"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh, I can win a race. If the stakes are high enough.

I held the door for a pleasant woman that I have seen several mornings at the gym. She is a treadmill runner too, so we have smiled at each other, but have never been interested enough to actually take out our headphones and say 'hi'.

I held the door for her and then entered right behind her. She chatted up the hot, 20 something year old gym attendant (To be clear, this is "hot" for 4 in the morning. I imagine I would find him less hot after coffee consumption and when he is not surrounded by the > 60 yo early bird gym set, but he looks pretty good in that light, is all I am saying.) as he scanned her gym card. He scanned my card next and I politely waited for her to start moving toward the exercise room.

Then I saw it.

The only 2 open treadmills in the green zone. I call it the green zone because, for some reason, that is only apparent to the owners of 24 Hour Fitness, it must be 342 degrees at any given time in the gym, and the green zone is where the one pitiful AC vent is located. Therefore, if you prefer to run with your core body temperature at less than 342 degrees, you have to use one the treadmills or ellipticals in the green zone only. It is a 5000 sq. foot gym and at 4 in the morning there are at most 10 people there, yet we are all clustered in the green zone. I can only imagine what a little slice of hell that gym is at 5 pm.

Anyhoo...

The green zone only has 5 treadmills, one of which is the treadmill that is ALWAYS occupied by the Crypt Keeper, who is no less than 170 years old and freakishly tan. He cranks the incline on the treadmill to its maximum and pounds out the miles like he is running from the Grim Reaper himself. No one wants to run next to the Crypt Keeper. 1. because he makes you look like a pussy with your 0% incline running and 2. if you are female, he wants to talk to you, saying things that always start off with "He He If only I were 30 years younger...."

Ick. Try 100 years younger, Creepmaster.

*shudders*

So we don't really count the one next to him "open" per say. There only 3 other treadmills that are considered truly usable in the green zone and one of them was taken. Leaving the center treadmill and the one that was parked right in front of a full length mirror.

Now, I do not know about you ladies, but I like to hold on to the delusion that when I run I am smooth and graceful like a gazelle, bouncing playfully on the treadmill belt, light as a feather, with my ponytail swinging easily which each stride, a light sheen of sweat giving my face an angelic glow, teeth gleaming as I smile at my effortless pace.

Ahhhh. Take a moment as I savor that image.

Having a full length mirror in front of you means that I must either crane my neck to the side to avoid my own image, or face the godawful truth of my lumbering rhinoceros gait pounding along, causing the machine to shake wildly and threatening collapse at any moment, with my 4 am, 41 year old face sagging at each stride, red, puffy, and my mouth twisted in grimace as I gasp for air.

Ummm...Yeah. I sooo do not want that treadmill.

And I am not one to cast stones, but Dollface in front of me, was no gazelle either, if you catch my drift.

So it was on. One of us was going to get the center treadmill and one was going be forced to face their own running truth at 4 in the morning.

I pull along side of her as the path widens, she knows what I am doing and she picks up the pace. I follow suit and push it more. She turns and smiles a strained smile at me, looking for mercy? Maybe weakness? Tough cookies, sweetheart, all I have for you is an ass kicking and bubblegum, and I am fresh out of bubblegum!

I pull ahead. I can taste victory. 10 more strides and I can throw my towel over the computer which is the universal gym sign for 'taken.'

Gah! The cleaning guy steps in front of me, allowing her to pass me. She smirks as she takes the lead.

Only 3 more strides. Dear God, Crypt Keeper or Rhinoceros! RBR, you must push through. Our legs are hustling as fast as we can without looking like we are racing each other. She is staying just ahead of me.

Then it happened. All athletes have to look for that one moment when the race can be theirs, Perky Polly on the mat next to us, pops up from her exercise ball, "Janice! Hey! How are you?"

I step around her as she slows to face Perky and throw my towel over the screen of the center treadmill. Bet you wish you were an anti-social, out cast like me now, dontcha, Dollface!

Smugly I hop on the treadmill and begin my run. I hear the treadmill behind me start up.

