Gym Etiquette

So I occasionally go to this thing called the gym.

In general, I’m one of those unexciting people who likes to exercise alone. There’s something soothing about going for a jog or doing laps like a lab-rat up and down a pool. Maybe it’s something to do with the anonymity of it.

There are a few indisputable, unwritten rules for working out in the same space. You don’t play music out loud. You do your best not to smell (a little deo is good; please don’t enter within a miasma of perfume). You don’t jump on the cross-trainer in a miniskirt (see above photo). You don’t grunt (unless you are working out in a barn-converted-to-gym in Samoa in 35 degree heat).

Picture five treadmills in a row. I’ve always thought of the etiquette of treadmills as comparable to that of urinals. (Not that I have any first-hand experience with the latter. Althooooough, this may change in the near future. Clicky here.)

You’re the first person to arrive at the treadmills. Lucky duck. You get to pick any treadmill you want. You pick treadmill number 3.

You’re the second person. You don’t pick the treadmill number 2 or 4. You pick number 5. Tick. You have exhibited good gym etiquette.

You’re the third happy runner. You pick treadmill number 1.

You’re the fourth gym buff. You eye out the treadmills. Oh no! They’re looking pretty crowded. Reluctantly, you pick treadmill number 4. But it’s OK, you had no other choice. Your footsteps are drowned out in the pounding and puffing of your fellow runners.

What was the point of this post? Oh, yeah.

So I went to the gym today. And I’m running on a treadmill. 2 out of 10 treadmills are occupied. Dude comes up, picks the treadmill next to me and starts sprinting away.

Normally I don’t mind too much. OK, so your limbs are flying back and forth in my peripheral vision, and I’m pretty sure I can feel your sweat flecks forming a fine mist on my skin. But it’s OK. It’s the price I pay for hitting the local gym. It’s coooool.

But today there’s a problem. This guy’s huffing and puffing. And not only that. I sniff the air suspiciously, in between my own huffing and puffing. And…urck. I’m pretty sure that’s bad breath I’m smelling.

I. Really. Am. Not. Very. Fond. Of. Bad. Breath.

So yeah, that added a new challenge to my jog today. Moral of this story: personal space is a good thing.

I hope I’m not being overly picky about this whole gym etiquette issue. I’m not obsessional. I just have a ridiculously good sense of smell. It’s not a blessing. It’s a burden. Be nice to those of us who are olfactorily gifted. Have a mint.



  1. Haha love this, Grace! I’m a fan of the gym because of the solidarity as well but haven’t experienced (thankfully) an episode of bad breath by a person in the near vicinity… totally for personal space!


  2. Hi.
    I am starting up an online magazine, and I would like to have you as a writer.
    (No, I’m not kidding. Don’t get happy right off.)

    The idea of an online magazine is new, fresh and not yet fully developed.
    So far, I can tell you that it would be a publication covering international matters on the following topics: culture (music, books, art, design), lifestyle (a bit of fashion, healthy things like food, exercise etc), featuring articles from people from many countries on various topics, including ecology.
    The topics would not include Kardashian clan, lady Gaga as a style icon and such topics. I am not trying to make a copy of Elle/OK or something such.
    The point is to create a magazine that a young person can pick up (click through, to be more precise), enjoy reading and learn something new and useful, something that would help her understand the world and herself a bit better.
    Hopefully, we would be able to publish interesting interviews with interesting people (not necessarily celebrities, but definitely people aspiring to greatness)… and I want you on board.

    I can tell you right now that I wouldn’t be able to pay you. Hopefully eventually, but don’t count on it. I’m sorry, I know this makes the magazine sound as a charity-case, but I’m okay with that.
    To compare the magazine with human growth cycle, the egg and the sperm have just been introduced to one another, and there is some diving going on.
    The first issue won’t be in the works for at least six months.
    I’d still love to have you as a part of the team though.

    I would appreciate it if you could keep this private and answer to my personal email
    This is really not a scam or anything along those lines. Take this seriously.
    I hope you’ll agree to join the team.



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