Please Don’t Fart In The Gym


Every day my alarm goes on at 5am in the morning and it’s not because I live in the Middle Ages and have to walk for eons to fetch water from the grimy well to keep the whole village hydrated. My odd behavior subsists in my morning run.

Early in the morning, there are very few to none people present in the gym. Usually, I’m the first one to arrive and around halfway through my run, people start showing up. Company does not bother me as long as there are no greetings or acknowledgement of each other’s existence. But the absence of interaction does not guarantee a pleasant workout. For some reason, despite us being considered the most “intellectual” race among living beings in our planet, some individuals just have to ruin my morning routine with their flatulence.

The average person farts fourteen times a day, but out of all the 24 hours does it have to be in the gym? Is there some commandment carved on the treadmill that says, “Thou shall fart at this moment”?

We talk about chewing with our mouths closed, dressing in business casual, shaving our legs, tipping waiters, barfing in the toilette, and yet no one seems to address the issue of farting in the gym. Instead, people laugh about it or show slight contempt while those accountable shy away from the topic, happy to avoid the hook. And when it actually happens, everyone tries to look composed by keeping the same facial expression and feign as if the intoxicating smell does not make him or her want to writhe on the ground in agony.

Well, it’s time for a revolution! Inhaling hydrogen sulfide coming out of another person’s anus in the gym needs to stop now.

This morning a well-groomed redhead girl started walking on the treadmill beside me, reading her class notes while getting some serious walking done. Blasting “Work Bitch” with beads of sweat running down my forehead, I did not pay much attention to her until a peculiar, inimical noise managed to penetrate through my earplugs. That ominous middle pitch sound of foul vibrations immediately triggered my survival instincts. I’m about to get nosefucked.

Disgusting is not an appropriate word for her flatulence. It was…emetic. The gym started reeking of leftover Thai food covered with rotten spinach and elephant feces. The moment her odor entered my nose, my face lost its red hue. Her smell started asphyxiating me and hindering blood from reaching my brain. Did I leave the warmth of my sheets to smell her fart? She had surpassed my tolerance threshold.

My index finger automatically pressed the “EMERGENCY STOP” button and turned to her. She looked at me dumbfounded for a second and asked, “Do you need something?”

“Can you please not fart around me? The bathroom is over there and the exit is right behind you.”

Her eyes darted away pretending that she did not hear me, but the wan of her face was replaced with red embarrassment. After a minute of waiting, the smell relented and I could finally run on the treadmill again. She left a few minutes after, looking humiliated.

When you emit gasses in the gym, it is no longer considered farting. You are committing an olfactory rape. You are basically forcing something unwanted to one of our vital holes. In Malawai (country in Africa), farting is considered offensive and there is a good reason for it – it stinks! We grow up learning an endless list of manners that become our responsibilities to maintain for the sake of greater good, but still this barnyard behavior in the gym does not get enough condemnation.

To all the gym enthusiasts out there, it is your moral duty to keep your flatulence out of other members’ noses and perform public humiliation to those who commit such heinous acts. Seriously, we are grasping for clean oxygen when we are exercising, nobody deserves this kind of pulmonary trauma.