Of Sleep Deprivation and Rude Gym Rats

At least I remembered ONE thing.
At least I remembered ONE thing.

I had a great reason not to go to the gym this a.m., but instead of allowing Trey to just take my car to his part-time job, I dragged myself out of bed at 5 a.m. so I could drop him off and get to my 6:15 boot camp class on time.


I literally stumbled around this morning because I’m so sleep-deprived. Haven’t had a good night’s sleep since Thursday, and I really didn’t want to get up. Trey would be back home by 12:30, then Sky could take my car to school, then work and practice. I wouldn’t have to move a muscle. Push come to shove, I’d sleep another 45 minutes then take Bobby’s car to the gym, returning just after 7, in time for him to leave for work.

But nooo.  It’s October – my favorite month, in my favorite season – so slacking off is for suckers. Cross-eyed with fatigue, I made it out the door by 5:40 a.m. with hot tea in one hand and a Luna bar in the other. It was dark and the temp was in the low 50s, so I drove with the moon roof open, praying the chilled air would wake me up.


I dropped Trey off right at 6, then hit the highway, strolling through the gym doors at 6:14 – tired, but artificially stimulated by tea and half a bar of Nutz Over Chocolate. Pleased with myself, I bounded over to meet Kate at the training section.

She wasn’t there.

Because it’s Monday.

Boot camp is Tuesday.

Another trainer, Leslie Moraitis (now Moraitis Thorpe), thought this was pretty funny. (You may recall I trained with Leslie a bit before it became cost-prohibitive.) Moraitis offered to let me come into the training area anyway, but I passed, opting instead to retrieve my headphones from the car so I could go workout on the elliptical.

It was at this point that the guy Moraitis was working with decided chime in, apparently believing that my statement about getting my headphones was really a ploy to escape the gym via getaway car. “You’d better come back!” he yelled. “We’ll be watching!”

I looked at Moraitis who, like me, opted for a nice, fake smile. When I’m sleep-deprived, I can go from zero to beeyotch in 2.5 seconds, and this big, loud, pale and sweaty stranger was asking for it. Instead, I took a deep breath, smiled tightly and headed out to the parking lot.


No headphones. Must’ve misplaced them when I went to Winston-Salem Friday  (on less than four hours’ sleep, btw). I went back in and spent the next 20 minutes praying my way through my elliptical workout, because not only did I absolutely not want to be there, I was starting to get a killer headache. Still, I stayed until I’d burned more than 200 calories – twice as many as in half a Luna bar – and bested my pace.

I then moved to the machines for another 20 minutes before grabbing my keys and heading for the door. I called out a goodbye to Moraitis, but it was Big Dude who answered: “We saw you on the elliptical! Doesn’t that feel good? We were worried you wouldn’t come back. Good job! Make sure you’re here tomorrow” – like he worked there, or something.


I suspect that had I been within reach, he’d have patted me on the head. Fortunately for him, I wasn’t.

I am somewhat of a people magnet. I realize that. There’s something “open” about my countenance that invites comments and conversation, something “safe” that makes me appear approachable, maybe even smart or – as with Big Dude – lazy and unmotivated. Remember the time Old Dude stopped by my workout station and advised me to stay away from the refrigerator?


I could spend a lot of energy and emotion getting all bent out of shape over stuff like this, but I’d rather spend my energy and emotion getting into shape. And working on getting a proper amount of sleep.

Yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often. Best to say nothing at all, my dear man. ~  J.K. Rowling


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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.

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