They’ve got 911 on speed dial
The cardio machines at the downtown gym face four big windows looking onto the street, providing interesting distractions from the pain of working out. For three days in a row, I saw the flashing lights of an ambulance in the parking lot across the street. “Damn, I’m glad I don’t live in that apartment complex,” I thought as I jogged along. People must be getting stabbed in the lobby or falling down the stairwells on a regular basis. I was also grateful that the ambulance was not parked in front of the YMCA three days in a row. That might be enough for me to cancel my membership. Later, when all the machines on the side of the room near the door were full, I got on one in front of a different window. This is when I noticed the ambulance had not been parked in the parking lot of the apartment complex, but in the lot for a building with a large sign on the front that said “Fire Department.”
That’s not what I meant by “stretch”
On Monday, I was ellipticizing when a long, black, stretch limo stopped in front of the building. I thought it was just stopped at the light, but the door opened and two people stumbled out and walked inside. I know some people recommend that you stretch before a workout, but I don’t think that’s what they mean. As my mind started generating scenarios for why you would take a stretch limo to the gym, my eyes focused on the TV screen in front of me. This is when WTHR actually gave me helpful information instead of just sensationalizing the latest pedophile arrest as their lead story. It was Monday, March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. Duh. A great day to hold a parade two blocks west of me, a parade with floats and leprechauns and stretch limos. The men probably weren’t going to the gym, but hitting the restaurant with a beer garden just next door. I hope they got some green beer.
I don’t like spicy food either
As I neared the end of my workout, I suddenly caught the unmistakable scent of Old Spice. Only, no one had walked past me and the machines on either side of me were empty. I turned my head and there was a man on the bike machine, two spots down from me – and I could still smell him. If there were special, hi-tech goggles that let you see scents like heat vision binoculars do, this man would have been a huge, bright, ball emanating waves of smell. While I appreciate that he wasn’t suffocating me with BO instead of Old Spice, it made me wonder if there was a secret room in the building where people could swim laps in a pool of cologne instead of chlorinated water. The smell made it harder to breathe, and after 25 minutes on the elliptical, I needed to breathe. Thankfully, after a couple minutes my nose adjusted and soon after that I got off the machine and entered a neutral smell zone.
When I’m 64
Yesterday I worked a later shift at work, so I went to the YMCA near my apartment around 9:30AM. The mid-morning crowd at the Y is definitely different than the after-work, evening crowd. As the hour decreases, the median age increases. There were lots of older people there, particularly using the weight machines. It would be easy to make a joke about visiting the gym at a retirement home or some crap like that. Instead, as I worked out I mostly hoped that when I’m 64 I’m still rocking it at the gym like that. I hope I’m healthy enough to lift weights and do low-impact cardio and not give a shit that other people are younger and less wrinkly than I am. Though, I hope I’m not wearing a skin-tight, Lycra, biking outfit like that one dude, no matter how old I am.
Fat is buoyant
Most of the cardio machines at the YMCA near my apartment face into the room, which has a large window looking into the pool. The funny thing I’ve noticed is that most of the people who use the pool are fat ladies. I know most women are self-conscious about wearing a swimsuit in public and might avoid doing laps at the gym because they don’t want anyone to see the curd-like texture of their thighs (me included). However, it appears that you will only stand out at the YMCA pool if you actually do possess a thin body with tight-flesh and no tan lines. If you are a fat lady, you will totally blend. So if anyone has been thinking about hitting the pool, but has been too scared to, your fears could be unjustified if you find the right spot. If I get enough courage, I might eventually take my own advice and take a swim. But I don’t think I’ll do it at a spot where a room full of people on cardio machines can watch me strut out of the locker room.