"Good morning, Janice. He he. If only I were 30 years younger...."

23 comments:

Katie A. said...

ROFL! Dollface obviously didn't know who she was dealing with!
And you're right, every 24hr Fitness is as hot as the surface of the sun! Sheesh!
Good luck this weekend!

Xenia said...

Well done! The only reason I go to the gym ass-early in the morning is to use the pool. Let's just say my retinas have been permanently damaged by viewing Speedos-gone-wrong. Oh the horror...

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Muthaa-luvin-fukkin FIRST!1!

Which is how we say "thoid" in Joisey.

But I didn't read this yet coss I hafta get on QandA right now ...

Be back later. Wait'll you hear how we say "Tenth" in Joisey ...

One Crazy Penguin said...

Bahaha you're a better woman than I. I would have definitely used the "accidental" trip or rolled a medicine ball under her foot :p

But there's always a positive side....maybe she got a hot date with the crypt keeper!

PunkRockRunner said...

Until our little running “date” I had never seen the competitive side of you. It was that final stretch on Saturday when you continued to move faster & faster that made me realize you have a HUGE competitive streak (no, that’s not a big butt jab). Maybe you should imagine a treadmill just past the finish line at all your races. THAT, and all the other runners in their underwear.

McPunky

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

No one wants to run next to the Crypt Keeper. because ... if you are female, he wants to talk to you, saying things that always start off with "He He If I was only 30 years younger...."

I can't believe you call me Crypt Keeper behind my back! You B*TCH!1! You KNOW I read this blog! You wrote this just to HURT me!1!

And I'm only 169 year old! (I'll never turn 170 because I like "69". Man, how can you NOT be charmed by this? You must be gay - not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Christi said...

Hysterical!

Ewa said...

Oh, this was a good read! Funny!
Now I am wondering if I should do some treadmill running too. Oh, wait, there is NO green zone at our gym. New AC system is as bad as the old one, and cannot keep up with overheated bodies.
BTW, you showed her! Good job. It feels like a PR, doesn't it?

Slomohusky said...

thanks for the laugh and a slice of rbr at 4:AM.

lindsay said...

Even though you never participated in the blog-tag I sent you 2 yrs ago, I was still able to enjoy a good chuckle today. Hooray for the outcasts! That Janice is one lucky lady, but you can take full credit for setting her up with the Crypt Keeper!

Diana said...

The only thing I can come up with on this post is that it is the FUNNIEST thing I think I've ever read. I felt like I was right there watching through the window as you "won" your battle of treadmills!

Herself, the GeekGirl said...

IT's ALL ABOUT THE FINISHING KICK! Victory is yours. But I suspect that there will be a rematch in your future...

'Drea said...

Great post.

Looks like the Creepmaster has good and bad points. ;)

Marny said...

Bwhahaaha! That was GREAT! I love all the characters at the gym.

Es --- IRONMAN! said...

This was freaking hilarious. The only thing funnier is I know you were drafting it in your head as you were on the treadmill and probably smiling/laughing. So now you're now "that creepy lady who smiles/laughs at nothing".

SteveQ said...

Dollface? Tough cookies, sweetheart? Ass kicking and bubblegum? Perky Polly?

Methinks the crypt keeper's closer to your age than you care to admit, if you're using those words.

Just payback for the last time you pointed out how old my words make me sound...

Julie said...

To, to funny!

Aka Alice said...

Still can't believe you get to the gym at 4am... Then you kick-ass in a sprint to the treadmill race. You are a rockstar goddess..

How does Crypt Keeper clones himself so that he is at every gym? THAT is the question...

funderson said...

Well done!

Jill said...

I think I need to hit the 24-hour here at 4 to avoid the bodybuilders...oh never mind, they do like to hog up all the mirrors.

Regina said...

LMAO!! Crypt Keeper?! I can totally see this guy in my mind's eye, scary!

Way to outmaneuver Dollface.

shenx said...

I thought it was going to be some boring old post but it was so funny...I enjoy reading this...

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vibram

Ordinarylife said...

so funny! Well done - was it a PR?