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Old 09-30-2010, 12:11 PM   #1  
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Unhappy Gym Lady Downer Rant

Ok so at the end of last month I finished C25K and committed to trying to improve my 5k times. I did the program on the treadmill in this tiny workout room where I live (that also has a stair climber and a few weights). However, the treadmill is broken now (and yet to be fixed). The workout room was perfect because no one was ever there and I had absolute privacy.

Yes, I hate to work out in public because I feel people are like thinking "run, fat girl, run" whether or not they actually are or aren't. I'm really self-conscious about it. So I didn't run for a week and just did workout videos instead. I started to get nervous that I'd lose whatever running ability I'd gained (because it was HARD to get to the point I could actually run 5k- even slowly!), so I bit the bullet and this week went for the first time to the snazzy, shiny gym I'm a member of through work.

On Tuesday, I had the best work out day. I found out that I had shaved 4 minutes of my previous 5k best time, and that after running 5k, i no longer felt like dying- in fact, I could have done more. NSV, right? I meant to go yesterday (Wednesday) as well, but couldn't and so made sure to go today.

And now to the point of my post: So there I am today, finishing my 5k run (1 minute faster than on Tuesday, thank you very much!) and getting off the treadmill and then I'm stretching before I get on the elliptical when this gym lady, (I guess she's a personal trainer or something because she shows you how to use the machines etc) sidles up to me and says "I saw you running, at your weight, for safety reasons, a brief, brisk walk is better, and will give you as much of a calorie burn." Let me tell you, I have never fallen off a high so fast. I was just like thinking "no matter how fit I get, I'm always going to be the fat cow who should keep it low impact" and then I got to thinking "does she mean my safety, or the safety of the gym's equiptment, maybe she was worried for the treadmill."

Anyway, I said to her that actually I was running for the distance as in training for a race before she was like "oh ok," but you could totally tell she wasn't comfortable with the fat girl running (on her precious gym's treadmill). I've been kind of depressed since then. I know I should brush it off but I think I crashed so hard (from what she said) from the high of doing my 5k PB so far, that it's hard to pick myself back up. I still got on the elliptical afterwards but my heart was no longer in it so I only did 15ish minutes.

I really don't feel like going back. I really liked the gym otherwise, I did my own thing and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But after today, I feel totally judged because I did nothing to make her think I was about to die or hurt myself, my HR at the end of the 5k (166) was within my target fat-burning zone (146-175), I was hardly bent over huffing and puffing, I even did a brisk walk afterwards; so basically it's that I'm obviously visibly fat and horribly unfit-looking to the point of why bother to do more than a 5-minute stroll. This is exactly why I hate working out in public!

Last edited by toastedsmoke; 09-30-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:22 PM   #2  
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What a #$*#^$*&#^!!! I'm sorry but she had no right or reason to do that besides being mean. I would report her to the manager! She's probably trying to get business from you in a round about way or something. That just makes me mad!
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:26 PM   #3  
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Wow. I don't know what to say. Frankly, I think the guys that use the elliptical at the lowest setting and then go so fast there's practically smoke coming off the back are a danger to the equipment, but that's honestly not for anyone to say. It's there to be used and it doesn't matter how big the person is who's using it.

I'm sorry she said that to you and I hope you are able to move on from it. The thing that popped out from your entire post was the part about shaving 4 minutes off your 5k! That's awesome! Try to focus on your accomplishments and let the downers fall by the wayside.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:27 PM   #4  
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I would report her as well, no question.
I have had nothing but positive praise and encouragement from all the members of staff at my gym. For her to be telling you you're better not to run at your weight is totally out of order. I am positive that there are men who will be using the same equipment who will weigh more than you. And as a fitness instructor she should be encouraging of what you are doing, not insulting.
Sending you lots of hugs your way, what you are doing is very hard but amazing, I know because I did it myself at the beginning of the year and am now up to running 7k. You deserve to be so proud of yourself and on that high.
Seriously again though, please report her to her senior, she needs a very quick attitude adjustment, and I'd LOVE to be there when it happens.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:31 PM   #5  
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I agree with Donna, report her! What a nasty woman! I don't like gyms, but that just because I don't like running on treadmills, so I run on the street. I started when I was at the same point as you and I'm doing a half-marathon next week.

You keep running, and don't let that horrible person stop you! Don't let her take away from you what you've accomplished!

I'm so sorry it happend, but don't let that define you. You're doing great, keep going!
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #6  
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I would say something too - I ran on my YMCA's treadmills at 300lbs and no one blinked a eye.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:32 PM   #7  
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I have to agree- I would have complained about her- UNLESS you looked like you were in pain or about to fall off (which it sounds like you weren't) she has no right to come up to you like that. And I would have told her that as well. Something like "excuse me, who the **** are you again? How dare you talk to me that way, where is your manager?"

Jillian Michaels always preaches how she has 300 lbs people running and doing jumping jacks! If you aren't in pain then you aren't doing anything wrong. Some "trainer" that lady is!

I'd tell them you want to cancel your membership because of rude employees lol- man I'd have made such a stink they probably would have given me free training lessons or shaved off a bit of my membership fee lol.

Oh and congratulations on your run time! That's amazing! I suck at running lol.

