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Ask amy: how does one handle an inconsiderate gym mate? – the denver post

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Dear Amy: Some friends and I are members of a pretty no-nonsense gym. The majority of the members are hardcore athletes who train for upcoming marathons, while the rest of us are more “well-upholstered” Mid-westerners trying to get fit.

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There is a problem with one gym member, and we cannot seem to agree on how to handle it. In the area where the treadmills, elliptical machines and rowers are located, there are ceiling fans that provide some respite from the stuffiness.

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One woman turns all of the fans off every time she enters the area. We are reluctant to say anything to her because she clearly has “issues.” She’s extremely emaciated; I assume she has an eating disorder. She comes to workout in a hooded sweatshirt, yet makes very little effort on the machinery. While the rest of us are sweating up a storm, she is casually reading her magazine, checking messages, etc. Meanwhile, those of us actually exerting ourselves would love to have the additional circulation provided by the fans!

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We are not sure how to handle this. We don’t want to cause any undue angst to someone who clearly is struggling. But by the same token, “majority rules” should certainly hold up for a room full of sweating people!

We are trying to be sympathetic but are really sweating this one. How should we handle this? – Losing It

Dear Losing: Having “issues” or an eating disorder does not make this person in charge of the very air moving through a public area. You can assume that her extreme thinness may make her feel cold all the time.

You are all obviously very nice, kind Midwesterners. You should have a secret locker room meeting and elect the most courageous among you to approach her.

I’m kidding. I elect you to put down your barbell and be brave enough to walk over to her, make eye contact, smile and say: “Hi, it’s really too hot in here to keep the fans off, so I’d like to turn them back on. Is that OK?” And you reach over and flip the switch.

She might be as nice and kind as you are, and once the will of the majority is made clear, she might be happy to comply for the sake of the greater comfort.

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