Kamikaze Treadmill Guy…

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in gyms over the past 42 years.  In that time, I thought I had seen it all as far as the characters of the gym go.  You know, gym characters…

  • Grunter Guy
  • Groaner Guy
  • Weight Slammer Guy
  • Intentionally Using The Equipment For Purposes Beyond The Equipment’s Design Guy
  • Loud Talker Guy
  • Swinging Ponytail On The Elliptical Machine Girl
  • The ‘Spot Me Bro’ Guy
  • The list goes on…

Add to that, all I have seen on social media – you know, the videos that show a man in tights using the cable crossover machine like it’s a Jolly Jump, or the girl faceplanting on the treadmill, and I should have seen it all by now.

Last night though, at a commercial gym in here in Souhern California, I saw the unimaginable.  It was a scene so surreal I had to ask myself whether I had taken LSD prior to my workout.  Of course, I did not.  We all know LSD is best used post-workout, for recovery.

There I stood though, high on a StepMill, the tallest piece of cardio equipment in the gym, and I was looking down to survey all the gym characters below me.  Deep into my rhythm, taking step after quiet step, suddenly I heard him…

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…” I heard emanating from a man on a treadmill in the foreground.

That was followed up by a couple of shorter, but more intense bursts of “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

No, I thought to myself, there’s no way somebody running on a treadmill is grunting that loudly and that deliberately.  But there he was, shouting over and over again as he ran short, fast intervals on the treadmill.

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”  “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

I have heard thousands of grunts, screams, and moans from the lifting platform since the age of 12, and though I rarely grunt myself, I understand the desire, even the need to grunt during a heavy squat or deadlift.

Never though, have I witnessed anyone grunting during cardio, and certainly not in a way which was both deliberate and aggressive.

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”  “Shyow!  Shyow!  Qui!”

Within minutes I wanted to hang myself just to make it go away.  He was loud too.  I looked around to see if any other members were bothered by this.  I saw a few others who seemed to notice, but most in the area appeared to be protected by their earbuds.  I was not, as my phone had died earlier in the day, so for the next 45 minutes while on the StepMill

“Hoy hoy hoy hooooo…”   “Shyow!  Shyow! Qui!”

was the soundtrack to my workout, with only a distant chorus of Loverboy’s Working For The Weekend and other crappy music offering scarce relief from the classic rock station playing through the house speakers.

It was clear nobody was willing to cease their workout to help me subdue this guy.  There was just one employee in the gym at the time, and he was on the other side, apparently oblivious to the scene.

Now here’s the punchline to this little joke…

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t point out that the grunting runner was Japanese.  A person’s ethnicity is rarely relevant in the scope of any situation – but for the Kamikaze headband this man was wearing – with the sign of the rising sun square in the middle, and he ran with fists tightly clinched.  His head was pointed up the entire time, as if he here shouting at God or a deceased relative.  He was drowning in sweat.  I had never seen anything like this.

headband

As previously mentioned, my phone had died prior to entering the gym so I was not able to video Kamikaze Treadmill Guy.  He will live forever though, as a memory shot in my head – a new edition to the pantheon of gym characters.  Kamikaze Treadmill Guy is in now in the house, and apparently he wants us all to know it.  Be well…  rc

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