Freaks, Fanatics and Furry Fellas: A Naturalist’s Guide to Gym Wildlife

At Koko, we strive to be your fitness oasis. To call your Koko FitClub an “anti-gym” sounds a bit unfriendly, but lets face it: It’s the health club for people who can’t stand the gym scene! Just like a cheesy nightclub, the typical gym has it’s share of colorful characters. You remember them! We have compiled a quick list to jog your memory: Freaks, Fanatics and Furry Fellas: A Naturalist’s Guide to Gym Wildlife. Shall we?

“The Freak”– Our first specimen is a bit of a shape-shifter. Sometimes it’s the gym attire that signals “The Freak.” Jeans and work boots? Legwarmers, and a triumvirate of matching rainbow sweatbands? Congratulations, you’ve spotted “The Freak.” Other times it may the behavior that confirms the positive identification. Does the creature’s warm-up seem to be a hyper-kinetic, uber-kooky modern dance? Is it overly abusive to the gym equipment, making loud aggressive noises and slamming weights together? These are both hallmarks of “the Freak.”

“The Fanatic”– Because they can be so hard to relate to in their devotion to fitness, “The Fanatic,” is often misidentified as “The Freak.” However, they are a distinct species. The first clue that you may have “The Fanatic” in your midst, is that you always see them when you are at the gym. They arrive before you and are still there when you leave. In fact, you wonder if they ever do leave. Often they will pledge allegiance to a specific method of exercise with blind religiosity. Yoga, Spinning, Pilates, Kickboxing, Zumba, it doesn’t matter what it is, “The Fanatic” practices it to the exclusion of all else.

“The Furry Fella” – You might think the name says it all, but positively identifying this species is more nuanced than you might suspect. “The Furry Fella” is certainly furry and a fella, but not all hairy men qualify. “The Furry Fella” is a guy who wants everyone to see his fur, so his favorite gym attire is often a tank top with extra low-cut armholes. It has been theorized by some experts that “The Furry Fella” may not be intentionally leaving his DNA all over the fitness equipment. Instead they believe, since it is against health regulations to go shirtless, the tank provides the best natural cooling when worn over that hot fur coat.

This is by no means a comprehensive guide to gym wildlife, we’re just warming up! You must have examples of your own and we’re dying to read them! (The Gym Rat? Anyone seen him?) Please share with your friends in Koko Nation by using the comment section below…

Michael Wood, CSCS

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