If there one thing I hate more than New Year Resolutionists at the gym, it’s the 4 year plagued of the Olympic Guilt Set. While yearly Resolutionists continue to drive me crazy, OGS’s are by far, much worse. They’re akin to those vile cicadas that swarm the country only instead of a 17 year incubation, their guilt grows much more quickly and hence we see them crawling out of the woodwork just in time for the summer games.

Anyone not working out outdoors right now knows exactly to whom I am referring. These people wander in the gym, their workout clothes in a permanent state of wrinkle and smelling stale having not seen the sun since the last Olympics, but their shoes are new. The ping-pong off the equipment because so much has changed since last they ventured out to YMCA. They’re probably a little sleepy after such a long hibernation. But mostly though, they begin by bumbling about during the time of the opening ceremonies until they discover the treadmill, plug in their headphones, and turn on Olympic coverage.

And then things get ugly.

The OGS’s get inspired. Within a day or two, they go from walking to running. By the time swimming events are well under way, their tentative efforts at the nautilus machines becomes a full-scale race against time against their impending heart attacks. At the end of gymnastic coverage, they’ve pulled out spandex clothing no person in their right mind (nor with a shred of dignity) would wear in public. And by the time track begins? Oh, boy…you know these people have been watching extended news coverage of athletes’ training regimes because they start employing strange moves and even stranger athletic equipment while the gym regulars begin a pool to see which OGS will pop their ACL first.

Not unlike the cicadas, the OGS’s life span is short-lived lasting only as long as the 16 days of Olympic glory. By the time track and field is wrapping up and the American public has had their fill of morning talk show coverage of the Great Wall of China, the OGS’s have probably already completed their complicated mating dance and have begun to migrate back into whatever dimension they hailed from prior to returning to the gym.

While the Olympic Guilt Set is fantastically annoying, they nearly always manage a perfect score from the German judges for getting in the way of the gym regulars, and even I have to admit: I respect the consistency. See ya in another 4 years.

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