Long story short, I had no desire to run 15 miles yesterday, but I did it and at an 8:55 pace (6.7 mph) on the treadmill (full disclosure — I broke it up into mile repeats with a 0.1-mile walk break in between each mile, plus a cool-down walk at the end, for a total of 15.65 miles). Unfortunately for the guy next to me, I felt a little grumpy as I warmed up during my first few miles. Why that guy chose a treadmill right next to me when there were five other treadmills available I don’t know, especially since he started chanting the minute he got on the treadmill. Out loud. Loud enough for me to hear with my headphones in as I watched endless inane episodes of an Extreme Couponing “marathon” (how apropos, marathon training to a marathon of shows).
I tolerated the guy’s rhythmic nonsense ohms and dow-dows for about five minutes. Then I gave him a pointed look, which he ignored. After another five minutes, I turned up the volume to my headphones. I could still hear him. After yet another five minutes, I snapped. It surprised even me when I turned to him, tapped on the arm of his treadmill, and said, “No more please” and put my finger to my lips. He was horrified. I was mortified. I know the poor man was just trying to get into a zone with his walking and breathing and meditation, and I yanked him right out of that zen state. But the dude seriously put a kink in my zen state. There might not be an explicit rule against chanting while you are walking on the treadmill, but it’s just plain good gym etiquette not to disturb those around you. You don’t talk on your cell phone, you don’t sing out “I’m just a girl in the world” along with Gwen Stefani on your iPod, and you don’t chant! However right I felt about that though, I’m so embarrassed by my reaction that I may never show my face at the gym again on a Sunday afternoon! At least the man had the grace to nod to me wordlessly and to stop chanting.
Have you ever encountered an instance of bad etiquette at the gym? Did you say something (either to the person or to the gym staff)?