First, I must state that I find The Princeton Club to be a pretty solid athletic club overall. The staff is friendly, and they mostly do a good job of keeping the place clean and welcoming. However, I must take issue with some of my fellow members and their habits. Hopefully this little rant will get noticed enough to make some of my fellow members rethink their inconsideration. I assume some or all of the items below would happen at any club, so I doubt finding a new club would matter. If you know of a place that has a pool and doesn’t have the first 4 things happen often, I’d love to hear about it.
Can you recognize these members?
- People who don’t shower before entering the pool or hot tub (it’s the law, people)
- People who don’t rinse off after sweating their asses off in the sauna or steam room THEN get in the pool or hot tub
- People who do neither (seriously?) – I’ll detail my favorite scofflaw below. I shouldn’t taste salt in a non-saltwater pool. The pond would be good for you!
- People who don’t re-rack free weights – This adds to my workout, but what if someone like my mom needed to use a machine and can’t lift a 45 lb plate off the decline machine? How am I supposed to know when anyone is finished with a station? This is mainly a problem at the west location. The people who lift at the east location are usually more serious and conscientious.
- People who sit at a station/machine playing with their phone/music/etc. – Are you pausing between sets or just rude? I can’t tell but usually you’re just rude.
- People whose range of motion on an exercise is about 5 inches – I can bench 400 lbs if I only move the bar that far.
- People who don’t wipe off equipment after they sweat all over it – You sweat through your clothes, genius – especially with modern breathable fabrics.
- People who wipe off equipment BEFORE they use it, but not afterward – Yes, I’m talking to you, strange long haired hippy looking dude who looks like his workout clothes have never been washed. So you wipe it off so you don’t get sweat and germs on you, but you’re fine letting your nasty sit there for the next person?
- Which brings me to people who leave an odor trail – Take that s#!t home and wash it, bro. We’re all getting a bit stinky (I am no exception), but there’s a threshold.
My favorite guy is a patron of the west location. He hits the steam room for 10 minutes, then dives/belly flops into the pool (which is also against the rules) to rinse and/or cool off, then repeats that cycle about 8 times. He’s probably in his 70s, so I am pretty sure this is terrible for his (or anyone’s) system to begin with. All of this is without rinsing off between iterations. I called him on it one day, and he said he did shower off at the steam room nozzle. I didn’t actually see him not rinse off (even though I had seen him not do it plenty of times before), so I went on with my workout. The next day I saw him, I was in the hot tub as he got out of the steam room. I saw he didn’t rinse off, so I called him on it when I got into the pool. He lied right to my face, and I called him on that. He actually did rinse off on the next iteration that day. “Thank you” I blurted out quite vociferously. Incredibly, a week or two later I realized he doesn’t even shower prior to entering the pool area. I always assumed he at least did that since he doesn’t rinse off between cycles. I had never seen the beginning of his routine before. Gross.
Since dealing with him, I’ve made my peace with the fact that most people are so caught up in their own little worlds and are thus this inconsiderate. While I am in the pool and hot tub area (usually about a 45 minute period total), I witness 10 people (on average) get in the pool or hot tub who have clearly not showered first and/or rinsed off after getting out of the sauna or steam room. That doesn’t count the people I don’t notice while swimming. Do a little multiplication if you want to be grossed out even more. At least the hot tubs get drained twice a week.
I don’t know what the management can do about any of this other than post a few more signs (signs on the sauna and steam room doors might help) and make sure there is a standard etiquette lecture when someone signs up.
What about you? I’d love to read your other pet peeves about our gym or your gym.