Sometimes the gym is a great place to work out, and sometimes it's a great place to read the newspaper and catch up on phone calls.  And this is just one of many weird things we see at East Texas gyms.

I was about forty-five minutes into my ride on the stationary bike when a guy hopped on a nearby bike to start his own workout. And he didn't do too much working out, actually.  It seemed more like the bike might have been just a chair that he wanted to use instead of the ones at his house.  But at least he was there!

I'm sure you've seen some strange sights at our East Texas gyms too.  Do cell phones at the gym make us more productive or less?

Lots of gym-goers watch shows on their smartphones while working out and some bring e-readers to soak in a few chapters of their favorite books while they work out, and it helps pass the time and demonstrates the art of multi-tasking.  (I may or may not have completed several conference calls while cycling, slowing down the pedals when it's my turn to talk.)  But it's rare to see an actual newspaper draped over the control screen, right?  And it's even rarer to see it not being read because the cyclist is on the phone, not cycling OR reading.  Gym people!

What other strange sights have you seen at East Texas gyms?  I'll give you a little more inspiration so you can add to the running list.

1.  People checking themselves out in the mirror.  If you're inspecting your ripped abs and pecs in the mirror while you lift those weights, good for you!  It just looks a little strange to the rest of us.  And if you're taking a selfie in the mirror, we'll be watching for that to show up on Tinder.

2.  Girls in full make-up who dress well and smell good.  That's fantastic that you can maintain the runway look while you're burning a calorie, but you're making the rest of us with hair up in messy buns and ratty old concert t-shirts look bad.  And remember the rule - don't smell too good or too bad at the gym.  Neutral is good, and we all need to stop short of smelling like lilacs.

3.  Chatty Kathys.  If you're able to hold a 15-minute conversation while working out, maybe you should work out harder?  I saw a guy trying to strike up a friendly conversation with a pregnant woman while she was on the bike, and he would not stop asking questions about the due date and gender and name.  Let the poor girl pedal!  Maybe "Chatty Kevin" should have brought a newspaper.

4.  Checking your phone while the machine is stopped.  This isn't a huge issue unless it's a peak time of day when all of the machines are full and people are waiting.  Rest time usually means it's time to check for new texts, but if there are other people waiting for the machine it's annoying. Kinda like that guy at the traffic light that doesn't go when the light turns green because he's checking email.  Honk honk!

5.  Wearing street clothes and grunting.  One or the other of these is strange enough, but if you have both going on the rest of us can't help but wonder if you came to the gym straight from a really bad day at work and you're thinking about a bad boss every time you do a squat.  We hope it gets better, and we hope you find some shorts for next time.

Oh, nobody's perfect.  I need to apologize to my fellow gym-goers for the lack of makeup, the t-shirt that never matches my yoga shorts, and for the times that I've forgotten to obey the posted signs to wipe down the equipment after use.  We can all do better.  But I promise not to grunt, chat too much, or smell like lilacs.

Maybe the newspaper isn't so bad after all.

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