Gym etiquette: This is NOT how you parent.

Before the moms out there get all up in a hizzy because I don’t have kids therefore I immediately have no idea what I’m talking about, I thiiiiiiiink I actually do know what I’m talking about in this situation. I know parenting is one of the hardest things you can ever do, which is why it sounds like a terrible idea in my mind, but even us non-parents know when you’re doing it wrong.

I give you the story of my night at the gym last night.

My friend Emily is teaching me how to run which LOL because running is the worst. I hate running more than I hate pickles, which is saying a lot. She’s giving me weekly assignments instead of just saying “go run and that is how you…learn.”  She said running outside is infinitely better than running on a treadmill so what did I do last night? Went and ran on the treadmill because fuck the system! Tonight, I will be running outside because fuck treadmills.

At my condominium, we have a gym. And not one of those garbage tiny gyms that we all know and hate. This one actually has Stuff and Things! The fact that not a whole lot of people use it is beyond me but is also a saving grace as like many situations in life, I hate people.

Okay I’ve thought about it and I hate pickles more than running.
I’d sooner run a 5K than eat a single pickle.

The best part of ALL my gym experiences is arriving to see the lights are off, meaning no people, meaning I can struggle, grunt, and curse through my session without judgement. Working out at a Real Gym with tons of people is fine because the gyms are huge. When it’s a small space and there are a few people in it, it’s relatively annoying/awkward for everyone.

My first world problems are forever on fleek. Let me just complain a little bit more about my personal gym I don’t have to pay for.

Immediately after I was done my run, I went into my leg workout. I know, I know, you’re supposed to do weights first then cardio but I DIDN’T. When I’m alone at the gym doing weights, I don’t listen to music. My iPod cord gets in the way! As I was in my second set, this 2 year oldish kid started looking into the glass door entrance to the gym. I waved at him and he stood there just hanging out. He started banging on the door so him and his mom came in.

Everything That Immediately Went Wrong:

  1. The kid was climbing all over the equipment.
  2. The kid was following me everywhere.
  3. The kid said hi to me roughly 289 times but who’s counting.
  4. The kid was moving everything.
  5. The kid was moving/playing on the mat I was goddamn using.
  6. The mom was standing in the middle of the room reading a magazine.

What the literal fuck are you doing woman. Yes, I realize kids are adventurous af at that age and want to get into everything and see everything and touch everything, but you know what they shouldn’t play around with? GYM EQUIPMENT. You want to move my mat around, you do you, enjoy my stranger sweat. But when the tiny kid is reaching up to the free weights and grabbing at the 5lb, 10lb dumbbells, TAKE A LOOK AROUND MOM.

If you think because I’m standing right there I’m going to do something about it, you have another thing coming. I don’t know you, I don’t know your kid, and you should probably not rely on a strange ass person to intercept potential disasters. Is it you time right now and that’s why you’re reading your magazine? THEN GO SIT IN THE FUCKING LOBBY WHERE THERE AREN’T SILENT KILLER WEIGHT MACHINES READY TO FALL ON YOUR DAMN CHILD.

Also, why are you letting your kid TOUCH MY FUCKING STUFF. I might not be using it RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT because I’m using the leg press, but Jesus Christ, SHOO CHILD, SHOO. Why don’t you just take a sip of water out of my bottle? Want me to fucking nurse you while we’re at it? WHY DON’T YOU JUST DROP TROU AND SHIT ON MY PHONE?

Then the kid got off my sweaty mat (UGH CRINGE) and came over to the lat machine beside the leg press I was on. He decided it was cool the way the weights sit on top of each other so he started goddamn playing with them. Finally the mom was like OH RIGHT I HAVE A CHILD, came over and assisted him in playing with the weights. 


I ended up getting too stressed out and left. As I was walking out of the gym, Dad showed up and said hi and asked if his kid was disrupting my workout.

“Mmm…I was mostly concerned with him playing on the equipment…”
“Oh haha, yeah.”




So, my question to you is: what would you have done?

I feel like most of the moms/dads out there would have definitely said something because once you have kids, your filter for seeing something wrong that involves a child DISAPPEARS, which is totally fair. I can’t decide if I regret not saying anything or if I made the right decision of completely ignoring an aggressively annoying/stressful situation. Normally, I have no filter. If it were some grown ass adult touching my shit, I would tell them to politely fuck off. If it were my friends kids playing on the gym equipment, I’d be all up in that shit. But when it comes to strangers kids, I feel like I have NO place to say anything.

This is just what the world has come to, god forbid I even LOOK at a strangers kid, let alone give their mom/dad advice on how to deal with a situation when I have no idea how the parent is going to react.

“Well do you have kids?”

Not my circus, not my monkeys.


5 Responses

  1. Carolyn. This entry is right in my wheelhouse. Because in case the world didn’t already know, I AM NOT GOOD WITH KIDS.

    If it were me, I would’ve left. Plain and simple. I would walked up to my home, put on a yoga video, and namastay’d where kids AREN’T.

    A lot of moms are very defensive and exhausted in their own right, so I shan’t say a word to them. They have a job at which I would fail miserably, therefore I have no room to judge (I mean. I do judge. But I don’t tell them to their faces, they’ve got enough screaming and crying to deal with).

    I would also maybe talk to whoever runs the gym (housing association?) and ask them to put a NO CHILDREN ALLOWED sign on the door (my favorite sign). Or something to that effect. Because gyms are actually dangerous, and people who use them do not want a snotty ragamuffin interrupting their flow. Some moms need an official sign to realize it’s not the place to dump their child so they can “get out that extra energy.”

    My two cents.

  2. I do have kids and while it does annoy me when non-child people give me parenting tips … this is justified. It pisses me the hell off when my kids get in people’s way at our gym… which has a play area …and yes I do yell at them when they go over near the weights. Of course coach does too 😛

    But seriously. With other people’s kids I hold my tongue for a certain extent, but in your case I would have said something to the kid loud enough that mom can hear (usually). I would say things like “No. That’s not yours, it’s mine. Don’t touch my stuff.” I would tell them if weights fall on them they could break bones or DIE!!! AHHH!!!! and also I would possible gag at them and tell them it was so gross they were touching my sweaty mat or something haha… and of course it would all be deadpan and with an annoyed tone of voice. Even if the mom still didn’t do anything about the kid, the kid would still slowly be learning about acceptable behaviour. Something you say might sink in 😛

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