at the gym working out on the elliptical or the treadmill or whatever cardio machine is open…don’t talk to me. It should be apparent by my red face, sweat stains and earbuds in that I’m dying. It’s probably my first gym trip in a month so don’t make it harder for me or prolong the process to have a nice chat. Save it for the water fountain line.
3) Speaking of the water fountain, let’s abide by the three to five second rule when there’s a line. If someone’s behind you waiting for a drink and you’re guzzling down the water supply, move out of the way. Either get back in line or bring a water bottle.
4) Finally, if you’re in the locker room and see a random person changing, under no circumstances should you choose the locker next to them. Why would you do that? There are upwards of 500 lockers and you just made the situation awkward.
Follow these tips and we can all get through our workouts with only the irritation of having just worked out.
Ali Strand can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.