Social Question

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

Why would a fit person insist on getting a close parking space at the gym?

Asked by JeSuisRickSpringfield (695 points ) May 25th, 2012

When I went to the gym today, I witnessed two people fighting for a parking spot right in front of the entrance. They were both fit, and I later saw both of them working out. One even spent quite a bit of time running laps. I understand why someone who is undertaking muscle rehabilitation or getting physical therapy might need to park near the entrance, but why did these perfectly fit people feel the need to park so close to the gym?

Extra credit: if you work out a gym, where do you prefer to park?

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23 Answers

chyna's avatar

I have wondered this myself. I have seen big muscular guys park in the fire zone in front of the building and go workout. I park in the last row and think of my walk to the door is part of my workout.

Charles's avatar

I park far away were there are spaces on both sides of me so I don’t have someone open their door and scratch my car. I drive an F-150 with big doors so I need a little room to open them.
Why do they do it? Habit, trying to save time.

NuclearWessels's avatar

I think it’s just the sense of “I have the best parking spot”

JLeslie's avatar

I usually park at the end of the parking lot, because there are always open spaces, and I can swing my door open without worrying about hitting the car next to me. If someone is running late for a class they might want to park closer, I just would be late I don’t care. Maybe if I thought it might rain I might try to park closer? Not usually.

Some people feel like it is some sort of win to get a spot really close. Like they are lucky or talented at getting a good space or something.

nikipedia's avatar

Some days the barriers to get yourself to work out feel awfully high. Maybe they’re trying to minimize the psychological energy it takes to get there.

gondwanalon's avatar

Perhaps those guys think that they have earned the right to park close to the gym.

There was a guy where I use to work that would run every day at lunch time 5 to 10 miles. We worked in a 4 story building and he refused to use the stairs. He justified his (always) riding the elevators by saying that he had earned the right to ride the elevators from all of his vigorous running.

righty's avatar

They’re obviously perfectionists and if something interferes with their perfect little world…They become hostile.

fremen_warrior's avatar

even ripped people can be lazy, and given how hectic everyone’s lives seem to be nowadays, most likely they want to “waste” as little time as possible, even via cutting down on walking from their car ;-)

Trillian's avatar

Complete lack of critical thought. The whole “I need to be closest to the door” mentality is something I witness all the time. “Just park and get out!” But as you see, it’s a complete and utter non-thought process. The same thing that makes people speed up when they see someone trying to turn out into traffic. “If they turn, they’ll be ahead of me.”
Bunch of idiots.

thesparrow's avatar

It’s typically annoying to walk from parking space to location; women often feel like they’re being watched, especially if they’re in appealing gym attire. As a guy, I guess you can feel self-conscious too. I know that even when I go running I hate the moment between my house and the park, when I have to walk in shorts and a tanktop until I disappear into the trail.

josie's avatar

Who knows? Does being fit mean that people are not subject to the strange manifestations of human nature? I bet not.

Only138's avatar

Who knows?...but they are probably the same dumb asses that squeeze their car in to parking spots that are way too small.

lillycoyote's avatar

I really don’t know why people would do something like that. It’s obviously not because they might get winded if they walk more than 10 feet.

I kind of see a parking lot as forming a normal distribution, a big Bell Curve and I prefer to park in “the tails,” so I park like @JLeslie, at the ends of the lot, because there’s always a spot there and I can pull right in and be done with it. I used to go to places like Lowe’s sometimes and he would insist on parking in the center of the “Bell Curve.”

It drove me crazy because if you try to find a spot in the center, you either have to drive up and down several lanes of the parking lot, looking for a space, or you are stuck following one or more other cars, also looking for a spot, or worse, stuck behind someone who is waiting for someone to exit a spot. I have no patience with that sort of thing.

That isn’t to say that, on the occasions I just happen to luck out on a really good, close spot that I don’t kind of feel a little like I’ve won the lottery. I just don’t get the fighting over a parking spot thing and people seem to do that a lot.

Maybe it’s motivated by a sense of entitlement or ego, maybe these people think they deserve the best spot because they are so buff; maybe it’s territorial, I don’t know. I don’t get it either.

funkdaddy's avatar

It’s not my thing but I would bet it’s not the walk to the gym, it’s the walk from the gym afterwards.

There have been days where I just sit there, staring wistfully at my car in the distance, waiting for the desire to move anything to return… ~

maybe not wistfully, and usually it’s more along the lines of “note to self dumbass… park closer” ... but you get the idea

Judi's avatar

I wonder if it’s because they think their car might be less likely to be vandalized? I know crooks like to hit the cars in gym parking lots for some reason.
I know at the grocery store I like to park close because I can ever remember where I parked my car.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it’s a funny thing. I also get a kick out of people dressed in exercise clothing who fight over the spaces nearest the grocery store door???

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I was thinking about that last night. My husband’s car was stolen from a gym parking lot. Also, just about two moths ago a woman’s purse was stolen from her car in the gym parking lot I go to now, and the police department is right next door. It’s because if you get out of your car without a bag of some sort, they assume you left your wallet/purse in the car if they are casing the lot. But, I don’t think men think about that at all, unless where they live has a really high rate of car theft. I think it’s more likely ego.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I think it’s competition subconsciously ingrained in their brains. They want to be the best, get 1st place, get closest, have the biggest of everything. In life there are winners and losers and a park right next to the entrance is winning for them. That’s kind of what I theorise.

wallabies's avatar

Why does anyone need to park at the front of anything? OK, true, maybe if you’re parking in a Mid-West Wal Mart, the parking lot stretches to the horizon. But usually, the amount of time you spend searching for that super duper parking spot is probably more than it takes you to walk the extra distance. That said, I’ve been known to search for a close spot if it is (a) freezing/raining/hailing/etc outside, or (b) I’m wearing stilettos and I don’t wanna walk! But, I think sitting behind someone waiting for someone else who is waiting for someone ELSE to reverse out of a stall is more tortuous than heels, especially when they decide to angle their car in the middle of both lanes so no one can pass. Parking lots are a lot like airport security, now that I think about it… Henry Rollins should do a skit.

wallabies's avatar

@Trillian Yes that is SO irritating! It’s like, you are the ONE car on the highway, and if they wait TWO seconds, you will pass and not have to stomp on the brakes, but NO! They just have to cut you off.

@Only138 Actually, the cars are just too big. Every time I see an SUV it is completely empty inside. Form, meet function, kill culture.

@gondwanalon Well, in his defense, stairwells are often not required by code to have any ventilation, and people like to pee in them…amongst other things…

Facade's avatar

I don’t understand why anyone would ever fight over a parking space, but I see nothing wrong with wanting to park close to your destination.

wallabies's avatar

@Facade Well, when one person arrives at a stall first, but the other zips into it anyway…

Facade's avatar

@wallabies ...You realize it’s just a “stall” and move on. It can’t be that difficult to do.

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