The gym can be a very intimidating place, especially for those of us who aren’t very familiar with it. There's a slew of things that can make you hesitant to start going, but one of the things that made me the most hesitant was the people in the gym with me.

I managed to be fairly active throughout my life, but I was never the type to get my exercise in at a gym. I've been a dancer for nearly my entire life, and although it’s not considered a sport it takes a lot of work and a certain level of fitness to maintain. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic made it so I had to stop dancing because my dance of choice was partner dancing -- ballroom, Latin and swing styles. Thanks to social distancing, that was no longer an option. Once my consistent source of exercise we removed from my life, my level of fitness suffered.

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I currently live in an apartment complex with a nice gym, so I decided to give that a go. I was nervous to get started, but fortunately I had a friend to help guide me in the right direction, and my partner also wanted to start going to the gym.

Everything was going well...until ‘that guy’ showed up.

You all know who I'm talking about, the gym bro that thinks he owns that place and does whatever he wants. Not only was he all over the place, taking up as many machines and weights as possible and not allowing others to use them, but he also decided that he's too good for headphones and that everyone around him must be subjected to listening to his music at full volume. Taking up a bunch of equipment is something I can somewhat bear, but forcing me to listen to your bad taste in music isn’t.

The first time it happened I just tried to zone it out and turn my headphones up, but even with noise cancellation and my music up as loud as was comfortable I could still hear this guy’s Soundcloud mumble-rap blaring through the gym. After dealing with that, I decided to adjust when I go to the gym, hoping I would just never run into this guy again. Despite my efforts, he started showing up at the time I changed to, speaker in hand, ready to torment everyone that had been peacefully enjoying their workouts with their headphones in.

You could tell everyone was annoyed with this guy and he was either oblivious or just didn’t care about the glares he was receiving. Finally fed up, I waited for him to finish his last set, walked over to him, and politely asked if he could put headphones in or at least turn his music down. He gives me a look, looks at his speaker, looks back to me, and grumbled, "I'll just turn it off then, I guess."

I thanked him and went back to where I was previously working out, but I could tell he wasn’t happy about it. He did another set, grunting and groaning his way through it, before slamming the weights down and moving onto another part of the gym. I'm not sure what would possess someone into thinking they're so important, but even as a beginner gym-goer I knew that what he was doing was rude.

I've really been enjoying my time at the gym so far, but if I have to deal with this guy every time I go it might just ruin it for me. So please, Lubbock gym-goers, I'm begging you to at least take a couple of minutes out of your day to read up on some gym etiquette so you don’t ruin the experience for someone else. The last thing you want is to be 'that guy' and have an article written about you.

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