So hang in there….
After a week and a half absence, I headed back to the gym Monday night to get a much needed endorphin fix.
Maybe yall are normal.
Maybe you do not posses genetic predispositions to Wyche moodiness that I so luckily posses, along with the Wyche/Britt genes for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer. What can I say? I’m a real hit at the doctor’s office.
But alas, I need my endorphins mentally as much as my love handles need the cardio. And so, I trekked to the gym Monday, donned my defiantly non-stylish work out gear, grabbed a magazine prominently featuring some skinny b*tch in a swimsuit for motivation and set out to do a little running on the tread mill.
For once, the gym wasn’t too crowded. I guess all the singletons had dates or something because the gym seemed noticeably void of pheromones and complicated mating rituals featuring testosterone strutting males in cut off tanks and gads of giggling girls, high on estrogen and cropped yoga pants.
Since I had my pick of treadmills , I opted for end treadmill on the far right, near the water fountain (in case of impending death), in front of the mirrors ( it helps to see the legs jiggle, to give you that extra push) and in front the mat / freestyle-workout-area (so I can count the more motivated people doing sit ups and push ups. Listen Elmer, treadmills are berry, berry, boring. )
And naturally like any normal person, I made sure to choose a treadmill that did not have neighbors directly on either side. Because it’s always a bit awkward when you’re in a public space, with room to spare mind you, and someone comes along and plops down right next to ya. i.e. on the bus, in line at the store.
We’ve all been there. It’s a bit a alarming and makes you secretly curse the freak who doesn’t understand societal norms, the concept of personal space or your inner desire to become a recluse.
So I began my treadmill journey only to discover that the treadmill I had so carefully and strategically chosen to journey through hell with (cough, three miles) whined worse than a cat in heat.
So I did what any other rational, intelligent person would do.
I jacked the volume on my iPod to a level that would surely make any good parent cringe, while debating which attribute I valued more: thinness or hearing.
After enduring two minutes of permanent hearing loss, I reconsidered my decision and in an act of love, decided instead to forgo the perfect treadmill spot, so that I can hear Somanna in our future rest home when we’re old.
Or at least hear him in our well into our fifties. Whichever comes first.
After having spent so much time the first go round determining the best treadmill, and having walked for a total of 3 minutes, I was too tired to fight the good fight and decided to step not one, but two treadmills down to my left and resume my self induced torture on lucky treadmill El Numero Tres.
(I had to skip El Numero Dos treadmill because it lacked a magazine rack. Priorities people, priorities. )
And so I resumed my running on Treadmill Tres with renewed resolve and slight hesitation.
Hesitation you ask? Why what ever for?
Well, see there were only two downsides to Treadmill El Numero Tres.
Primero, it was not in front of the mirrors, a fact I could easily get over given that I look more like a Moose galloping than a graceful Elk when running. But the real downside was that El Numero Tres Treadmill had a neighbor to its immediate left.
Could I be that person who so brazenly and awkwardly invades someone else’s personal space?
Why, yes I can and yes I did. All because I did not want to walk any further to begin my gym workout.
I hope you pause for a moment and consider the irony of that last sentence. Laziness is actually a very powerful and motivating force.
Not long after getting back to a-running, I noticed that I was really working up a sweat.
“Ha! Take that ice cream! I shall purge thee from the thy body!” I cheered to myself. Except that when I glanced down I noticed that the left side of my treadmill had lots of sweat droplets and my right side noticeably, did not.
“That’s vierd,” I thought to myself in a distinctly Goldmember accent.
And folks, herein lies the dramatic conclusion to this whole sordid tale:
My neighbor was a SWEATER.
Lawd have mercy, I chose the treadmill next to “A Sweater.” No, not the pullover, cardigan kind. I mean the kind of person who sweats like an addict in rehab, a prostitute in church, hell like Governor Sanford in church (or in an Argentinian night club.)
As this stranger (with whom I was becoming far too intimate with) ran, his electrolytes abandoned ship with such fervor and gusto that they covered half of my treadmill and consequently, my left arm and leg, in their grimy, damp, stinky wake! Can I just take a moment to say, EEWWWWW!!!!!! How gross is that?!?!?!!
Seriously, the right half of my treadmill was a dull ash gray…the left side? A dark, shiny sea of coal colored slate. Fan-friggin-tastic.
I battled waves of nausea with each onslaught of droplets as I clung to the right side of my treadmill. I briefly considered throwing up if only to appear hard core and gain brownie points with the gym staff. But then I remembered that vomit leaves your breath stinking something fierce and opted to keep my lunch down.
Meanwhile, I had to keep turning my head decidedly to the right (as if I’m about to turn right….except NOT. Because I’m on a treadmill.) rather than watch the sweat-shower this one man freak show produced.
When I wasn’t turning my head a sheer 90 degrees from the rest of my body, my gaze fell to my feet where it took great concentration and skill to place one foot literally in front of the other, since Sweater Man had cut my two foot running space in half. All this drama in the first six to eight minutes of my intended 30 minute-ish run.
“No worries,” I told myself, “Surely if the man is sweating this much, he must be nearing the end of his run.”
In case you were wondering, he wasn’t. Not in the slightest.
After 15 minutes of enduring Sweater Man’s organic ocean spray mist and my own awkward cock eyed galloping, I decided that Monday should be a weights day and not a running day.
Except that as I entered my final homestretch of two minutes, Sweater Man finished.
And walked away. And didn’t wipe down his treadmill.
And so the moral of this endless tale of rambling is that your mama was right.
Stay Away From Strangers!
Especially men on treadmills.
AND ALWAYS WIPE DOWN THE GYM EQUIPMENT FIRST AND WHEN YOU LEAVE.
I hope have spared at least one of you.