Sunday, May 29, 2005

Strangeness at the Gym on Sunday

I think I mentioned that last term I trained at the gym for a few hours with the Swedish men's soccer team. N, D's fiancee, teased me to no end, saying that they were waiting to invite me to go with them and play in England. We were both there to warm up for boxing class. Which, not surprisingly, also fell on a sunday. I think these national teams must only travel on sundays, but how random that they end up at my little gym in Ostermalmstorg.

Today I walked in passing a herd of women soccer players, clearly decked out in their training uniforms. They were definitely a roudy bunch. Seeing as there were few patrons yet at the gym, they had pretty much taken over. I went on about my business, doing my best to just ignore them. Though, when I went to stretch they were sprawled over all but one of the mats, so I was laying just outside their circle and they were saying, "who is that, why is he here?" Maybe someone had told them the room would be clear since it was 11 am Sunday? In any case I feigned swedish-ignorance and stretched for my workout. When I got up to cross the room (the easiest way to the weight room was on the opposite side of their training) I realized I needed to go all the way around. Frustration. Did I mention that these women were LOUD. I mean really loud, lots of shouting and grunting, similar to the display you see whenever you watch PT or ROTC training in the US.

I finally made my way down to the weight room. Sweet, not so many people. Just as I started to do some close grip lat pulls, a small training group of these swedish national women come down stairs with a male trainer. He was all serious and telling them the different things to do. It was really distracting. At one point I moved over to the free-weight smith machine and put some weight on. No sooner had I set up then one of the players (I actually recognized from games) asked me how long I'd be. When I said three sets (tre till) she looked at me like, you can't be serious.

I did two sets before someone else molested me. The male trainer came over and asked, in swedish, if he could do the freestanding squat (the rack is INSIDE the machine I'm using). I switched to english, and said sure, but she (the girl who'd asked) already laid claim to it, so you should ask her. Apparently that was funny. I ended up doing two more sets, since I kept getting interrupted, and the male trainer watched, which was a little wierd. After he'd done his squats though, and I'd moved on, he did the same exercise I did (neutral grip bent over rows)... interesting. The guy only interrupted me three more times before he left. I definitely wanted to take him aside and give him a few pointers on gym ettiquette. The players definitely had it down, at least asking how long you'd be before stepping in, maybe he needs to learn from his subjects rather than trying to step infront of a 90kg body builder carrying 40kg dumbbells around ... you think? I swear he almost got clobbered once when he walked infront of a dude trying to work on the cables ... "A master of gym, he was not. A padewan he should be."

Granted most of the gym stuff is common sense and common courtesy. I guess we were expected to bow to the wishes of the national team, while they invaded our space. Swedes don't get territorial often, but this morning was definitely one of those times I think the outsiders really pushed it. In any event, I thought it was interesting that another national team came to train at our gym on a sunday. Totally random, totally rhythm breaking, and totally unique to Stockholm.

Have a great weekend people!


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