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Monday, December 19, 2005 :::

Punished for Being Shallow

I went to the gym today. While changing into my work-out clothes in the locker room, a fellow exerciser initiated some random chit chat. He asked me how often I've been working out, whether or not I've had any muscle problems, and if I do a lot of cardio. Then he asked me how fast I run on the treadmill and for how long. The real answer is six miles per hour for 25 minutes. Five minutes of which is cool-down. But for some obviously shallow reason, I told him 6.5 miles per hour for 30 minutes. It was just a small fib, I thought. Then I left his company to go start my work-out.

Thirty seconds after I started my run, I looked in the mirror to see that my new locker room friend had taken position on the stair-stepper, right behind me and to the left. So there he was, literally towering just over my shoulder, with a perfectly clear view of my treadmill pedometer, which of course meant I actually had to run at a steady 6.5 miles per hour for the full 30 minutes. It almost killed me. My sweat-drenched shirt was clinging to my chest and stomach and my mouth was permanently agape as I fought for air. All the color drained from my face. My footfalls sounded like galloping clydedales. It was ugly.

It was kinda like he was Daryl Zero and I was Ryan O'Neal and he was just testing me as a way of judging my character. That's a really good movie, by the way. Anyway, lesson learned. Don't be shallow like dan.

Then to add insult to (literal) injury, I passed him while leaving the club and he held out his hand. In retrospect, I now recognize that it was just supposed to be a friendly wave, but I mistook it as an invitation for a high-five. Then midway through raising my hand to slap his, I realized my mistake, and that split-second of hesitation made me unsure of how to compensate, so I ended up doing a weird half-squeeze-handshake/half-high-five thing with this guy I barely know in the lobby of my health club.

I'm really not a high-five type of person anyway, so I should have resisted to begin with. Oh well. Lesson learned. Don't be socially retarded like dan.

::: posted by dan at 9:26 PM :: [ link ] :: (24) comments Social Bookmark Button

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24 previous comments:

Are you my ....... brother?

By Anonymous sweets n scotch, at 11:11 PM  

yipes, that hi-five part made me cringe into my chair. i've been there too many times in similar variations.

By Anonymous alarcon, at 2:17 AM  

That is such a great story Dan. I have never done that myself, but I do hate when someone in the locker room tries to talk to me when I'm changing clothes, very ackward.. But I'm also the type that does not like to use a urinal, just ackward..

By Blogger TracyD, at 7:46 AM  

Yikes...the awkward "i thought a high five" situation. Second only in awkwardness to the "i thought you were waving at me" situation.

By Blogger Dave, at 7:54 AM  

that's like the time i thought a semi-famous person was waving at me in New York . . . i was visiting the city and had met this person briefly, (along with the hundreds of other slobs who were there to meet him) at an event the previous evening. i thought I was particularly charming and insightful in my 12.3 second audience with him. this was confirmed by the fact that he actually remembered me, and was waving at me! ME! i started grinning like an idiot, and hurriedly started walking over, and that's when the cab pulled over to the curb and he got in, never having even noticed (i hope) me being a giant dork. thanks for helping me recall that humiliating moment.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:07 AM  

oh dan dan dan, I have been there! Why are people comfortable speaking to each other in locker rooms? There are women who sit around the locker rooms naked eating oatmeal and chatting it up every morning. Ack! On the bright side it sounds like you got a great workout!

By Anonymous lu, at 10:11 AM  

ahh i am so glad there are others like me in this world.

you are hilarious. thanks for sharing - takes a strong man to admit he bumbled into a handshake/high-five/slap with a near-stranger.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:57 AM  

any chance the guy was hitting on you?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:06 AM  

Hmm...the gym stalker. Nice.

By Blogger Elle Marie, at 11:32 AM  

I can't believe you hi-fived that guy. Hilarious. That is the best story EVER.

By Blogger Biglug, at 11:49 AM  

wasn't that an episode on Seinfeld?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 PM  

High fives are so 1980s.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:08 PM  

I seriously love EVERYTHING about this.

By Anonymous duane, at 3:22 PM  

Dan, you are going to have to work on your pick up lines if you ever want to attract cute guys. Maybe you just have to be drunk, which should not be a problem for you.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:49 PM  

Now, that comment about Dan needing to work on his pick-up lines and being drunk is just mean. You should be ashamed of yourself, whoever you are. Besides, I'm sure Dan doesn't need pick-up lines.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 PM  

Why does everyone seem to have a problem w/ high fives?? Shame on the gym guy for not intending for that to be a high five... they're the best!

By Anonymous Kristen, at 2:15 AM  

Okay, i'm a long time lurker and have never posted a comment before, however, this time I cannot resist. I was in a meeting when I read this entry and almost laughed out loud. People looked at me becasue my face turned a little red as I tried to hold it in. The part about you running on the treadmill reminded me a little of Gattaca where Ethan Hawke tried to pretend he was uber-fit.
Anyway, thanks for the laugh. I loved everything about this post. I know I'm not alone when I wave or acknowledge someone who is looking past me at someone else.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 AM  

You did the right thing by upping your workout... I was talking to a woman at the club who said she never ran,and then low and behold I caught her later running.. It baffled me the entire workout
why would she tell me she never ran and then go and run? I still she her around the club and every time I think she is not to be trusted...
I told the personal trainer I was 124 pounds when in reality I hover around 126,I am not sure why I said 124 and now I can never train with him for fear he will think either A-I am starting to gain
or B- I am a low down,fat.dorty liar...

also, Carl...the operation guy walked toward me like he was going to give me a hug the other day because he had just worked out and was all sweaty...I didin't piece it together that the hug was supposed to be a joke *even though I have never been hugged before by him*so I smiled and extended my arms... it was not until minutes later replaying the whole scene in my head that I realized what had just gone down and that I was *once again* a social bumbling idioy...
I mean what is wrong with me why would he hug me? I am still kicking myself...

I laughed for like 30 minutes because of this post by the way

By Blogger Stacy, at 9:59 AM  

since I can't edit my comment,I will just mention,wow I was heavy on the typo's....

By Blogger Stacy, at 10:01 AM  

I have to say it...the mean anonymous poster is ranking up there with the person who refers to uncle Ray each time they comment in terms of annoyance factor... I really hate you...not you uncle Ray commentor,your just mildly irrating,I hate the dumb mean you think you are starting to beat a dead horse?
We get it you think Dan drinks alot and is one cares what you one shut up.Plus your "jabs" are not even remotely clever or funny in addition to being mean.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:08 AM  

Yeah - I'm with them. But wouldn't it be weird if that 'nice' anonymous was really just the same person as the mean one?
By the way Dan - at least I know there is someone out there suffering from the same humiliation I go through day after day. It would be way worse if I were the only one ;-)

By Blogger elizabeth, at 2:05 PM  

yeah, it sounds like the guy was hitting on you. i cant imagine a guy testing someone elses character at a gym... that's kinda ridiculous. i think he just wanted a nice view of your ass.

don't worry, the high-five awkward thing probably sent him the right message, haha.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:07 PM  

i can't stop laughing....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:07 AM  

I just found your site today and haven't stopped laughing. But this one is the bestest. The goofy handshake thing has flustered more men than you can know, myself included.

By Anonymous Geoff, at 8:01 PM  

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