That guy again


Long-time readers know this person. Some may have read the title and known right away who this post would be about. (If you did, let me know in the comments. Now I’m curious.)

I was doing a free gym trial, figuring it would be a good way to rebuild leg muscle, when I ran into an old friend.

At long last, the face behind the legend. I’m surprised I got him to smile for you, but I suspect he enjoys an audience.

I hadn’t seen the Chex Mix Guy in more than a year. He was smaller than I remembered, in every way.

Gone was the cheerful, funny man who brought us twelve posts-worth of entertainment. Heartbreak had made him cynical, filled with career ambition and little else.

One thing I’ll note for my future self: When I told him about falling to the bottom in my martial arts classes, he said, “That gives you a goal to aim for. Work your way back to the top.” That was thoughtful of him.

When we were through catching up, he grabbed his phone to choose the next song for his air buds. I took two steps and turned back around.

“This is weird,” I said.

“What is?”

“This is the last time I will ever see or speak to you.”

“You’re not going to work out here?”

“This was just a trial. Turns out, my physical therapy is inside of a different gym. I might as well go there.”

“All right. High five then.” He put his hand up, I slapped him five, and he immediately went back to his phone.

I walked out of the gym without looking back and was rattled for the rest of day.

If any of you are into “good vibes” or whatever, please send some his way.

The next day, Sensei said, “So you finished your gym trial. Are you going to sign up there?”

“That place has been burned for me. I’m never going back.”

I explained my conversation with his predecessor, the first “blog star,” calling him a sad shell of a formerly cheerful funny human being.

Sensei responded: “Four out of five orthopedic surgeons agree that talking to a sad shell of a formerly cheerful funny human is bad for an injured foot.”

Aren’t you glad we have Sensei now? πŸ™‚

Also, Sensei and I had a debate about whether or not I can use the gym my physical therapy is in even though I don’t have a membership. This gym is immense. I walked out of the PT office, gazed at all those rows of lovely treadmills, cycles, and stair climbers, and wondered…

I was already IN the gym, past the front desk, and there were scores of empty machines. But I didn’t feel right jumping on one without a membership.

“I guarantee you the gym is getting paid by the physical therapy company. And you or your insurance are paying the PT company. So, one way or another, you are paying the gym. The machines were empty anyway. You would be costing them one hundredth of a penny to use their machines.”

I wasn’t entirely sold. My options are:

  1. Get a membership. (Probably very expensive given the caliber of this place.)
  2. Use the machines without a membership because what’s the harm?
  3. Ask at the desk if, as a PT patient, I’m allowed to exercise there for free, or if there’s a discount. (I already asked the PT people. They had no idea.)

If there’s a fee, I’ll probably not join. So option 3 runs the risk of them saying no. Option 2, should I get “caught,” though that seems unlikely, means I’d have to ask forgiveness rather than permission. Still seems rather shifty.

What would you do?


87 responses »

  1. Option 3b – why not ask your physical therapist because perhaps they can give you a skinny as to how best to leverage the system?

    Good one Sensei! And good vibes to CMG! Well, really good vibes to everyone!! ❀ ❀ ❀


    • Just jumping on a machine didn’t feel right to me. Funny that Sensei had no compunction on the matter. I can follow his logic, but it still seems a little shady.

      Thanks for your concern about the CMG. I appreciate it, Janis. :/


  2. I believe the first post I ever read here was about Chex Mix Guy, so I suspected him from your title. He is not how I pictured him, but they never are, are they? Lol!

    I would be nervous using the equipment, but I’m curious: when you enter the building, don’t they ask for your pass or whatever gyms do these days? I’m just wondering how they keep track of who’s who?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine no one would be able to guess someone who looks like this.

      I went up to the desk and said I was there for PT. She told me where it was (past the cycle room and to the left). I was worried I’d get lost. (I did not.) It’s weird because everyone could just say that once they know it’s there, but, of course, that would be lying. Since I was wearing a boot, that probably helped. I wonder if they care about keeping track. They look like they’re doing quite well for themselves.


  3. Hi! Sending good vibes out for all y’all and great you got a photo and does this make post 13?
    Anyhow – I would double check with the welcome desk – they might just need you to sign in
    Oh and hope you heal to 100% soon

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Is there an option 4 of getting the PT/physician to request you get access to the gym for at least a while to help build up your strength? Part of recovery for overachievers?

