Reading the cell-phone-treadmill lady the riot act

Do not be surprised.

Do not be surprised when I read you the riot act.

Do not be surprised when I read you the riot act in the middle of my 5th elevation-interval pyramid, 68 minutes into my workout.

Do not be surprised when I read you the riot act in the middle of my 5th elevation-interval pyramid, 68 minutes into my workout because you’re now about to leave the treadmill for the 4th time to go talk on your cell phone and increase your current total of 21 minutes of talk time.

…perhaps we should start back at the beginning…

I’m normally a very calm and reasonable person.  It takes a lot to really tick me off.  You have to try very very very hard to get my angry.  It only happens a couple times a year at most.

See, my gym has a 30 minute limit on the treadmills if others are waiting, but most times this isn’t an issue because there’s enough turnover that I can sail through a 90 minute workout.  And, should someone need it – I will heed the rules and let someone have my ride.

So…This middle-aged headband wearing book reading cell phone wielding walker lady was on the treadmill and constantly getting on/off while still ‘owning’ the treadmill with her stuff.  And she was going in and out of the weight room to talk on her cell phone.  At 6-8 minutes a shot.  Seriously.  This was really stressing me out because now I had the ‘high count’ on the treadmill – as every time she’d walk out her treadmill would reset.  Never mind the fact that she had a book covering her numbers.

So, in the middle of my 5th pyramid set/interval at a 5:55 equivalent pace and 68 minutes into this hellish workout this lady’s cell phone rings and she stops her treadmill to answer it and walk out and talk again.

And as she steps behind my treadmill (with her cell) I let into her. 

The exact linguistic details of what I said aren’t fully important.  For a full minute I read her the riot act.  I recalled to her exactly how many minutes she’d been on, exactly how many minutes she’d spent outside talking, exactly when she spent time outside talking, and how her treadmill would reset the numbers and she was hiding it with her book.  I explained to her that it was one or the other – not both.  Everyone turned around to watch, as I was pretty pissed and making a fair commotion.

She attempted to sputter out a slew of excuses, each of which I shot down faster than a machine gun without missing a step (or falling off the treadmill while busting my butt mid-interval).  I just had too much data against her case – I had nothing better to do than count the minutes she spent away or doing other things. She had nothing.

Suffice to say, she did not end up answering her cell phone after all and went back to walk-reading.

I ended up giving up my treadmill at the end of that set and went outside to finish my workout.  When I returned she was still on the treadmill, and stayed there for over 2 hours (when I left the gym). 

So, let this be a warning.  If you elect to utilize a treadmill as a ride where you get on and off and talk on your cell phone, then…

…do not be surprised when I read you the riot act.


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  1. Nice. I hate being like that, but sometimes you just need to.

  2. LMFAO! That is great, you have done what I have wanted to do so many times. I just always default to the evil glare.

  3. That must have been an awesome workout to get enough testosterone to get the Rainmaker all up her a$$.

    I need to adjust my training plans!

  4. I’m so proud. :) That is too awesome.

  5. I love the people who set their treadmills to count down…

  6. Nice! Sometimes just gotta do!

  7. go to track next time jajaja
    just joking good job thats the way to do it

  8. Ahmen! Well done! I hate those people. Especially this time of year there are tons of people looking for equipment and those people that stop to talk and then begin their walk again really annoy me. I hate the people that are so attached to their phone that they text constantly while walking. Or even my co-worker who I saw at the gym. She would run, then walk every time she got a text, then run, text, run text…That was really pissing me off! Put your DAMN phone down!

  9. Nice! The combination of treadmills and cell phones is my biggest gym aggravation. Can’t people just leave the cell alone for a while?

  10. Good for you. I always get way pissed off at people like that but never have the guts to say anything. I just steam about it and complain later on my blog haha.

  11. I frickin’ love this. For some reason, it’s those weird character traits that bother you the most when you have to kill time like that in the gym. Especially if you are a rule follower.

  12. That is terrible treadmill etiquette on her part! You are either there to talk on the phone or you are there to work out. If you would rather talk on the phone then get your stuff off the treadmill and go. Can’t say I blame you!

  13. Once there was a lady who kept singing at the top of her lungs and seriously pissing me off. She left for some reason but kept her treadmill running. I stopped running and unplugged her treadmill. Otherwise, I probably would have been kicked out.

    I say good for you.

  14. Next time I’ll hold her for you.

    Can you come address the aholes who walk in 30 minutes late to my yoga class?

  15. Yesterday seemed to be a common day for people interfering with workouts. I just got done writing a blog post about one of my teamates preventing my from doing any of my lifting correctly yesterday.

  16. I can’t imagine you getting mad! What a sight to see…

  17. Yeah, I don’t think any of us are sorry you did that. Ugh, those type of people annoy the crap out of me, too.

  18. That’s one of the reasons I avoid gyms/treadmills. I always worry my workout will be cut short because of the time limits.

  19. This post is gold. Pure gold.

  20. Ooo, to have been the fly on the wall for that smack down!

    Yeah, come and address the ladies who leave their phone ringers on in my Pilates class.

  21. This is fantastic. How many of us are in those situations and don’t ever have the nerve to call somebody out? You’re my new role model.

  22. On 30 Rock, Liz Lemon bought $150 worth of hotdogs to keep people who formed a separate line from getting one.

  23. You should be on TV!

    I’m still trying to figure out how you kept track of her non-workout PLUS focused on yours.

    How many times have I wanted to smack somebody upside the head for daring to TALK while I’m on the treadmill, to their neighbor! on the neighboring treadmill! Shut the hell up we’re trying to work here!

    and p.s. yes, i forgot to say in your last post, PUT YOUR E-MAIL IN THE COMMENTS!!!!

    GOD ALMIGHTY, people are annoying.

  24. I agree that she sucks for interrupting your workout as I couldn’t more exhausted from the inconsideration that is most of today’s society….but would you rather her be on the cell next to you? Actually talking on the phone as you ride?

    This is what the people try to do at my gym. Try. As I just start talking or singing whenever they pickup.

    They get the point Really fast

  25. People are so stupid. I hate stupid people. I’m so glad you said something. Especially since I WORK for both the gyms I use, I can never say what I normally would say (because I, too, have called people out on their bullsh**) anymore. So thank you from all of us who work for a gym and can’t say what we want to. :)