Thursday 13: Fitness class characters

I knew I was in the wrong Zumba class when the instructor took more water breaks than me in the first 10 minutes, and when I started composing this blog post in my head…

Over the last couple weeks, thanks to Summer sausage problems, I’ve been haunting fitness classes at the gym. And you know what I’ve noticed? (Besides the fact that slow Zumba classes make me angry and I really, really suck at Turbo Kickboxing…) The proliferation of characters. People I see all the time, across different classes. Some I like. Some, not so much. For this Thursday 13, some of my “favorites.”

1. Instructor Peppy. I seem to encounter the overly cheerful, often high-pitched instructors in the morning when I haven’t had enough coffee. Maybe I’d be that excited if I lived on endorphins? Probably not.

Photo credit.

2. Stands Too Close. You know the one… they stand just this side of too close such that every time you have to kick or reach, you think you’re going to hit ’em. It never fails that my Zumba Stands Too Close person migrates next to me and proceeds to get closer and closer as class goes on. So then I migrate away from her. And she follows me! Ah!

3. Dances to the Beat of Her Own Drum. Sometimes I look around the class and marvel at how everyone moves in sync. Other times I look around the class and smile to see someone doing her own thing, trying her own choreography, and completely enjoying it.

4. Mirror Blocker.  Okay, what is up with folks hogging the mirror? I find the practice especially irksome during yoga when I actually use the mirror for balance and to improve my form.

5. Old Man Tryin’. Most of the pronouns in this post are feminine, because 97% of the people I see in fitness classes are ladies. I do love the one or two gentlemen who show up, especially to Zumba, and shake their buns.

6. Instructor Talks Too Much. More a reflection of my own impatience than problematic behavior on the part of fitness instructors, but I prefer my teachers to shoosh sometimes. (My irritation mostly manifests in classes that require a lot of concentration like Bikram or if Instructor Talks Too Much is also Instructor Peppy. Heaven help me.)

Photo credit.

7. Ms. Territorial. Mmk, now I know we’re all creatures of habit. I know that people develop their favorite spots and will sit/stand in the same positions week after week. BUT, last time I checked, people were not allowed to engrave their names in the wood flooring and reserve space. So I would appreciate it if, when I show up and stand in “someone’s spot,” they’d stop throwing daggers my way. Ahem.

8. The Besties. A lot of the time, I appreciate seeing friends work out together. I find it heartening when I notice friends encouraging each other. But when the Besties are also Territorial Mirror Blockers, then I’ve got problems!

9. Gives Up Too Soon. Perhaps the saddest of all characters, I hate when people get frustrated and stop moving, or give up and leave class with a dejected look on their faces and never come back.

Photo credit.

10. The (Wannabe) Sex Pot. I admit, I find it amusing when the ladies show off their ladies in class.

11. Instructor Slow-Mo. One of my least favorite characters, the teacher who leads class at a snail’s pace. Grrrr.

12. Stinky McStinkface. The ickiest character of all… The stinker. Why do folks show up to class either sans deodorant or drenched in perfume/aftershave? Oi!

13. The Show Off. You know the person who stands in the front row and does everything perfectly? I actually LOVE that person! The Show Off gives me form to strive for and a model to learn from. And what’s more, I find that I push myself more when there’s someone really good in class.

Any characters I need to add?


P/S Do note that the majority of people in the fitness classes I’ve attended have been absolutely lovely. I enjoy the camaraderie of group classes, and appreciate getting know people in my local community.

Other fitness-y things:
– Feeling like a summer sausage
– Zumba, where have you been all my life?
– Not all Zumba classes are created equal
– Braving Bikram: What I learned about hot yoga, day 1
– If Zumba fitness is your New Year’s goal, don’t stop dancing
– Diary of Mad Muscles
– Mad Muscle Redux

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