1.26.2009

Yeti courant: a gym carnies FAQ

Gym carnies is an irregular series about the curious characters and intriguing individuals that people my local gym.
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After every gym carnie profile there are always a bunch of questions left lingering out there about how much I stretch the truth and “what would happen if you did X to such-and-such gym carnie?” Here I answer those questions and provide much needed hilarious updates on the various gym carnies profiled to date.

Q: From Laura regarding FOM: You should totally take his machine someday and see what happens.
A: Funny, that thought never crossed my mind until Laura brought it up. Let’s see what happens when you throw a wrench into the works. One morning, not too long after I wrote about FOM, I went to the gym for a tempo run and saw FOM on the elliptical. I thought “this is my chance.”

I sneakily went behind his row of ellipticals and straight for his treadmill—even though every other treadmill was open. I kept one eye on FOM as I started running to see what his reaction would be. Low and behold when he finished on the elliptical he turned around and saw me two miles into an intense looking run. He walked over to the treadmills, but he knew that there was no way I was getting off the machine any time soon. He took one long look at the treadmills, put on a pouty old man face, and walked away defeated to the stair climber on the other side of the gym. Victory!

Since then, FOM has returned to his machine and I have kept my distance. I figure messing with the mind of an old man is just not right. The good news is that he’s been able to keep his gas in check (or is it in cheek?) when on the treadmills.

Q: From Dean regarding FOM: Runners are notoriously profligate farters.
A: This, from personal experience, is absolutely true. However, you have to keep in mind that first, I don’t really know if FOM is a runner. Sure, he wears a Long Island Marathon t-shirt from the 80s, and yes, he does walk on the treadmill—but neither of those really necessitates a runner. Second, and more importantly, is that in truth I have only assumed that it’s FOM who has been fumigating the treadmill rows with farts. While I’m on the treadmill I have my iPod going full blast and people are moving all around the machines, it still could just be a coincidence and not a causal relationship.

That is, until now.

People, I have concrete confirmation that FOM is a free-wheeling gym farter.

Just this week I was stretching after a run next to the abs workout equipment. Here I am recovering from a brutal tempo run and then out of nowhere FOM plants himself on one of the captain’s chairs next to me. I’m thinking: “this is odd, FOM never comes to this part of the gym; something must be going down.”

It’s just him and I in this corner of the gym, there is no one around for at least 40 feet. He has his usual headphones plugged in and is crunching away. I have put away Liam Garu and stretching out my IT bands, when I notice FOM pause and take a sideways glance over the rest of the gym. You know, the type of look you take when you’re tired. Well, in this case it was also the type of look that surveys the surroundings and sees only the punk kid that stole your beloved treadmill once and decides it’s ok to let not one, but two of them rip.

Yes. It was pffffffft followed by a squeaker that did a diminuendo through two octaves.

I couldn’t believe it. I stopped mid-stretch out of amazement and took a nonchalant glance at him. He was staring away off into the distance, guilt written in invisible ink all over his face. I couldn’t hold it in any more and walked away. FOM had his revenge, but I was laughing the whole way home.

Q: From Kevin regarding Yeti: Good luck hunting the elusive yeti. You may just catch him one of these days.
A: I have confirmation that Yeti is indeed a runner and not an anomaly of my gym!! Toward the end of training for the Newport Marathon last fall I was on a recovery Wednesday morning run. I took the normal route that I take on Wednesdays to the park and back. Halfway through the run I saw a runner approaching. He was tall and had excellent form. And I thought, is that Yeti—the Yeti? As he got closer I could make out the spandex clothes, the Brooks shoes, the holier-than-thou sneer—it was him! Absolutely and for sure I was looking at Yeti running! I reached down to my pocket, but remembered that I left my phone at home. There would be no picture.

And I think there will never be a picture. I must have scared Yeti off because since then I haven’t seen him again: running or at the gym. He has completely disappeared—perhaps returned to the frozen tundra to be with his peoples. What was strange about this sighting was that I have run this route about 30 times on Wednesday mornings. Never before have I seen Yeti on this run--the stars must have aligned to appease me for this one fleeting moment.

Q: From Nitmos regarding Miguel: God bless you, Miguel, for bravely standing at your post through the assault on your senses.
A: Yet another gym carnie that I have scared away. I overheard Miguel talking to one of the friendlier gym patrons while I was in the bathroom stall (really, where else would I be?). He told the gym patron that January 15 would be his last day, he was going back home to Colombia for a new “business opportunity.”

Now, I think we all know the real reason why Miguel left the gym. There are only so many times you can force a smile on your face when someone is spoiling your good work. Everyone has a breaking point, and once Miguel realized that my Marathon training wasn’t just a onetime thing—that not only was I doing it again, but I was doing it twice this year—I think he snapped. But I do think going all the way to Colombia is a bit excessive. He could have just gotten a different job in the city.

By the way, I learned that Miguel’s name is actually…Jose. I will miss you Miguel-turned-Jose. The new guy isn't quiet the same.

Q: From The Laminator: What's perplexing to me is how your gym manages to fit all those carnies under one roof...there must be a max occupancy violation in there somewhere.
A: Well, there is some truth in this. There does appear to be some limit to the amount of eccentrics allowed in my gym, which I presume is why some of them go away (not only Yeti and Miguel, but Boobie has altogether disappeared as well). They have to make space for the new carnies that are coming in, lured by the New Year’s discount membership.

Something that I’ve also noticed is that I have yet to write up any of the female gym carnies. It is not for lack: there are plenty of women at my gym and I am an equal opportunity parodier. I think the next couple of gym carnie write ups will focus on the gentler--yet equally odd--sex.

6 comments:

nwgdc said...

Hmmm..."business opportunities" in "Columbia" raise my suspicions...especially when it comes from such a straight shooter as Miguel/Jose!

Jess said...

Carnies come and carnies go. It's the cycle of gym crazies.

Nitmos said...

It would be fun to mess with him by showing up in Colombia and soiling that "business opportunity".

You can run, but you can't hide from sRod's nasal assault.

The Laminator said...

I look forward to your next edition of the gym carnies like I do my Runner's World...and I stash 'em all in the same place too, right next to my own bathroom stall!

Kevin said...

Your gym is just a total freak show

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