Cubs

The 10 most annoying people at the gym

The 10 most annoying people at the gym

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010
3:27 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

How are you doing on those New Year's resolutions? I always like asking people this question around Labor Day. You know, it kind of catches them off guard. It has been 250 days since the last ball drop (not counting those by Chicago Bears receivers of course) and another 115 until we'll see the next one. Did any of you plan on joining a health club or gym? Or did any of you try to lose weight? If you were successful, you are among the 10 percent of those who have had a successful New Year's resolution. And you, more than likely, earn extra credit because you endured a particularly tiresome posse of our society: the gym.

I presented the "10 Most Annoying People on the Bike Trail" about a month ago.They're hilarious, but certain characters in the gym crowd make the bike trail gang look modest. Heck, given that you're reading this on a sports website, I'm sure that you have tried to sculpt yourself into looking like the next Joe Q. Superjock at one time or another. And a fist-bump to you if you kept humble while doing so. Some haven't gotten the hint, though. Is all the strutting, grunting, preening and obnoxiousness really necessary? People often lament the hidden costs of joining of a gym. I bring you ten of them:

The Mr. Invincible Weight Lifting Guy: Let's start off with an obvious one. You know how they have those silver statue guys on Michigan Avenue? You can't help but stare at their bizarre features and all of the sudden they spring into motion and draw a crowd. That's the street equivalent of how the gym's Mr. IWLG operates. The first time you see each of these people, you can't help but be a part of the audience. However, the show gets old real fast. You have a sneaky suspicion that these people are only there for the attention and the onlookers are blocking the sidewalk (or in this case, to the water fountain or the one Stairmaster that opened after a 30-minute wait).

The Mr. Invincible Weight Lifting Guy (Shouting Version): Basically a carbon copy of Mr. IWLG, only he shouts after each 300-pound repetition like he's at a Pantera concert. His wardrobe is complete once the barbed wire tattoo makes an appearance. Each weightlifting grunt says, "Look at me! I might need your help to tie my own shoes later!" Come on, guy. This isn't Super Mario Brothers. Stop hitting those imaginary question-marks over your head in hopes for an 'invincible' star. Newsflash: you're not invincible. Your 0-79 lifetime record with the ladies is proof of that.

The Born-Again Basketball Player: New 200 shoes? Check. New wardrobe from the mall? Check. Headband? Check. An overrated has-been whose vocabulary is based on the phrase, "A Little Help" when the ball bounces wildly away from his missed 20-foot jumper? Better believe that's a check. If you accidentally get into a conversation with this fountain-of-youth hoops schmuck, don't ever...EVER ask him about his days as the backup point guard at Southeast North Dakota A&M-Fargo State. He'll end up challenging youtaunting you into a game of one-on-one.

Mr. & Mrs. Sweat: It's nice that you just greased your way into and out of that leg press. The mesh shorts and soiled B.U.M Equipment t-shirt adds a nice touch as well. But do you mind cleaning the pepperoni pizza-like stain off the bench after you're done with it? Here's a towel. And a squeegie. And the complimentary disinfectant you just walked by on the way to the locker room. Go to work. Oh, hey-- the Calumet River called. It wants its stink and slime back.

That Guy Or Girl Who Has A Personal Trainer: How's that 500,000-a-year salary treatin' ya? Good enough to pay for a condescending gym class hero to tell you how to jump rope the right way? Must be nice. I just don't understand how people feel the need to spend money on motivation. Isn't that what a mirror is supposed to do? I mean, didn't we all learn a thing or two from Jim Jupiter, The Healthiest Man In Chicago?

