Are You Teacher's Pet, Even At The Gym?

In today's Observer, former Gawkerette and Friend-of-Jezebel Doree Shafrir writes about the gym pets phenomenon. If you're a regular gym-goer, you know the type: They use the same bike during every spin class, wear coordinating spandex outfits, and suck up to the instructor like it's their goddamn job. Doree spoke to a 29-year-old Brooklyn architect who says she always takes yoga from the same teacher (and hangs with teach outside of class) because "It's a pleaser thing...I mean, I want her to like me...There's never a time anymore where people say, 'Good job. It's hard!' At work, nobody loves you. I seek the positive reinforcement." Dear Brooklyn Architect: When you say it like that, it sort of sounds like you're paying your yoga teacher to like you. You should probably be paying a shrink to work through those issues instead!

Not everyone interviewed, however, seemed to enjoy getting buddy-buddy with his or her instructor. One woman quit a yoga class because everyone there was too into the teacher. "He would come into the room and there would be a trail of greetings wafting around him," the student said. "After class I would want to ask him a question because I was returning to yoga after not practicing for a few years, and I would have to wait for 10 minutes while these women did small talk with him after class."

Sounds annoying. Personally, I like my gym classes like I like my sex: With minimal talking involved. I remember that, at a yoga class once, the instructor kept asking me why I wasn't smiling, and while I wanted to say "Because you've been making me hold this pose for a really long time and I'd rather punch you in the face," instead I smiled wanly and said nothing. I also wanted to punch all the other particpants in class who were ever-so-chipper and giggled incessantly at his smiling entreaties. Are you a hater like me, or do you like to get chatty with your athletic supporters?

Gym Pets [Observer]