Dear Miss Fit: How To Handle Gym Grunters AND Race Snobs

Welcome to Miss Fit–a weekly advice column from someone who is a bit of a non-conformist when it comes to health and exercise.

Dear Miss Fit,

What is the right thing to say if some beef-head is grunting as loud as a rhino at the gym? Is there some sort of courtesy without getting tied into a pretzel?

-Eric in Massachusetts

People like that at the gym are definitely annoying and distracting. Short of wearing an iPod to drown out his grunts, here’s what you do: Walk over to him and casually say, “Wow, you’re really loud. You must be working hard, but would you mind toning it down a bit for the rest of us?” You could even throw in a joke about how you’re ADD and need all the help you can get to concentrate. Of course, all of this should be done with a friendly smile. Otherwise, you may just piss him off and cause him to grunt even louder–or sit on you. If all else fails, talk to the gym manager and let him deal with this asshole.

Dear Miss Fit,

My family and I run a lot of local races here in Oregon. Recently a race organizer that puts on 6 races a year (that we all run every year) sent me a email. The email invited me to pay a bunch extra and be part of the VIP experience at the next race. It seems that people who pay an extra hundred bucks get all sorts of extras including: private bathrooms, heated tent: private eating area after the race with champagne, separate start and other little bonuses. For some reason this made me feel awful. I love racing as a community event but the thought of a richer segment of the running community getting all of these perks while the rest of us struggle with port-a-johns and trying to get a banana for an hour after the race makes me really resentful. I don’t want to race his events any more. My question is this: Is it OK for a event to have VIP racers who are VIP based solely on ability to pay??? I think that running is about sportsmanship, not class war… it just me???


That’s a great question. There are a lot of races (particularly marathons) where people who raise a certain amount of money for charity get VIP treatment, and Miss Fit doesn’t have a problem with that because it’s a win-win for everyone. However, if the race is allowing people to pay extra money that will just line the race director’s pocket, then that’s not cool. You are right, all runners should have the same treatment in that instance–not just those with bigger bank accounts (or those who are dumb enough to fall for this). Before boycotting these races, I would send an email back to the organizer and ask who the extra money goes to and let him know your concerns. If the money is not going to charity, then you could always start a friendly petition so they get the message. Just remember too, there are plenty of other races out there who do price things fairly and know that all runners are created equal.

Dear Miss Fit,

I am trying to become a 100% vegan, but my friends and family keep making fun of me and can’t seem to understand why I won’t eat meat or drink milk. What should I say to them?

Well, you could start by telling them to f*ck off, but that wouldn’t be very polite, so don’t do that. Seriously, if you can answer their concerns in a non-defensive, non-emotional way and explain the many benefits of going vegan and why it’s important to you, that should help. Don’t get caught in a debate or an argument about it, and if they still don’t get it, then they just don’t get it. Let it go and carry on with your healthy diet. Just remember, when someone reacts like your friends and family are, it’s usually about their own insecurities–not about you.


Have a question? Send us your dilemmas about feeling like a misfit when it comes to eating, fitness, going to the gym or dealing with yoga bitches, and Miss Fit will take a turn at answering them. With 10 years of trying to be a better athlete and testing her willpower at every turn, while coaching others to do the same, chances are she’s heard it all before and can share some wisdom.

To ask Miss Fit a question, email us at with “Miss Fit” in the subject line.

Photo: Thinkstock


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