My Two Cents on Gym Etiquette (plus a video of a horse who hates me)

Hey guys! Holy moly, it was one of THOSE days at work today. So I’m treating myself to a little wine while I have dinner in the oven.

I bought this at Whole Foods tonight. It was only $4 – it’s way better than their Three Wishes $3 reds. They said they’re not sure if it’ll stay at that price so if you see it, snag some!

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I liked reading your guys’ comments on the gym etiquette thing. Many of you had good “rules” that I think people should abide by, like appropriate cell phone use and wiping down equipment after using. I definitely don’t think there is ever a reason to be rude to the newbies, but I’ve seen it happen, even if it’s just a nasty look. Joining a new gym is intimidating – even if you work out regularly! Heck, I’m always intimidated when I join a new gym and I’m a certified fitness instructor! And many times the people who join at the New Year are uncomfortable and self-conscious as it is so outward attitude from regulars doesn’t help.

This attitude towards newbies is especially disheartening given our nation’s obesity epidemic and heart disease crisis; we should encourage all people to work out and cheer them on and make them feel welcome. We WANT them to keep up their workout routine and like many things in life, it’s the people that make a big difference in situations. That being said, I do think that gym membership departments have a responsibility to educate on proper gym etiquette; it will make the newbies feel more comfortable knowing some of the expectations and probably make the rest of us a bit happier too.

I’m curious, has anyone ever received an etiquette sheet handed out when they signed up? There are signs at my gym but I kind of doubt anyone stops to read them, where people might actually look at a handout. I think even an email reminder around New Year’s would be effective, if your gym sends emails.

Knowing my readers (you guys rock…seriously I have the nicest readers), I am certain none of you are ever actually rude to people – even if you think frustrating thoughts (I do it sometimes too! 😉 ) but maybe we can all try to make newbies be comfortable this time of year. It’s easy. Just smile a lot. Offer help if they look lost or are having problems setting up a machine.  Or even if they’re breaking a “rule”, you can say (with a big smile, of course)  “Hey, there are so many new people this time of year – not sure if your’e one – but you might want to know that there is a policy against cell phone use in here. And people are pretty uptight about it.” [insert another big smile, like – hey I’m trying to help you here!] You don’t have to tell them you are one of the uptight ones. 🙂

Anyway, that’s my two cents.

Let’s get back to the fun stuff – MORE VINEYARDS! I told you I went to Westbend Vineyards, and I also went to Divine Llama Vineyards for the first time. It was a night and day experience. As rude as they were at Westbend, they were over-the-top friendly and welcoming at Divine Llama!

And yes, they have actual llamas at their vineyard!  They had a path you could walk through all the llamas – they had to have over 50 on all the grounds.

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I walked said path. Without a jacket on! Sigh, I’m missing that beautiful weather.

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They also had Shetlan ponies. Or “mini horses” as some lady called them. (Truth: my family got a shetlan pony for Christmas one year. We named it “Chris.” We were super creative kids.) [UPDATE: I stand corrected. Those actually ARE “mini horses” not Shetlands. One of my readers, Joy, was a horse show judge and she corrected me. Thanks Joy!]

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Alas, this pony did not like me. I tried to tell him I knew his brother. He didn’t believe me.  (Note: this is the same voice I use when talking to Maizey.)

They had a cute little tasting room…

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With a fabulous front porch…

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Overlooking the vineyards.

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I liked their Chardonel (named after a grape hybrid developed at…wait for it…CorNEL) and their Merlot Reserve, even though I’m not typically a Merlot fan. (The movie Sideways ruined it for me. ha! Great movie for wine lovers, by the way.) Their wine wasn’t as good as Westbend but the atmosphere more than made up for it!

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Divine Llama is only about 20 minutes from my house but it felt like a whole different, rural world.

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The vineyard owners live on-site. Can you imagine living in the middle of a vineyard!?20130112 161912
And, of course, there were llamas on the tasting glasses. Loved it!

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Are you a country or a city girl? I go back and forth all the time which is my favorite. I was raised in a very small town (until it got developed like crazy starting when I was in high school) and I love the country and the peace and pace of life in rural areas. But I also love big cities – the energy, the activities, the dining, the options! I think I’d be happy in either place as long as I could (a) afford to enjoy it like I’d want to enjoy it and (b) still visit the other place regularly. So for now, I’m in an average size US city. 🙂


  • Anne

    Haha that video literally made me laugh out loud!

