Channel-changing at the gym can be contagious!

I’m not sure I’m gonna win any popularity contests at the gym these days. Not even remotely. And I’m not altogether sure it’s even my fault. Not that I’m entering any such events (or that they even have them).

Yes, something happened. Lesson learned.

I was plodding along merrily (OK, maybe not exactly merrily) on a treadmill, minding my own business. I was zoning out to the headline subtitles on one of my favorite news channels (staring at the monitor mounted on my machine), while jamming to tunes on my headphones.

Suddenly, my TV monitor channels started changing at a rapid clip. I picked up the remote control, pointed it at the little cable box (mounted to the treadmill base), and clicked it back to the news headlines.

Adapted from public domain photo

Then it happened again … and again … and again.

A man appeared next to my treadmill, waving at me. I hit PAUSE on the treadmill and slipped my headphones out of my ears.

“You’re changing my channels!” he said. “You’ve been doing it for 30 minutes.”

“Sorry, I had no idea,” I answered.

“It’s OK, he said. But please stop,” he replied. He walked back to the stationary bike in front of my treadmill and resumed his workout.

I went on with my own run. Then I noticed that my own TV channels continued to change. With a sigh, I clicked off the TV, stored the remote control in its slot, and kept running. As I did, I glanced at the guy in front of me, who was shaking his head. I noticed his channels continued to change, although he had both hands on the handlebars.

A moment later, he stood up and left. He didn’t even wipe down his machine. Another guy promptly climbed aboard and began his own workout. And so did the rapid changing of his channels.

I glanced at the two rows of machines behind me, which were fully occupied. A woman directly to the back of me was shaking and clicking her remote, as if it were giving her trouble.

What’s the moral of this story?

Either the gym needs to do a more strategic redesign of machine placements, or members need to develop better aim with their individual remote controls. Maybe both.

‘Cause there’s a whole lotta changin’ goin’ on … but it’s not necessarily all about improvements in physical fitness.

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