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Here’s the deal: I wouldn’t label myself as a gym fanatic. I do like working out and I am serious about it, attending the gym regularly at least 5-6 times a week. It makes me feel good and I like to sweat. Plus, it’s an hour and a half that I have to myself where I can clear my head and escape from the pressure of being a college student. But I have to time when I go very carefully, because if there’s one thing that I can’t stand, it’s a packed gym. More specifically, a packed gym full of jocky guys.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of person who thinks that all jocks are stupid, rude tools that don’t know how to talk to girls. I know that not every guy in the gym acts like a jerk who takes up space for no reason. Nevertheless, one of my biggest pet peeves is when guys hog the machines for no reason, which happened to me last Tuesday.

I had just finished my warm up in Glimmerglass and I made my way over to one of the lateral pull down machines in the corner of the room. Since it was later in the day, there were more people in the gym and almost every available machine was occupied. I looked around me and it didn’t look like anyone had wandered away from the machine to clean it or take a water break in between sets. I decided that it would be okay for me to sit down.

I set my water bottle on the seat and reached up to change the handle that was already clipped on. I set it down next to the machine and walked over to the center of the room to grab the handle that I wanted from the handle stand. I walked back to my machine with the new handle to find a muscley dude in a tank top waiting for me. I took one of my earbuds out so I could talk to him.

“Oh,” he said, pointing. “Were you going to use this?”

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Oh,” he repeated. “Because I was going to use this as part of a set.” He gestured to the other two machines next to the one I was using, which was a seated row machine and a standing pulldown machine.

“Okay,” I said. “Well, I’m only doing three sets on this. Can you use the other two machines in the meantime? I won’t be more than two minutes.”

“Yeah, I guess,” the dude said.

I put my earbud back in and sat down, wanting to roll my eyes. I wasn’t going to wait ten minutes for this guy to bounce around from machine to machine when my workout was only going to be two minutes long. Plus, he wasn’t going to be using the machine I was on the entire time, so why did it matter if I was on it? He couldn’t use the other two machines while I worked out on mine?

I felt another tap on my shoulder and looked up.

“Did you switch this handle out?” the dude asked me. 

I took my phone out of my pocket and paused my music. “Huh?”

“The handle that’s on the ground,” he explained.

“Yeah, I didn’t want to use that one.”

“Oh, okay. So when you’re taking a rest break, I’ll jump on and switch out the handles so I can do my set.”

Um, I don’t think so. For the next five minutes, whenever I took a rest break I stayed on my machine. I even got in two more workouts while I was sitting there. The dude ended up interrupting me again to inform me that he was going to do push ups on the ground instead, so he didn’t need to use my machine after all. 

But you see, that’s the problem.I shouldn’t have to give up my spot just because some random guy can’t wait his turn to use my machine like everyone else. I’m almost positive that if I were a guy working out, this dude wouldn’t have thought twice about trying to hurry me off the machine. I’m not the kind of girl who will graciously move out of your way at the gym just because you’re a guy. And some guys need to stop acting like we will.


Jess is currently a second semester junior double majoring in English and Creative Writing and minoring in Journalism. One of Jess’s biggest passions is nonfiction, and most of the articles she has written for Her Campus consist of stories based on honest recounts of her life. Other hobbies that she enjoys next to writing include loving on her animals, horseback riding, working out at the gym, cooking, and photography.
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