    I think you hit the nail on the head, for me the key is being able to travel to different places. As much as I would love to live in certain places when I stop and think about it sometimes they are nicer to visit than to live.

  • BroccoliHut

    That is such a great point! People joining at the New Year need as much encouragement as possible, so being polite to newbies is important. When I signed up for my local Y, they gave me a sheet of “Wellness Rules” at the top of which was the one about no cell phones. Others were general guidelines on how to treat fellow gym-goers, etc. Maybe that’s why it’s such a nice place to work out!

  • Ginger Thompson

    I’m not a fan of Divine Llama’s wine, but the experience is worth the trip. And how can you be in a bad mood after looking at those adorable llama’s?! Cellar 4201 winery and Flint Hill winery are nearby. Both of those wineries rock! Would love for you to do a story on either one of those. I have the same dilemna regarding the country/city girl idea. I always say, “I have a country girl heart with big city girl dreams.”I enjoy reading your blog!

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      I’ll have to check out those two wineries! Thanks for the tip! And thanks for commenting – I love hearing from local readers! 🙂

      your quote is perfect. SO true for me!

  • Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate

    Although I admittedly sometimes do get annoyed by sweaty machines at the gym, and while I would prefer not to wait for hours for a treadmill, I love when new people feel compelled to join and would much rather have a crowded gym full of people newly inspired to stay active than a deserted one!

  • Joy

    I love January joiners so I’m chatting to all of them 😉
    That is a mini horse – which is a different breed from a Shetland pony (my horse show judge geek is coming out)
    I love llamas
    And I’m a “wanna live in the country but visit the city often” girl but in reality I live in suburbia

  • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

    oh my gosh, there really is a breed called a mini horse?? that is amazing!!! ha!
    Also amazing: you being a horse show judge!!

    Thanks for correcting me! 🙂

  • Karla @ myhighonlife

    Such great advice! My gym is PACKED right now to the point where we have traffic directors in the parking lot (a little weird… yes). I think it’s great that so many people are joining & I will do what I can to make sure they feel welcomed and want to stay. So many people complain about the ‘Resolutioners’ who clog up the cardio machines but we are all individuals with the same goal–the get healthier or maintain our fitness levels!

    Wine sounds fantastic right now even if it is 9am. 🙂

  • Katelin


    I am new to North Carolina Raleigh area and am looking to join one of the gyms here. The gym where I use to live is not in my area here. Do you have a favorite gym in this area?

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      Hi Katelin! Welcome to NC! I don’t know the Raleigh area that well unfortunately. I know there is a Lifetime Fitness in Cary, NC so if that’s close to you, it’s an excellent option. It’s my all-time favorite gym chain.

    • Lea

      I live in the Raleigh area, Cary specifically (when I’m not in Boone for college) and I absolutely love the Cary YMCA, they have plenty of classes, cardio machines, weights, a small indoor track and two pools. Not to mention it’s very affordable and the people there are so friendly.
      Hope that helps!

  • Lizilla

    I had to laugh when I read “Can you imagine living in the middle of a vineyard!?”. I grew up on a vineyard in the NY Finger Lakes and my dad made us work on the farm year round. Hahahaha….not exactly a magical experience. Although I will admit it made a pretty backdrop for my wedding when I was a kid I would sometime dream of living in the suburbs where kids only had to mow the lawn. 🙂

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      haha! oh yeah, I guess living in a vineyard is actually a ton of work too! Your comment made me laugh out loud! Bet the wedding was gorgeous though!

      I grew up on a little farm and I hated moving the water lines in the pastures. I would beg to mow the lawn though…once we got a riding lawn mower for our giant yard. ha!

  • Christine Whittington

    Love Divine Llama. We took our dog with us and he communed with the llamas.

    • Teri [a foodie stays fit]

      hahahhaa. this comment cracks me up EVERY time I read it. “he communed with the llamas.” hahaha. I’m laughing again as I type that. 🙂

  • Lea

    I love the llamas and the mini horses! I need to check out some of the Winston Salem vineyards, I pass them all the time driving to and from school, I need to take some time to actually visit them!