Saturday, April 18, 2009

An Open Letter to the Young Man Who Placed His Workout Mat Too Close to Mine

Dear Young Man,

I realize that my referring to you as "young man," and the fact that I am approximating your age to be around 12 based on your baby face, probably means that I am aging much faster than I'd like to admit. Because your well-built biceps and your lack of parental guardian tell me that you're actually well past puberty, but not old enough to know how to keep from ticking off a room full of unfit women.

When you enter a crowded exercise class filled with women old enough to have given birth to you (myself excluded), you must know that the fact that you are the lone male in the class does not give you the right to invade someone else's workout space.

Placing your mat too close to someone else's is the exercise equivalent of being a close talker. There are invisible boundaries, man! And women who are already placing all their mental and emotional energy into NOT DYING from the muscle crampage and thus embarrassing themselves in public have considerably less tolerance for boundary infractions. Generally speaking.

I'll admit, at first I was inspired by your invasive presence. I was not going to let a punk kid like you show me up. Even though I've been pregnant 3 times and probably have a huge black hole of diastasis in my abs, I've been doing Pilates twice a week for the last 6 weeks and this was only your second class. I was determined to prove I was the stronger of the two of us.

But after about 26 seconds of inspiration, I was so over you. I was ready to admit defeat in the competition taking place in my head. You won abs, young man. But I was pretty pleased that I SCHOOLED you in thighs, glutes, AND flexibility. Plus my small weighted ball was a full pound heavier than yours. Take THAT, dude!

Not to mention my utter delight over the fact that you appeared to be suffering just as much as rest of us.

But even the satisfaction I gained from beating you in some execrcises did not supercede my total irritation when our arms kept hitting awkwardly as we did that weird arm circle exercise. Or when you refused to do the leg circles in the same direction as me and thus we kept running into one another.

And when a woman is exerting the kind of mental, physical, and emotional effort required to hold it together in that class, the trip to total annoyance is a short one.

There are unwritten rules of group exercise classes, lad. But maybe you should try Googling them to see if the internets contains a written record of them somewhere so that you are less likely to overstep your invisible bounds in the future.

Most importantly, when you come to a group exercise class LATE, you should be prepared to choose a less desirable spot rather than turning my piece of prime real estate into a proverbial wasteland where neither of us gets the full benefit of the workout.

I appreciate your consideration of this matter.


Territorial Workout Mom


  1. Thanks for making me laugh! Sorry for your bad workout! I notice I've started calling anyone under 24 a that so sad?


  2. So funny! What the heck was a 12-year-old doing in a Pilates class?!?

  3. Too Funny! That would've made a hilarious Seinfeld episode.

  4. Yes. Now will you please write a letter to the nasty smelling man that was behind me in kroger the other day?

  5. I agree! You could totally write for Seinfeld... Quick! Call Larry David :)


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