I want to talk to you all about a serious problem in America.
Sure, there’s a war going on and a mortgage is required to pay for a tank of gas, but there is another epidemic sweeping the nation: Gym Challenges.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about…here’s what happens.
You go to the gym, and you get on the treadmill. And then, out of nowhere, despite the other 15 empty treadmills dispersed throughout the gym, some jerk decides to run. Some jerky spend-all-day-in-the-gym-m
Then it happens. You glance over, and you see that he’s running at, oh, say 5.2. He sees your glance out of there peripheral vision and glances at your screen. 5.3.
And with that, without a single word being exchanged, the Gym Challenge has begun. There is no stopping it. Casually, your challenger ups the pace to 5.4. You try to resist, but you just…can’t…do it. 5.5. Take that.
You are sweating, but you can handle it for a little while longer. He ups the challenge. 5.6.
You know now that you’re in it for the long haul. Who’s going to win?
You’re at a steady 5.7 for at least a good five minutes, both of you studiously ignoring the other, pretending to be incredibly interested in the CSPAN that’s playing on the big screen in front of you.
Finally, he cracks. 5.8.
Might as well bring out the big guns. You bump it to 6.0 with a smirk and a giggle. This is going to get ugly.
Gym Guy is sweating now, and you can tell he’s struggling. Just for fun, you slow down for a second–he perks up–is this victory? No–you are merely slowing to adjust your Ipod. Gotta keep those sweet beats a-pumpin.
You think…should I?..No…but you can’t resist. You bump it to 6.4. Gym Guy is bright red, but he is not going to admit defeat this early in the game. You’ve only been going for 20 minutes.
5 minutes later you start to feel it. Your finger wavers over the “decrease speed” function…do you do it? Do you admit defeat? NO. This is Sparta. You keep on trucking. Gym Guy gets a second wind. 6.5. Damn it!
Now you’ve got a decision to make. Do you concede to a worthy opponent? Too late–the treadmill hits 30 minutes and begins its automatic cool down cycle. Bastard!!! Both of you start frantically pounding the stop/reset button. You use the opportunity to take a quick breather while Gym Guy messes with his pretentious neoprene bottle. You are never going to take that camping. Shut up.
The treadmill is reset and the race is on.
3.4, 4.5, 5.2, 6.2…you race through the numbers like an announcer at a figure-skating match. You both hit 6.6 and stop–are you going to go for the ultimate?
You’re both panting now,and the sweat is starting to soak your sweet ass Doggie Styles t-shirt. Damn it. This bastard is making you do extra laundry as well. He will pay for this. 6 point…….9!
You’re pretty sure you’re going to die, but Gym Guy won’t give up. He matches your pace.
At this point, you’ve got 2 choices. Stay and risk grievous personal injury,dehydration and exhaustion, or decide it’s not worth it and concede. fuck that. Goonies never say die. 7.0, bitch.
At this point, even your music isn’t going fast enough to keep up with you. Time to bring out the big guns. Somehow, you manage to get a desperate hold on your ipod and flick through until you find what you’re looking for. OK GO’s Here It Goes Again. F yeah!
By now, the entire room knows what’s going on, and they have all chosen favorites. Gym Guy pales and looks at the clock. Your eyes meet. You know. You know this is the guy who runs precisely 30 minutes every day. You’re already on the shorter side of 45. He’s done.
Finally, long after the final strains of your rockin’ tunes have faded and your shuffle has cursed you with cher, Gym Guy concedes. Casusally, oh so casually, he slows down to a brisk walk, studiously avoiding your gaze. Slower, slower….annnnnd stop. He does a quick douchey neck stretch and meanders oh-so-casually to the paper towel station. Only you notice the way his knee almost gives out on the way.
You round off your time at a nice steady trot, which at this point feels like a leisurely stroll.
And then, just as Gym Guy is returning to pick up his ipod and douchey matching water bottle…..you lower your incline from 5 to 0.
Your eyes meet and his smile fades.
Punk-ass bitch. Not on my watch.
You slowly gather your things and walk away, having defeated yet another unsuspecting opponent in…Gym Challenge
Don’t let this happen to you. Just kick him in the shin before it even starts.