Gym Rats

In some form or another, I’ve been working out since I got my first Mousercise cassette tape at age four. I went through a Get in Shape Girl phase in the mid-80s, and I was an early adopter of the aerobic step. These days, my fitness routine is a mix of hiking, yoga, and a legitimate gym.

From kettle balls to classes with the word “fusion” in them, gyms have changed quite a bit in the last decade; but the cast of characters has remained the same since the NordicTrack. After some mild recon, I’ve discovered the following species of gym rat:

Minnie Mouse: From her red shoes to her red headband, you can recognize Minnie by the color-coordinated ensemble she purchased over the weekend to inspire her to be more fit. She is often seen hunched over the stair stepper clinging to a Shape magazine. Minnie can only be found in the gym on Mondays.

Mighty Mouse: While it’s clear by the magnitude of his biceps that Mighty has touched every piece of equipment in the place, no one has ever actually witnessed him work out. He spends several hours a day at the gym, but has only ever been seen pacing – presumably, “between sets.”

Three Blind Mice: A row of friends hogging the recumbent bikes who are too engrossed in Keeping up with the Kardashians to realize you’re next on the list.

Stuart Little: Small but mighty, Stuart looks like he could barely spot you, but he hoists 50s like they’re cans of Pringles. He is a Mighty in the making.

Splinter: He lurks in the background of your yoga class as if it’s his first time, but this unassuming savant dramatically transforms from lotus to warrior to a wicked shoulder stand as you cower in downward dog.

Speedy Gonzales: He is running when you get to the gym, and he is running one Zumba class and twenty minutes on the elliptic later when you leave the gym. He is the reason gyms impose a thirty-minute limit on cardio equipment, but no one would dare ask him to leave.

Chuck E. Cheese: Chuck’s gym attendance is directly correlated to his game day/pool party/happy hour/somebody’s birthday pizza and beer consumption. Thus, he is in the gym at least five days a week. So while this makes him appear a fitness connoisseur, do not mistake him for a Mighty Mouse. This gym rat sticks to the slow lane on the treadmill.

Although my water bottle does match my running shoes and I have been known to linger on the leg press, I’ve got a little bit of Chuck E. Cheese in me and I’m not too proud to admit it. But if nothing else, the gym is a great place to people watch thirty to sixty minutes a day three to five days per week. And while our gym schedules range from rigid to erratic, we all are truly creatures of habit. Which breed of gym rat are you?

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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10 Responses to Gym Rats

  1. What do you call the guy who occasionally glances at the gym on his way to the bar?

    Lets call him Scurvy Rat hahaha

  2. winsomebella says:

    Great post! I think your cast of characters has appeared in my gym too.

  3. Bob Cloud says:

    OK, here’s another suggested catagory: Ancient Hulkster.
    These charactors can be identified wearing very unfashionable worn out T’s, old Nike’s and scruffy shorts. You will know they are there no matter what part of the gym you are in. They make noises. The last 3 or 4 reps in any set are accompanied by increasing grunts or roars and when the st is done gasps for air. Yes, it’s ugly.
    I am in truth an actual gym rat (attn: lower case). I’m generally there 3 times a week and over the course of my life I’ve spent about as much time on the bench press as I have leaving elbow prints on bars in most of the honkey tonks from here to the Black Sea. That’s a lot. I bought into the bs that it would make me healthier and my later years more pleasant. For the most part it has but I do not go now to try and maintain any level of buffness(is that a word?) I go now because if I don’t go I will get to where I can’t get around and since I value my independece I go. However it’s interesting now that when I’m there all the others give me a wide birth. No it’s not a hygiene problem on my part it’s because while I can still do as much or more that most 40 years old in the weight room nobody there wants to be close by when I finally bite it.

    • This cracked me up. You’re so right about the grunters! And, I totally believe buffness is a word 🙂

      • Bob says:

        Dear Ms. WEITR,
        Very sorry to bother you with this question but you are the only one here that I follow. I would like to start my own blog on wordpress but I don’t like the part where I must allow cookies.Has that been a problem for your site? If you prefer not to discuss on your blog or at all I will understand.
        my email:

  4. xdeviantonex says:

    I am Pinky. Really not there to work out as much as be amazed by the cool people and trying to figure out how to launch the water buffalo in the air using rubber sheets and make shift angel wings.

  5. Pingback: Unfinished Business: Resolutions of Yore | White Elephant in the Room

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