I don't know if y'all believe in the Myers-Briggs, but I am an INTP.***
In case you do not feel like clicking on my link, let me quote from that source of unimpeachable knowledge, wikipedia: "INTPs accept ideas based on merit, rather than tradition or authority. They have little patience for social customs that seem illogical or that obstruct the pursuit of ideas and knowledge."
Yes. That wraps up some of my more annoying personality traits in a nutshell and ties it with a pretty bow. I don't like stupid rules, kids. I will follow them if they make sense. I will follow them if my NOT following them will unduly inconvenience someone else. But when people try to make me follow rules I disagree with just because they're the rules, I bristle. And when people try to convince me their stupid rules do in fact make sense when clearly they're illogical, I kinda go insane. I know this is an unattractive quality in a mature adult human being. I just cannot fight it.
What's that got to do with this blog and its subject matter? Well. I may have mentioned before that I have, since sometime last summer, been absolutely devoted to squatting barefoot, or as I prefer to call it, monkey-footed. Sometimes I do this actually in my bare feet. Sometimes I do it in my grippy socks. But being able to feel the floor through my feet has improved my performance so much that I really do not wish to wear my shoes in the power rack ever again. Unlike many other things that are verboten in my gym--using cell phones, taking your children in the adult locker rooms, removing the connectors from the cable machines--there are no signs telling you to keep your shoes on. I am not the only sock squatter, not by a long shot, and for months I was never reprimanded, nor did I see anyone else reprimanded, for taking their shoes off in the rack. Then maybe in February or so, one of the morning employees came up to me in between sets and told me I had to put my shoes on or he would get in trouble. Okay, fine. In my head, I christened him the Shoe Nazi and I stopped going to the gym before noon on any lower body days. It annoyed me, but no, I didn't actually want him to get in trouble with his higher-ups for my disobeying the (non-posted) rule.****
Then just last week, in the middle of the afternoon, one of the (young) gym employees I am quite fond of approached me in between sets of box squats, literally blushing, and apologized for having to tell me, but...his boss had seen my bare feet and told him to make me put my shoes on. I felt so bad for the poor kid. I assured him I knew he was only doing his job, put my shoes back on, and called my squats for the day. Next lower body day? He was working again, so to avoid putting him in the awkward position of having to tell me again to knock my shiz off, I kept my shoes on to start. He very sweetly came over and let me know that, uh, the coast was clear. Great! Fast forward to this afternoon. I wanted to squat again. I figured it being Sunday afternoon, there'd be absolutely no one around who would care if I went money-feet.
I was wrong.
The Boss Lady herself was there and this time she gave me the scolding herself. After somewhat patronizingly telling me that *she* used to power lift and thus understood why I wanted to do what I was doing, she told me I couldn't because I could drop a plate on my foot and the gym would be liable. I rather sensibly (I thought) said that, um, I was inside the rack and thus that was impossible. She started going on about how, well, if a plate fell off the bar into the rack... I refrained from asking her to explain how the laws of physics apparently don't apply in our gym. I did point out that I had the collars on the bar. She suggested I buy a pair of Vibrams. I did not ask how Vibrams would protect me from breaking a toe if those pesky laws of physics did stop applying. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes my brain explode and my blood boil. Don't give me bullshit reasons for your stupid rules that insult my intelligence. Tell me your insurance requires all the gym-goers wear shoes and Vibrams count as shoes. And then maybe I'll be a good girl and be inspired to buy some of these:
***I'm a weak "T" however--I can make myself score as an INFP by answering just a few questions I'm iffy on differently. In practice, this means I'm a little more tactful and circumspect than stronger INTPs usually are. I went to massage school with a woman who was, I have absolutely no doubt, a strong INTP. She was always causing a ruckus by saying the things out loud that I was only thinking. I hearted her greatly.
****Well, there's a posted "proper athletic shoes" vs "street shoes" rule to keep people from lifting in work boots but nothing specifically says you have to keep your proper athletic shoes on