I don’t always find people who amuse me, but when I do, they’re people who read at the gym. These are the lost souls who go to the gym to pore over texts while on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. I’m a practical guy, so never once have I thought, “I’m sweaty, it’s noisy, I’m bouncing up and down. What great conditions to take in a little Hemingway!” Humans who do this fall into a stratum of society which, for the sake of generalization, I will refer to as “the readrunner.” In true field guide fashion, here are my notes on this remarkable (read: unfathomable) group of beings.
One type of readrunner can most often be found in the Bear’s Lear and Bigelow Lounge. They’re usually (but not always) ladies engulfed in pink headbands, spandex, and “Seniors ‘11: Our Debt Goes Through Heaven” shirts. Clutching their copy of People, they anxiously wait 10-20 minutes to use a cardio machine. I would like to remind these people that there are actually three jillion other machines and exercises they can be doing that, God forbid, don’t involve reading about KStew and RPatz.
Of course, this is an unfair stereotype, since not every readrunner cares about gossip. Some enjoy material that’s a little too relevant. At the Nelson Center, there’s a new magazine rack that has all your favorites — I’m particularly fond of Walker’s Weekly and Tight Glutes Digest. The most ironic sight is the readrunner on the treadmill who is simultaneously reading Runner’s World. He’s looking for tips on how to be a better runner. That’s like eating a fortune cookie where the fortune reads Stop eating cookies, fatso.