I have worked out at a gym since forever. I’ve tried to workout at home, problem is, I’m just not disciplined enough to use those DVDs I bought or borrowed. Because why should I lie on the floor and do sit ups, when I can lie on the sofa and talk on the phone?
So my usual routine is get to the gym first thing in the morning, hop on the recumbent bike (where I can exercise and read the latest issue of The Economist..ok fine, it’s more like a tattered issue of Us, but still, I’m reading) and then I weight train. Overall, it serves me pretty well.
Post holiday season, I realized I needed to step up my workouts in order to combat my over-indulging. So in an effort to rev up my metabolism, I began running around the indoor track (By the way, I absolutely to hate run. That runner’s high people claim to get? Not me. It makes everything hurt. And I hate it when any one thing hurts. In fact, running has cemented my belief that my body was born to be lightly massaged with soothing oils and scented lotions, preferably on a weekly basis.)
Anyway, last week I missed my typical 7:30 a.m. start time and didn’t get to the gym until 11:30 a.m.
Little did I know that at my gym, 11:30 a.m. is the Senior Witching Hour.
As I make my way through the double doors, I’m instantly face to face with a senior biddy laboriously pushing her four legged walker. Her knit cap is strewn across the side of her head and it appears as though she is on some kind of an angle. But the floor is level, so I’m thinking the angle is due to the imminent fact that she is about 2 seconds from tipping over. Alarmed, I stop and ask her if she’s ok.
“Am I okay?” she shrieks, “No, I am not okay. My legs are stiff, I was on a goddamn exercise bike even though the seat was digging into my privates. Can’t you see my goddamn legs are stiff?”
Uuuh, hmmm…what have I gotten myself into? I look around for potential help; the fitness center employee stationed afar at the front desk seemed to be completely nonplussed by the precariously leaning senior. And no one else is around. I’m on my own.
“Do you have a ride? Is someone pulling around your vehicle so you don’t have to walk in the lot?” I ask.
“Larry is getting the goddamn car. Ooooooh, my legs are so stiff. Larry is getting the goddamn car.”
“Uh, ah, good. Ok good, Larry good”, was my snappy comeback (I hope you noticed how great I am in a crisis).
Now what? I think. Do I escort Mrs. Pottymouth to the door? Or do I just leave it all up to Larry? I stand rooted to the spot, trying to figure out exactly what to do, as she didn’t ask for help. Meanwhile, as I am trying to determine the acceptable boundaries of Being A Good Citizen, Mrs. Pottymouth has been surprising effective with her wobbly walker and has already made it to the exit in one slanting piece. I turn and see a Buick pull up and surmise it is good ole Larry. I hope to hell that he has a bottle of aspirin at home, ‘cuz I suspect he is going to need it after his ride with Mrs. P.
Crisis averted, I go the front desk, check in, and make my way to the first floor women’s locker room. Mrs. P. from upstairs should have been my big clue that this was not going to be an ordinary day at the gym.
Did you know that old women are amazingly immodest about their naked bodies? I realized this as I turn the corner and see about eight of them, milling around in their stretched out birthday suits. Nary a flipflop, underwear, bra, robe, or towel is to be seen. Exactly what the hell is going on in here? Is today Old People Clothing Day Optional at my gym? As I walk to my usual locker, I keep my eyes glued to floor in hopes of avoiding any more unnecessary glimpses of the grannies and their various hanging parts.
I take off my outerwear as fast as I can and shove everything I brought into the locker. My things are still hanging out as I force it shut and turn the key. I gotta get outta here! As I walked upstairs to the run on the track, I realized I left my water bottle in the locker room. But there was no way I was going back to the naked old lady lair, so I was gonna have to run dry.
The track at my gym is located on the second floor and circles around the open architecture which allows anyone using it to look down at the first floor and see the mirrored exercise room, treadmills, bikes, racquetball courts, free weight room, etc (a fact I need to remember when I get that urge to pull my underwear out of my butt bits after a leg lift). It is divided up into three lanes: the inner lane is for walking and gives the best view of what is going on the first floor, the middle lane is for jogging, and the outer lane is for running. My goal today is to alternate walking and running laps for 30 minutes.
I start out walking, jamming to my tunes (and of course Ememin is playing, he’s been my bad boy crush forever! I would totally lick the side of his face if given the opportunity and I was assured he wouldn’t try to pop a cap in my ass).
