Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gestank: an odor

Just a random notice. My gym STINKS. to the max. I know...it's a gym, of course it kinda smells. But, I'm talking smells like I have my nose right in Awnold's armpit. I hadn't been in a week or so, so maybe I had become un-immune (or to use a real word: sensitized) to it all over again, but jeez Euro worker-outters!

Is it because there's no air conditioner? I'm thinking there's probably not. Is it because I think 35% of people here don't wear deodorant? {Statistic gathered from a year of tram riding and whiffing.} I think it's actually a horrific combo. Or I could say horri Kombi. You know their word for combo is Kombi? I be lovin' that.

A couple of words about the "Fitness Studio":

- my gym is called Fit Inn and there's a brand new gym, McFit, across the street. It's important to be fit, k?

- my gym is pretty dang cheap. 19,90 euros/month.

- nobody here goes to the gym in his/her gym clothes already (except me).

- you can purchase a membership to the TrinkBar (drink bar) for 2 euros a week which allows you to fill up your bottle with a variety of fountain drinks...including Fanta and Red Bull, but I have yet to find a water fountain anywhere. Seriously.

- Apparently my favey workout shorts (the Nike ones every girl in America has in 8 different color varieties) have not yet made their debut in Austria. In fact, wearing shorts while working out gets you plenty of stares and double takes. (It could be your glowing white legs as well.)

- Stretching is NOT cool, here. I'm always the only one on the mat. But I just think to myself "have fun with your sore, tight muscles Austies!" {But I do it after I work out which might be really quite dumb.}

- Ellipticals are the favey machine BY FAR. I can't remember...is this true in the States too? But people who keep the resistance at 3 or lower are not doin' much.

- We have the girls that come in blow-dried hair and full on makeup here too. They are 2 resistance-ers no doubt.

- When I wear my black spandexy pants and walk by the full wall mirrors, I can't help but notice "baby got back". (Yes, I sometimes look at myself in those mirrors as I walk by...I'm one of those..but, I have to gauge my progress...and it's slow goin' folks)

{Sorry for the pictureless post, but did you want me to bring my camera to the gym or what?}

Update: I thought this was kind of a dumb, silly post, but look at these long comments it's garnering from my fellow expats. If we all lived closer to each other, we could start our own Gestank-free running group!


Sneaker Teacher said...

I totally know what you mean about the "ripeness" in the gym. Several times I have seriously thought about leaving when I was working out next to someone who smelled really bad (just yesterday as a matter of fact). I live super close to the gym so I would never bring my gym clothes and change there/and or shower at the gym after I work out. I agree that most people come in street clothes and change only after they arrive. I am always walking around in my gym clothes and I get stares. Nobody wears comfy sport clothes out and about. I have also noticed a lack of sports bras. Many women wear regular bras to workout in....

Rachel in Graz said...

We totally want pictures of the gym! In Germany McFit is open 24/7, not sure if it's the same here but the branch near where I was living in Mannheim (South-Western Germany) had big windows which opened onto the street so I've sometimes saw some lonely soul in there at 1am working out?! I took up running just before I moved to Europe (no, the UK is not really in Europe) on the basis that it's free but then discovered that running in public in Germany is just not the done thing. Talk about being sweaty all you like but you want to run? Germans couldn't understand why I didn't go to the park or a sports complex & I was like, because the streets are free! You have to pay to enter practically all parks in Germany so I was excited to see that the Stadtpark here is not fenced in but then I still get odd stares running down Herrengasse - you just can't win!
Don't get me started on the sports bras in Europe - all women here can't be that flat-chested??

Juliette said...

I really don't get the no-AC thing in the gyms. I actually quit going to a gym b/c it got so stuffy when it was warm/hot out that I couldn't breathe while working out! Even when it was cool/cold out it was warm inside, so when you worked out, you needed to open a window, but then everybody just glares at you and hates you.

There's one gym in our town that has (moderate) AC in the cardio room, and I appreciate that. Of course it costs an arm and a leg, so we're debating on whether to sign up. But the fact is, we're not working out now b/c of the gym situation...

Re: no stretching. My husband actually told me he was taught that stretching before working out is bad. I looked it up. He's mostly wrong. (even according to some Dutch and UK studies, so the Europeans support me here)

anywho - my biggest gripe is that only the super cheap-o places are open early in the AM. I like to get the workout mess done and over with before my day starts, not do it in the evening w/the rest of Germany.

I will not start a tirade on how swimming laps (doesn't) work over here... (obviously exercise abroad is a touchy issue for me! ha =P)

Don Sislbe said...

I know what you mean about body odor! There was one day, when I was riding on the Linie #1 tram that I thought my head was going to pop, because of the odor of the man in front of me. In my dealings with my Graz friends, I have come to learn that they 1) don't bathe daily, and 2) don't put on clean clothes every day. It doesn't take long for these factors to increase exponentially. And the deodorants they do have there do not work!

jja said...

"You have to pay to enter practically all parks in Germany"

I live in Germany for many years and never ever saw/visited park with entrance to pay?!

About gym - leider, leider only those which are not so cheap smell o.k. But soon we will have spring, i hope and we can use bikes all day long :-).

Kim Preston said...

Carolyn, I just started running again after a way too long break from any form of physical activity. Once I get a bit better, perhaps we can go running together? I think we live fairly close to each other b/c I recognized your local library pic. And I wear deodorant...brought here from Canada! So it works!!! We can look wondey together in our matching Adidas shorts (when it gets warmer...hopefully soon!!!). ;-)

On another unrelated note, I was just reading some much older posts and realized you left a dog at home. Poor you! I'm so glad you have Elsie now! She is sehr suss!

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- Carolyn