    Also, I found it β€œcoincidental” that you posed behind a trash can that hid your foot… Happenstance or intestinal, one wonders… πŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

    • By “Happenstance or intestinal,” I think you mean intentional. Hahahaha. Ah, great one! It was totally accidental. I have no reason to hide my boot.

      I may ask my physical therapist. Maybe asking the PT receptionist was the wrong approach. He could request on my behalf, but the exercises he’s having me do really aren’t ones to be done on machines, so it would be a bit of a stretch. I’ll probably ask the gym people. The worst they say is no, and I get home sooner. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oops πŸ™Š Silly autocorrect! Yes, I meant intentional and I didn’t spot the bait-and-switch πŸ™ƒ

        I think it’s worth asking your PT or physician since you’re a jujitsu ninja and want to get back to peak form asap, and so you’d like to take on extra work at the gym: you said you needed to build up muscle, no? If they say no to being an overachiever, what have you lost?

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel sad for the guy, though. Heartbreak does change you, and I can’t blame him for it. At that point, I surmise that he just wants to be left alone so he kep his interactions with you rather short. No time for fun on his part.

    Whereas most people take a path of nihilism, at least he directed his emotions towards something productive.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Option 3, for sure. Or I really like Endless Weekend’s option 4–have your PT therapist ask on your behalf. In any case, since you’re there for PT, might as well try to take advantage of a vast room of unoccupied exercise equipment.

    And that’s not how I pictured CMG. Too bad he’s gotten a bit cynical, but I think we all go through periods like that. Maybe he just got passed over for a promotion. Or they raised his rates at the gym. I like his comment, though, about how you now have something to aim for, seeing as how you’re now at the bottom of the class.

    Wait, when you are able to jui-jitsu again, that’ll be a whole lot more posts about it πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes on 3 or 4. I’ll ask and see.

      How did you picture CMG? I have little doubt that NO one pictured him like that. But isn’t it fun for those of you who have been with me the longest to get to see him after all these years? I guess it was a fun encounter in that regard. I wish I could say he was “off” for one of the reasons you suggest, but mostly just heartbreak, from the same woman, multiple times. 😦 The dude needs prayer. There, I said it. The “p” word!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh gosh — I need to catch up about Chex Mix Guy….
    I loved reading the comments — so much fun and such variety! I really like what EW suggested…have your PT do some of the ‘leg work’ (waahhhhaaaaa) for you. Oh…it’s early. Too soon to be slap happy…but then again, EW’s “intestinal/intentional” fun had me rolling…just because. Love, love, love! 🀣😊🀣

    Liked by 1 person

    • EW is fantastic–in so many ways! πŸ™‚ But your leg work comment was right up there. πŸ˜›

      If you do explore the Chex Mix Guy saga, I hope you’ll scroll to the bottom of page two to start with the first one. That first encounter was really the best. That funny clever man–I hope part of him is still that way somewhere inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d probably go with #3, even knowing the answer might not be what I want to hear. I’d then figure out how to exercise at home since I’m a cheapskate. Plus for me, the closest gym is 90 minutes away. They should pay ME for the hassle, right?

    And sorry the Chex Guy was the shell of the man he once was. Clearly he didn’t realize what a deeply profound relationship he had with you. Hehe. Sensei is more your style anyway – he’s got a few more tools in the shed. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Part of this post that I edited out for length was the conversation where I asked Sensei to guess who I saw at the gym. First he guessed, “One of your Jiu-Jitsu buddies?” Then I told him it was the first blog star. “The guy who got you Chex Mix?” I was surprised he remembered. I surmise he must be at least familiar with Chex Mix, or he would’ve fumbled for the name of the particular snack.

      Walks are lovely, but they do nothing for my arms and abs. Now if I were to take a walk in a park, which ended in a yard with a hibachi, a drink, and card games… That would be worthy exercise. Especially if I later got to walk over a decorative bridge.


  9. Bless your sensei for giving his humourous wisdom and sending some light into an unsettling encounter. Sometimes connections turn out to be just for a while – your friend has decided to go his own way, sadly.