Halfway through my first lap, I catch up to a guy who from behind, is a dead ringer for Mr. Clean. Bald head? Check. One earring? Check. Beefy arms and white t-shirt? Check. Purple shorts with black socks pulled up to his knees and brown vinyl walking shoes? Hmm.. ..I don’t remember Mr. Clean sportin’ those. I inhale deeply, but can’t detect any lemony-freshness scent in his wake; intrigued, I quicken my pace and give him a look-see as I pass him. Whoooaa! Mr. Clean from behind is totally Mr. Clean from the front, too. And he is a craggy fella! Even though he is up in years, he still looks like a major hard-ass, so I am careful to give the man his space.
A few seconds later, I round the curve and look over the edge of the track wall into the aerobic room and see an old lady sitting on the floor with a towel draped across her shoulders. She’s sitting on the floor, reading the paper and sipping a cup coffee. Hah! These seniors, what a hoot! They’re like toddlers with driver’s licenses and disposable income.
My second lap is my running lap, and off I go. I run in the inner lane as much as possible, but soon am feeling as though I am participating in a game of old people Nascar. Because the seniors are not following track lane etiquette and are veering across the track, nily-wily. And for-heavens-sake, a couple of them are even walking backwards. I am forced to run between, around, and in one case, through them. They appear to be utterly clueless to the hazards they're causing me in my new quest at jump-starting my metabolism. In fact, these old folks think that They. Own. The. Track.
Unfortunately, this goes on for the rest of my laps. There's so many of them, I have to concentrate hard on not accidentally knocking a straying senior over, which means I can’t even peek down into the workout area to see what’s doin’ (and I so enjoy people-ogling). I am relieved to finally be close to completing my 30 minutes, so I can go hit the weights.
And then it happens.
Older Middled Aged Man (OMAM).
Which technically? Is not exactly the same as a senior, I know. But this here guy is F-U-N-K-Y. Because OMAM? It looks like he is encased in an extremely overweight woman’s pear-shaped body. And he is running. And he has BIG GIRLY HIPS. Pear-shaped hippy-hips. Which is totally acceptable for a woman, but for a man? Ewww.
I understand this is not his fault (well, maybe it’s a little bit his fault, he should probably cut down on the Ho-Hos) just as it is not my fault to feel compelled to continue to run BEHIND him. Because I am now fascinated with the notion of an OMAM with an older middle aged woman's built. Plus, I want to see if he runs like, well, a girl.
Aw jeez. He runs with his feet pointed outward to the side and his arms glued to his torso. Poor guy. I can tell he’s such a dork. He probably got tormented by other kids growing up. I feel a little bad for following him. And for staring at his jiggliness (although he doesn’t really know it because I’m behind him, but still…). So I decide to pass him up. And just to be nice and provide him with silent encouragement and my simultaneous forgiveness of his resemblance to a Bartlett pear, as I pass him up, I turn my head in his direction and give him a small smile.
And then, I swear, the turd, when he sees this, he turns ever so slightly, cocks his head, and responds to my kindness, with......a tongue-flick?
O-to-the-M-to-the-G-that-dirty-rotten-heaving-piece-of-fruit-shaped-freakness-with-Baby-Huey-feet-wearing-the-nastiest-shade-of-puke-green-tshirt-this-side-of-the-Mississippi so did not just TONGUE FLICK ME!
Well shit. Stick a fork in me, ‘cuz I’m done. No more workout for me. Over the last 40 minutes, the senior shenanigans have sucked dry my will for better health and I cannot Deal. For reals.
I make my way down the stairs to the first floor, past the old guy standing on the immobile treadmill watching TV in his pink hoodie and headband proclaiming he’s WORKIN’ IT, and go straight into the women’s locker room.
I’m so focused on getting out of that gym ASAP that I whip around the corner and come within millimeters of slamming into a nude little gray hair. Luckily, we didn’t collide. Unluckily, I got an extreme close-up of her exceptionally long breasts; it was like passing by a car wreck. I wanted to look away, but couldn’t. I stared at those saggy-ass breasts for at least 3 full seconds, which in saggy breast time, felt like an hour.
“Aaagg, I’m, ah, I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.” I said. To her breasts.
She smiled at me, but I don’t think she heard me. Or maybe she did, but didn’t care. Either way, it was too late for me. The damage to my psyche was done. I unconsciously grabbed each of my own breasts with both hands to check if they were still perky-ish. Because? Holy shit! What if saggy breasts were actually contagious? After copping off a complete feel of myself (and earning an odd glance from a different naked granny sitting on a changing bench, which by the way, I noted, she wasn’t even sitting on a towel) I thankfully determined my breasts were for now, unchanged.