I love going to the gym, but there's one thing about it I don't like at all.

I saw the story about a man in Wisconsin who had the measles and was ordered quarantined for 24 hours, but decided to go to the gym anyway. The man was charged with a misdemeanor after exposing everyone at the gym to his contagious disease.

I think about this all the time when I'm at the gym, wondering if the people working out around me are contagious with the flu, or a cold, or something else. I enjoy going to the gym, but I hate being exposed to potential sickness. And so, with that in mind, this is what I would like to say.

Dear GJ Gym Rats,

I think it's great that you care about your health and take the time to get your body in the best shape possible. However, to quote 'Dirty' Harry Callahan, a man ( or a woman)  has got to know their limitations.

I realize that when you are committed to your health and dedicated to going to the gym nearly every day - you hate to miss - even when you are sick. But, please understand that coming to the gym while you are sick - and possibly contagious- does not prove how tough you are. Nor will it be the end of the world as we know it if you miss a few days of working out.

Take a moment and think about all the people you may be affecting - and infecting. You're touching machines and weights,  you're hacking and coughing and sniffling. You could end up making a handful of those people sick, who, in turn, could make a handful of people sick, and on and on the cycle goes.

It's tough enough trying to stay healthy during the cold and flu season without having to dodge germs and viruses at the gym. So, would you do us all a favor, when you get sick please stay home! The gym will still be there tomorrow - or next week!

On behalf of gym-dwellers across the Grand Valley, thank you for heeding this message.


A  Concerned (and for now still healthy) Fellow Gym Comrade

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