The gym is a funny place. A lot of bizarre and unexpected things happen there. And because Iíve been a regular at my gym for over 25 years, Iíve seen my share of whacky moments. Stuff like women having exercise-induced orgasms (heard about that one third hand), people ripping through their Spandex (awkward), guys falling off treadmills and women sliding off yoga balls, the guy wearing earbuds who sings at the top of his lungs while heís running on the treadmill.

Kooky stuff.

And as funny or odd as some of the sights are, some of the interactions Iíve seen and had are just as off the reservation ó a lot of them having to do with basic gym etiquette.

Like the time two women got into a cat fight in front of me in the locker room about gym cellphone protocol. Or when I watched two guys come close to throwing down because one of them almost dropped a 100-pound free weight on the other guyís head.

But nothing irks me more than when someone intentionally hogs equipment. Drives me insane. Because in addition to being completely selfish, itís totally inconsiderate, making it the primo gym etiquette rule as far as Iím concerned.

Needless to say, I was more than a little irked the other night when I was trying to cycle through my weight circuit and there were no free weights on the rack in the size that I needed. Actually, the fact that the weight section was crowded and weights were scarce wasnít what got me annoyed. That happens on busy nights. No biggie. Because whenever I canít find the size dumbbell I need, Iíll just grab a kettlebell or a weight plate and keep lifting. What got me pissed was the young guy working out in front of me who was blatantly hoarding dumbbells.

So I think itís clear by now that Iím not exactly shy, so I didnít hesitate to ask the kid if I could use one of the pairs while he was clearly on a break, on his phone, and not lifting anything for several minutes. He said no. He didnít offer to let me work in, which is the appropriate thing to do. He just flat out said no and was clearly not in the mood to share. Not cool.

Iím sorry, but anyone who has spent even a small amount of time in a gym and has even a slight measure of a brain understands that when a whole bunch of people converge at the same place, to do the same basic thing, people need to share the resources. Itís just common sense.

Nevertheless, I let it go and just found other types of weights to get the job done. In the end, though, after watching him for another half hour just standing there with multiple pairs of dumbbells lined up along a weight bench (that he also hoarded but wasnít using), sporadically doing a set here and a set there, I decided to say something.

Iím a regular there and I feel like we should all treat each other with the same courtesy. It was just a matter of basic gym etiquette. Like how we should always remember to wipe down a machine or a bench after weíre done or how weíre supposed to re-rack equipment between sets or how weíre not supposed to just drop weights on the floor. These are things we just shouldnít do. And if weíre doing them anyway, any one of us reserves the right to give a gentle reminder.

Which is all I wanted to do; so that the next time he was there and the gym was crowded, heíd remember that weíre only supposed to use one piece of equipment at a time.

So I did. With a very purposefully disarming smile and a happy tone of voice (so as not to be misconstrued as a nag), I asked him if heíd please mind re-racking his weights between sets from now on. You know, as a courtesy to everyone.

Well, letís just say he either went a little too heavy on the Ďroids that morning or he just isnít a good sharer by nature, because he lost it. Like he went nuts, ranting at me that I had a helluva nerve expecting him to re-rack. So much so that a couple of other guys felt the need to step in because the kid was so out of line. All because I asked a simple favor.

Sadly, all he needed to do was own that he was being a little selfish and respect the rules. A quick, Oops, my bad, wouldíve been perfect. Thatís it. But he was oblivious of any etiquette or expectations. And he couldíve cared less when I tried to remind him.

Which is the whole point Ö good behavior and courteousness are some of the major foundational components of a civilized culture. Without them, itís a free-for-all. And itís up to each of us to look after one another when we forget.

Personally I think he was just shamed by the fact that I was lifting heavier than he was. But thatís just me.

ó Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at itiswhatitiscolumn.wordpress.com. She is also the author of LIFE: It Is What It Is available on Amazon.com and at select Whole Foods Market stores.