Johnny Hot-Shot Ladies Man: This one is for the girls out there. Have you ever had this experience: You're working out and going about your business. You catch a guy staring at you from across the room. He then moves near your machine. All of a sudden, he's on the machine right next to you. Then, out comes Cassanova: "So...how many miles are you doing?" Or... "Hey can you help me out with this machine?" Next thing you know, he's walking you to your car and asking you out for dinner. If it's a match made in heaven, great. But that's a rare occurrence. More often than not, the guy smells like taco mix and used dental floss. You seriously think about getting the mace ready. Johnny Hot-Shot Ladies Man is the type that will try to impress a girl by benching 255 pounds...failing...and having to call an instructorparadmedic over for help.
The Paris Hilton: This gym type presents, by far and away, the biggest challenge to any guy at a gym. The Paris Hilton is there to look great and not sweat a drop. She's there to pick up a mate. For most guys, this is great! A hot girl at a gym! Only trouble is that 100 other guys are thinking the same thing. For the men, it's a race to come up with the best line andor overdoing it on the lat pulls to look impressive. And this one goes out to the guys that just want to go to a gym and work out: have you ever had your concentration tested once the Paris Hilton walks in...and you end up wasting an hour or so thinking about her? It's a no-win situation, really.

That Guy In The Tae-Bo Class --or-- That Guy In The Aerobics Class: Odds are this guy also has some of those Richard Simmons "Deal A Meal" cards at home. Or that he'll strike up a conversation with you about his cat named Wilson Phillips. And he...uhm...you know, let's just move on to the next one...

Mr. & Mrs. "You're Doing It Wrong": These people need to be pushed off a water tower and into a very large blender in puree mode. It might be the only thing that can stop them from coming over to your machine to tell you, "Hey! You're arching your back too much! Oh I don't know about that, you're going to hurt yourself! Tsk Tsk Tsk!" There is a fine line between constructive criticism and risking a haymaker to the left cheek. Meddling isn't attractive, folks. These are the same people that yell at you for not splitting nines at the blackjack table when the dealer shows a seven. Makes you want to clothesline them with a curling bar, you know?

The Naked Guy: Nothing says fun than going about your gym routine, turning a corner, and running into...you know, that guy. Whatever happened to common sense and decency? I have never understood this. There's always one of them, you know? These people, you know? They're one of those "free spirit" types, usually unkempt, who looks like a big pimento loaf that got dropped onto a barber shop floor. Wait, why am I getting into specifics about this?

Honorable Mentions:

The Muscle Chick, The Guy Who Hogs The Machine, The Drifter (one who "camps out" at the gym for more than four hours), The Cast of "The View" (people who are there just to socialize)

Just makes you want to blow your hard earned money every month, right? Or make another resolution.

Or something like that.

Jason Kipnis comes home looking to write one final chapter of his career

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USA Today

Jason Kipnis comes home looking to write one final chapter of his career

Jason Kipnis, who’s potentially the Cubs’ new second baseman but indisputably the pride of Northbrook, said there’s one major reason why his possible reunion with Wrigley Field is so exciting.

“Now I don’t have to hate the 'Go Cubs Go' song,” he quipped.

Kipnis was a late addition to the Cubs’ roster, and still not even a guaranteed one at that. After almost a decade spent being one of the Cleveland Indians’ cornerstones, Kipnis arrived in Mesa on a minor league contract, looking to win a job. Ironically, being with his hometown team is unfamiliar territory for the two-time All-Star. 

“[Leaving Cleveland] was hard at first,” he said. “You get used to the same place for 9-10 years, and I think it’s a little hard right now coming in and being the new guy and being lost and not knowing where to go. But it’ll be fun. It’s exciting. It’s kind of out of the comfort zone again, which is kind of what you want right now – to be uncomfortable. I don’t know, I’ve missed this feeling a little bit, so it’ll be good.”

It was a slow offseason for the second baseman, but the second baseman said that he was weighing offers from several teams. Opportunity and organizational direction dictated most of his decision-making, but Kipnis admitted that the forces around him were all, rather unsubtly, pulling him in one direction.

“They were telling me to take a deal, take a cut, whatever. Just get here,” he joked. “... It made sense, it really did. I think I didn't fully understand it until it was announced and my phone started blowing up and I realized just how many people this impacted around my life. Friends and family still live in Chicago, so it’s going to be exciting.”

