Subourbon Mom


Garlic Man and The Sprinkler
September 18, 2012, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Exercise | Tags: , , , , ,

Everyone knows that going to the gym will make you happier, healthier and less stressed. Everyone also knows that when you go to the gym there’s a certain amount of grossness you have to put up with. And because gyms are so full of random body fluids, they’re a great way to build up your immune system. I know that when I go, I most likely haven’t showered yet, and I was probably melting in a soccer-mom chair the day before watching Daughter #1 elbow, trip and push other girls for 90 minutes, or I was at a barn with Daughter #2 getting horse sweat all over me. So God only knows what comes off of me as I hit high gear on the elliptical (a.k.a. the “I-limp-and-drool machine”). But nothing at the gym can compete with Garlic Man and The Sprinkler.

Garlic Man is there everyday for at least an hour. He wears Middle-Age-Man’s uniform: too-long shorts with the wife-beater-that-looks-professional-so-it-must-be-workout attire-shirt. The wife-beater shows off arms that look like duck pin balls have been stuffed under his skin. Out of the too-long shorts poke hairy little toothpicks. His legs have been ignore, I assume, because the gym mirrors only go to knee-height. With skinny chicken-legs and a massive upper body, Garlic Man resembles Sponge Bob, minus the tie and the irritating laugh that goes straight through your spinal cord.

But the worst aspect of Garlic Man, as you can guess, is that he REEKS. No matter when I go, he is there, and he always manages to get on the I-limp-and-drool next to me. Ten minutes later, I am annoyed. The acrid smell of recycled garlic wafts across the eighteen inches of space separating us. After twenty minutes, Garlic Man has a miasma of funk surrounding him. My eyes water, my nose involuntarily wrinkles up, and I do a double check just to make sure it’s not me. Eventually, I am forced to hold my breath and retreat, leaving numerous casualties behind flailing at the arm-thingies on their I-limp-and-drools as they gasp for air.

Second only to Garlic Man is The Sprinkler. He looks innocuous enough: a mid-fifties, Flashdance-headband-wearing guy who probably works a lot from home. I give him that polite elevator smile as he climbs onto the machine beside me, then tune him out. At first I try to convince myself it’s someone using the disinfectant spray (and by the way, no one in the world is going to convince me that leaving ionized water on sweat-soaked hand thingies for 10 seconds is going to disinfect them!), but a quick glance shows no one is wiping anything down.

That can only mean one thing: The Sprinkler is beside me.

I look over and see sweat droplets pop off of his body, landing on my arms, the floor, his equipment, and the people in surrounding counties. If we could make all The Sprinklers from all the local gyms exercise in Lake Chesdin each summer, there would no longer be pontoon boats mired in the droughty mud–just a new brackish ecosystem.

Gagging, I leap from the I-limp-and-drool, hastily spray the useless disinfectant all over myself and the machine and huff over to the mats. I add my nastiness to several other layers of sweat and fluid that only a 10th of the population ever bothers to wipe off. The same for the arm and leg machines. After the last set of reps (that’s gym-speak for doing a few, getting tired and pretending you meant to stop for a minute “to rest your muscles”), I grab my keys and stalk out the door.

The endorphins have kicked in, and I am definitely happier, less stressed, and ready to face the world. Yep, nothing is healthier than going to the gym.


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You’re in super form as usual. You know something, these characters do exist!

Comment by Tom Fuhrman

Can’t wait to share this at dinner to its as we will all be ROFL.

Comment by Lynchburggal

Another great blog….I have really loved reading these. Very entertaining!!

Comment by stephaniehudnell

Just when I thought I was ready to start a new gym membership, hmm I might have to rethink this plan. Or maybe just join AmFam and go at 3am, since I am usually awake at this hour anyway.

Comment by Kimberly Anderson

I am (slightly) horrified to report that I have been the Sprinkler Man! Yes it’s true. I suffer from generalized hyperhidrosis. I’m the guy in spin class with the towels spread on the floor beneath my bike. I look like I’ve been in a shower after a 10 minute walk in the Richmond’s midsummer humidity. My head is bereft of hair, so when I eat at Thai restaurants I have to wrap a towel around my neck to catch the deluge. I may gross you out, but I’m tellin’ you, it ain’t easy being me.

Comment by Bruce

I greatly appreciate the towels! Wish everyone else was so considerate. Letme know when you go et Thai o I can watch the show! 🙂

Comment by libbyhall

That was hillarious! Your recitation of the life at the gym is exactly why I don’t have a gym membership! I prefer to sweat on my dog as I outrace him the “3” miles I run!

Comment by Sue Ann aka ridge runner

[…] fueled up on coffee in a pitiful attempt to make it through the class, trainers endure hours of garlic sweat (don’t be that guy), morning breath and general B.O. (because why bother if you’re just going to shower before going […]

Pingback by National Trainer Day | Subourbon Mom

[…] I’m done, completely spent and in danger of becoming a “sprinkler,” (one whose sweat dances off their body and onto others) I go to the office, shower and examine the damage. I will never be able to go to the OBGYN while […]

Pingback by Exercise Bikes – The Hatred is Real | Subourbon Mom




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