Last edited by beerab; 09-30-2010 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:34 PM   #8  
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I would report her to the management of the gym. Not only should she be offering advice to HELP you, she should be doing EVERYTHING to make your work out time there the best it can be. I'm all about customer service, and since you (I'm guessing) bought the membership to that gym, and she is an employee, you are her customer and she SUCKED AT IT.

Go report her, and just say that it made you feel uncomfortable. You did AWESOME and shouldnt have to feel anything negative!!
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #9  
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OMG, I'm so sorry that that happened to you! I agree that you should say something to the manager seeing as how the lady has no idea of your training or ability. It seems like you are very aware of what you are doing, and I think if you were a jerk like her, you could have very easily made her feel like an a** by telling her you've been training, that you're working within your target heart rate, and that you've actually improved your 5k time. Please don't let one idiot ruin this for you, you're doing so great! (And I completely empathize with you about not wanting to work out in public, I run in my kitchen because I'm too self conscious to run outside yet!)
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:54 PM   #10  
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What kind of cheap-arse is at your gym that it can't withstand your weight? Sheesh! It wasn't about the equipment. I don't know what it WAS about, but not that.

How rude! I am just so saddened that happened to you! I am such a fitness nut and I wouldn't have gotten there if something like that had happened to me.

I don't know about you, and it's not the best advice at all, but if that had happened to me I'd flee to another gym. Please don't give up or lose your enthusiasm for such an amazing accomplishment as running! We all know how hard you must have worked to be able to complete a 5K! I know I do!
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:19 PM   #11  
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Thanks so much everyone!!! Believe me, I had several equally mean responses running in my mind to say to her but I just felt so crushed, none of them would have come out right.

I've had this gym membership all year (since January) and this week was the 1st time I went to actually use it because I was nervous of this exact thing happening. I'm considering reporting her to the manager now, although I feel a little bad because it's kind of a ritzy gym (which I get cheaper through work) with a spoiled, ritzy (for here) membership so a customer complaint could easily get her fired, and although she made me feel bad, I don't really want anyone to be unemployed because of me. (My co-worker thinks I'm a sucker because I feel this way).

You guys are making me feel a lot better and more empowered to actually go back (which when I left, I thought NEVER AGAIN!) and keep plugging away to my goal (a sub-40min 5k, and then sub-35, and possibly some day sub-30???) Thanks sooooooo much for the support!!

Last edited by toastedsmoke; 09-30-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:24 PM   #12  
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Uh yeah, I'm a ***** so I would have gone as far as to have her fired. If she walks up to you with that kind of authority, you're obviously not the first person she's been a C-word to. I'd definitely have her job for that.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:29 PM   #13  
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I gasped out loud when I read what she said. I agree with everyone - report her to the manager. She does not know you. She doesn't know your history or what you are capable of. She did not sit you down and go over your plan.

I have been running since I was over 230 lbs and I have never hurt a treamill or pavement or a balance ball or an elliptical... or my knees or my other joints. (I have, of course, made my muscles hurt!)

Don't give in to her awful comment. Get back on that treadmill and prove her wrong (which, really, you already have just by having already completed the C25K!!) AND a "brief, brisk walk" will NOT give you the same calorie burn. DUH. What kind of an idiot is this woman?? It is up to your DOCTOR to tell you that you shouldn't do something physical.

Sorry... I think I am starting to rant a little. I have been running and I have been enjoying it. It makes me feel good and it sounds like it was making you feel good too. It makes me angry to think of some @-hole trying to rob you of that. Please don't let her. Sign up for a 5k... most runners are nice! The ones that finish before you will cheer you on!
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #14  
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What a bunch of bullcrap! There is no way you are anywhere near the weight limit of the treadmill if they are even half-way decent. That was obviously a person who is not very educated in her chosen field, if indeed she is a personal trainer. OBVIOUSLY people of all different sizes are at all different fitness levels, and if her ability to assess someone's fitness level stops at seeing how large they are, then she needs a remedial course or something. Geez, this made me so mad for you!

I think you are a sweet-hearted person for caring about this "quack" keeping her job, but at the same time, you probably should say something to management. They need to know that they have someone there who is not only flawed in her understanding of fitness, but actually insulting and degrading to their customers. There's no need to word it huffily, you could be very nice about it and just give them the facts -- then it is up to THEM if they want to take the time to get her up to speed on REALITY, or if they just want to wash their hands of her. It's not your problem or your fault that she doesn't know what she is talking about. You and your company are paying a pretty penny to go there and you should be surrounded with professionals who know their field. And it's also not your responsibility to 'save' others from her, but I'm sure you aren't the last person who she will make an unsolicited comment like that to.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:27 PM   #15  
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I would have been mortified. And then I would have been irate!

I wouldnt just report her, Id go beyond that.

I would walk back in there, find that woman, ask her to escort me to her managers office - and let them both have it. Calmly. It is actually discriminatory, in addition to being beyond offensive. Unless any parameters are posted around max weight for a machine, that woman's opinion is meaningless and was unsolicited!

I would then write to the owner/director/whatever of the gym to notify them of the chat you had and the outcome. If the woman and the manager are apologetic, tell the owner that. If not, tell them that too.

And keep your head held high. That woman's comments are not about you - they are about her own ignorance. Kudos to you for doing a 5k at all, and super kudos for 1min improvement that is amazing!
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