    Regarding the exercise, I would go with 3. I am a stickler for the rules, which annoys many but I can’t change that side of me. Take care, Betsy. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know that Sensei is a truly wise person. There is nothing sadder than a sad Chex Mix guy.

    About the gym – you could just tell them that if they don’t let you use the machines that you’ll send Sensei over to explain them why you should be allowed to use them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m normally a hardcore rule follower…so I would probably ask the front desk if it’s ok to work out after pt because your pt thinks it could help the strength training

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Chex Mix Guy!!! Oh the way I smiled when I read that. I’m sorry he’s a less happy version of his former salty self.

    As for what to do about this gym situation, I dunno. I’d ask for permission to use the machines OR suck it up and get membership. I’m a rule follower when it comes to places where I might get hurt. Just saying, not trying to be negative.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sounds like Chex Mix Guy was there for therapy too. Lol
    When I needed therapy I bought the machines I needed, however, I have room in my basement for them. I found it cheaper to buy them than pay for a gym membership and the family could use them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I could’ve been more therapeutic for him, but I doubt I had that effect. If I had another chance, I would try to say something helpful. :/

      I wish I had a basement for that very reason! As is, no space for workout equipment here.


  14. Weirdness, Betsy. You referred to CMG in one of your last comments to me and I had NO idea who you were talking about because I missed out on the early days of Betsy’s blog. So I moved on. Then this post led with “Chex Mix Guy” and I STILL didn’t make the connection… until the reader comments. CMG! Ah, my curiousity is sated. Not that I was losing sleep over a single detail from a single comment from a single blog post or anything.

    Go with Option 1 or 3, but only because I can’t get out of the way of my own conscience. Example: my gym has a full-service spa, beyond the check-in counter, open to the public. All you have to say is “I’m here for a massage” and they wave you past the counter without ID. So sure, after the massage I could mix anonymously with members and help myself to a free workout. But I wouldn’t, because Jiminy Cricket rests heavily on my shoulder. And heck, who wants to work out after a massage anyway?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did I mention him in a previous comment to you? I probably didn’t know which post we were commenting on. I get confused. Well, if you did go to the trouble of catching up on the whole sordid tale of the CMG, you could appreciate how he USED to be fun and funny. I’m not sure who that guy I ran into is anymore. Very sad.

      Yeah, I’m opting for asking permission. Or, doing option 4 and simply not working out there at all. My conscience would also play at me like a misnamed grasshopper, because isn’t Jiminy actually a grasshopper? I thought crickets were smaller and black?

      And you’re also right: you’d want to get the free work-out first, THEN get the massage to wear away your guilt. Haha. πŸ˜‰ But I also wonder if they don’t check for a membership because they don’t really care. Surely they must know some people would “game” the system. Maybe having more bodies in the room makes their gym look more popular. Who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Chex mix guy! How nice to finally “meet” him! In terms of the gym, I like to exercise at home–over the years, I’ve collected the treadmill, the elliptical machine, free weights, and an exercise bike–and if I fall off them or look silly or wear the shirt with the sweat rings in the armpits, no one cares–no one sees–no one knows. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hey, CMG helped you in your times of your mad CM cravings, the least you can do is join that gym and occasionally be a sympathetic ear!

    Remember, that guy held onto dozens of discontinued CM bags for you. AND he withstood your relentless CM harassment with grace, aplomb and good cheer! Time to give back, Bets! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly wish that, Mike. I would love to help him out with some free therapy. I’ve been hoping he’d see this post and be like, “What do you mean sad shell of my former self?” But I highly doubt that will happen. My overall impression is that he no longer gives a sh*t about me and does not want me in his life. And that’s fine, but also too bad because he has such lousy, bad-influence friends.


  17. #3. and I know I’m late to this post…but did you find out anything?

    😦 about cmg. Maybe he was having a super duper bad day and just couldn’t get out of his head in the moment he was with you. Sending him all kinds of good vibes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, CM!!! I haven’t asked at the gym desk yet, but I will when I see they’re free.

      I wish that were true about the CMG, just an off day, but that’s not the impression I got. He seemed to think he was fine, but I could see how he’s changed. 😦


  18. Pingback: The one about physical therapy | Motherhood and Martial Arts

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