Top Ten Things You See at the AFC
From failed pickup attempts to elliptical man watching Bravo, the AFC is not a walk in the park
1. The texter:
I don’t know what it is, but during my semi-annual, once-every-never workouts I always come across this guy. He sits on one of the bench press machines and whips out his phone. Five very strenuous minutes of heavy texting ensue — yet there is not a single movement made involving weights. Don’t get me wrong, he does a great job looking the part with his masterfully-cut sleeveless T-shirt. Still, I’m guessing he could just as productively continue his thumb workouts in Club Clem.
2. The girl trying to do yoga:
As if I wasn’t breathless enough from trying not to fall off the elliptical, yoga girl only adds to my discomfort. Seriously, few things make me more uneasy than watching someone try to contort their body in ways that are not physically possible. The downward dog reverse headstand-tree pose is not a thing, and thus impossible to make happen. I understand regular yoga, but apparently there’s something about the AFC that induces yoga in the extreme. Don’t your legs hurt?
3. The throwback outfit:
There are very few criteria to fulfill when putting together a workout outfit. It must be easy to move in and preferably doesn’t show sweat — bonus points if there’s a touch of frattiness thrown in. What consistently amazes me is the one person who shows up in full ‘80s workout gear. For whatever reason, this is usually an older man. I am all about the “you do you” mentality, but I’m also a little confused. Reliving your glory days could be so much more fun in somewhere that is not a college gym.
4. The overachiever:
The pace of my workout is usually determined by the beat of whatever song I’m listening too. Call it OCD, but I like to match up the movement of my feet to a song’s bass. The biggest thing workouts have taught me, along this vein, is running to dubstep inevitably leads to said runner looking like a spastic squirrel. I’m sorry treadmill neighbor, but 140 bpm is not a good look. How do your legs move that fast without falling off?
5. The attempted run/flirt:
Romantic comedies make it look so easy. Run up next to someone, smile and casually challenge him or her to a race. Thirty minutes later, you’re practically married. The real-life application is not quite as easy. I have witnessed, much to my secondhand embarrassment, someone actually fall on his face while trying to talk to a girl. As much as I wish I were kidding, this happened. I sincerely hope the two are at least Facebook friends at this point.
6. The music that’s too loud:
As I’ve said before, it’s impossible for me to run without music, and for most people, I know this is the case. Now, I know that I am in no place to judge what type of music gets you going — I alternate between a country playlist and ‘90s hip hop — but when your music is so loud that everyone around you can hear it through their own headphones, you may need to reconsider what you’re blasting. Is Lil’ Mama’s remix to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” a timeless hit? Yes. Are you a third-year male grad student? Yes. For the sake of your eardrums and your dignity, please turn the music down.
7. The never-ending conversation:
It’s exciting to see people you know at the gym. First off, friends are generally a good thing. Second, having someone see you at the gym can be used to convince your parents you did actually go. But, when you’re three-quarters of the way through your workout and the breathing isn’t coming naturally anymore, it becomes difficult to maintain a normal conversation. Word of advice from a professional elliptical-texter: it is easier and more coherent to reach me this way. I will even laugh a little to myself when I type out “lol,” just so you know it’s real.
8. The guy on the elliptical:
I don’t know why, but recently my Twitter feed has been filled with angry tweets about men using the elliptical. Once at a gym, it becomes pretty clear the typical elliptical user is a female. Still, there are no rules saying a guy can’t use one, per se. It provides a legitimate form of cardiovascular activity. The judging begins solely when the man can’t take his eyes off the Kardashian family. All he needs is to say he’s “totally down for margs later” and girl world is his.
9. Someone trying to do homework:
I will always marvel at the person who brings reading with them while they work out. I can barely read in the car; the motion makes me extremely nauseous. Trying to read while my limbs are actually physically in motion will thus never make sense to me. Nonetheless, being able to leave the gym having been productive on both the academic and physical front must be the greatest feeling in the entire world. As one who comes to the gym mostly to procrastinate, I seriously applaud that type of strength and character.
10. The intramural champion:
There is always some sort of basketball action happening on the AFC courts. Be it grad students trying to relive their first-year glory days or a tryout-only team whose members didn’t make club, there will inevitably be someone who takes the game too seriously. Being an intramural champion is nothing to take lightly — you get a shirt and everything. Competition is healthy and makes everything more fun, but too much can be alarming. Really — no one is prepared for a Reggie Miller situation to occur. I know the AFC can get real, but let’s tone it back to Kardashian-level real. Elliptical guy will appreciate that anyway.