The theme of renewed motivation has hung around Sloan Park like an early-morning Arizona chill, and Kipnis said part of the reason he feels the Cubs brought him in is to set a fire under some guys. He talked with Anthony Rizzo during the offseason, who talked about how the Cubs had struggled at times to put an appropriate emphasis on each of the 162 games in a regular season. That’s not a new problem in baseball, and it struck a chord with Kipnis, who himself was on plenty of talented Cleveland teams that never got over the hump. 

“They got a good core here. I’m well aware of that, they’re well aware of that, too,” he said. “I texted him and called him and asked him what happened last year, because I look at rosters, I look at St. Louis’, I look at all that, and I’m like, ‘I still would take your guys roster.’” 

As for his direct competition, Kipnis said he hasn’t had a chance to really get to know Nico Hoerner yet, but doesn’t feel like the battle for second base has to be a contentious one by any means. At 32, Kipnis has been around long enough to understand the dynamics an aging veteran vs. a top prospect, and doesn't feel like it’s a situation where only one of them will end up benefiting. 

“I know he came up and had a pretty good success, so I think [it’s] going to be a competition, but at the same time, I’m not going to try to put him down,” he said. “I’d like to work with him, kind of teach him what I know too and hopefully both of us become better from it.” 

According to Javy Baez, the Cubs need to improve their pregame focus

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USA Today

According to Javy Baez, the Cubs need to improve their pregame focus

While the Cubs’ decline has been talked about over and over again, it’s always been framed in relatively vague terms. Perhaps in the interest of protecting a former manager who is still well-liked within the clubhouse, specifics were always avoided. It was just a change that was needed.

That is, until Javy Baez spoke on Sunday morning. In no unclear terms, Baez took a stab at explaining why such a talented team has fallen short of expectations in back-to-back seasons. 

“It wasn’t something bad, but we had a lot of options – not mandatory,” Baez said from his locker at Sloan Park. “Everybody kind of sat back, including me, because I wasn’t really going out there and preparing for the game. I was getting ready during the game, which is not good. But this year, I think before the games we’ve all got to be out there, everybody out there, as a team. Stretch as a team, be together as a team so we can play together.”

Related: What to love, and hate, about the Cubs heading into 2020

The star shortstop's comments certainly track. Maddon is widely considered one of the better managers in baseball, but discipline and structure have never been key pillars of his leadership style. He intrinsically trusts players to get their own work done – something that's clearly an appreciated aspect of his personality... until it isn't. World Series hangovers don’t exist four years after the fact but given Maddon’s immediate success in Chicago, it’s easy to understand how players let off the gas pedal. 

“I mean I would just get to the field and instead of going outside and hit BP, I would do everything inside, which is not the same,” he said. “Once I’d go out to the game, I’d feel like l wasn’t ready. I felt like I was getting loose during the first 4 innings, and I should be ready and excited to get out before the first pitch.” 

“You can lose the game in the first inning. Sometimes when you’re not ready, and the other team scores by something simple, I feel like it was because of that. It was because we weren’t ready, we weren’t ready to throw the first pitch because nobody was loose.” 

Baez also promised that this year would be far more organized and rigid. They will stretch as a team, warm up outside as a team and hopefully rediscover that early-game focus that may have slipped away during the extended victory lap. That may mean less giant hacks, too. 

“Sometimes we’re up by a lot or down by a lot and we wanted to hit homers,” he said. “That’s really not going to work for the team. It’s about getting on base and giving the at-bat to the next guy, and sometimes we forget about that because of the situation of the game. I think that’s the way you get back to the game – going pitch by pitch and at-bat by at-bat.” 

Baez was less specific when it came to his contractual discussions with the team, only saying that negotiations were “up and down.” He’d like to play his whole career here and would be grateful if an extension was reached before Opening Day – he’s just not counting on it. The focus right now is on recapturing some of that 2016 drive and the rest, according to him, will take care of itself.

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