Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Creeped-Out, Let-Down, and Ticked-Off...

...These were the combined states in which I left the gym this evening.

I entered the studio room for my Body Works class about 10 minutes before its scheduled beginning. The only other occupants were the instructor, and 3 other women. Suddenly, a red-haired guy about my age, dressed in blue jeans and a heavy Carhartt jacket, charged into the room. He located the bags used for the kickboxing classes. All the while clutching his giant, styrofoam Whataburger cup, he began kicking and punching the bags. He jumped. He jabbed. He spun. Oh, and did I mention that he was talking to himself the entire time?

While this continued, I stood in complete wonder. What was my instructor's problem? Why wasn't she taking any action? Only when he grabbed a set of weights and began hitting the bags with him did she say, "Excuse me!" At this he dropped the weights, picked up the jacket he'd shed during his "exercise," and left the studio. My instructor decided to tell the people working at the front desk about him. When she returned, she reported that they didn't have the faintest idea who she was talking about!

Class started, and through the studio's glass doors, we saw him bouncing around the rest of the gym. He wandered into a racquetball court. He talked to some of the people lifting weights. He took a brief ride on a rowing machine. And, several times, he came back to the door of the studio, only to place his hand on its handle, then turn, and walk away.

When class [finally] ended, I approached the two guys working the front desk. One is a part-time employee, the other is management of some sort. I asked them if the "creepy red-headed guy" had a membership. They didn't know who I was referring to. I told him about his odd behavior before Body Works. One of them joked, "Oh, him? He's a new employee here!" The other (Mr. Quasi-Manager) attempted to console me with, "Well, there's plenty of guys here, in case you ever need anything."

Ok, I will admit that, being a white, pretty female in my late twenties, I usually have my guard up somewhat around guys. I will also admit that, in the gym, this guard is even higher. For example, I don't like to show a lot of skin when I'm working out. I don't wear jewelry, and have on only what remains of that morning's makeup application. But THIS was flat-out unnerving. I am speaking of not only the strange man's behavior, but also the flippant response I received from the gym staff. This became even more unsettling when I remembered the shooting rampage that a man went on at another location of the same gym, a scant 5 months ago.

So... Do you think I should look for another gym?


  1. Kat's been going to the downtown Y for years and has never reported anything similar.