road_to_nowhereDon’t let your cell phone drop you.

I’m at the gym, riding a stationary bike. It’s my least favorite activity. The bike is supposed to be good for my knees. But as someone accustomed to moving forward, spinning my wheels with no destination in mind is the absolute definition of tedium.

The bike seat hurts my backside, and I’m sure the clock on the wall is moving slower than it should. As the seconds tick by, all I can think is, Am I there yet?

The bikes at my gym are nowhere near the televisions, so after my last visit, I decided to bring an interesting hardcover book. (Yes, I still like those.)

I’m reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business—a great book about amazing leaders who dared to break the mold and go in an entirely different direction, even if it meant getting fired, which some of them did. (If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to pick it up.)

Snapped Back to Reality

Peddling to nowhere, and totally engrossed in my book, I start to think this bike thing isn’t so bad after all. Suddenly, I hear a conversation. I’m not a nosey person, but the woman on the bike next to mine is chatting on her phone … loudly. I look at her with blazing eyes and get no response. She hangs up, and I go back to my book. A few seconds later, she’s on the phone again—oblivious to anyone around her. How rude!

I decide to end my bike ride at 15 minutes, rationalizing that I have done enough. Curious about whether there are rules regarding cell usage on the equipment, I go find the manager. She says there are no such guidelines, but that talking on phones isn’t appropriate. The gym is a place to decompress. The manager approaches the rude biker, who lifts her hand to indicate she is finishing her call.

I decide it is a good thing I didn’t direct my comments to the woman biker. I am appalled, annoyed, angry, and upset—not the kind of feeling I expect at the gym.

No Cell-Phone Zones

It’s one thing to make an emergency call in a room full of people. It’s another to have loud conversations that interrupt others around you. Gyms, dinner tables, and bedrooms are no place for cell phones—unless they’re turned off.

Put away the toys. Disconnect from the everyday so that you can enjoy exercise, spend time with your family, and socialize with your colleagues. They’re worth it.

Comment Here

When has someone talking loudly on a cell phone annoyed you?