Monday, August 08, 2016


Most mornings I get up I go to the gym to work out a little. At 71, I have lost my vigor for doing anything but sitting or lying down. I once went to my cardiologist and he asked me if I exercised. My response was measured carefully: “Yes, I go up and down the stairs in my house a few times a day!” I figured you have to count moving, climbing and going down steps as exercise. My cardiologist, a young whipper-snapper replied: “I’ll take that as a no.”

Looking at the clock in the darkness of morning, and thinking about getting up, getting my gym gear on and driving to the gym to torture myself is not something I do with relish. I’m a peaceful man, I don’t hurt anyone, so why do I hurt myself? This torture and self-abuse will take its toll, once I stop, because who the Hell wants to exercise on the day they die, the time could be better spent napping, segueing into a peaceful death without changing positions!

Approaching the gym in the early hours of the morning, there is no one on the roads, yet I can’t find a parking space at the gym, but someone is either leaving on their own or being carried away so spaces do open up.

Entering the gym is another story since I must use a scanning device to scan my I-phone for entrance and credit. The problem is the scanner. Like the lady who lives in the supermarket self-checkout, doesn’t get along with me, I pass the damned phone, once, twice and three times, think it is scanned and start to walk off, but the young woman behind the counter gets my attention and shakes her head: No! I try one more time and finally get a nod to go on.

Oh Lord, why can’t my scanning be like everyone else’s? Why do you torture me before I even torture myself?

I do have ‘Gym gear’ as they say. It consists of a black bag that carried my towel, I sweat a lot, a bottle of water, I drink a lot and a place to hold: car keys, wallet, I-phone, workout gloves, and lock for a locker. There is one other item I carry, a small zip case for my hearing aids. Before I start my routine I put my hearing aids in the small zip case so I don’t sweat into the aids causing water on the hearing aids, and rather an expensive disease to cure. There is no pain in the ear from the disease but the wallet needs life support once it occurs!

Now the locker has to be #33, it is a perfect locker for position to the toilet or showers, the overhead TV and like Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s spot, the perfect combination of crosswinds and drafts. I am a creature of habit. If someone is occupying the locker ahead of me, I wish the worst possible scenario on the sob, loss of his scanning ability and technique.

The gym floor is another issue. Past the gym floor is a room that you step down into and there you will find an array of treadmills, step, and full-body workout equipment, under a large movie screen, where you work out and view the daily movie. The movie helps me pass the time away, as I tread on the mill for too long a time. But of the four treadmills there, I like number three, and if it is occupied by some sob before me, I wish the worst possible scenario on the sob, loss of his scanning ability and technique.

Done milling about, I head up into the gym floor, where there is one piece of equipment I particularly need to complete my mission. There is a abs cruncher that you sit and with the arms you force down and hold for a second then raise up, doing this 15 times each, in three sets. If it is occupied by some sob before me, I wish the worst possible scenario on the sob, loss of his scanning ability and technique.

There are others on the floor, people who look like they stuffed their arms to look menacing, strutting around after a set of the dumb bells or resistance hardware, women who are past their prime and still want to look attractive (some are and I appreciate it at that hour) and of course, the old coots like me. Most old coots come to the gym in shorts and sneakers, with black socks, it’s a trend I just can’t seem to adopt just yet!

As I leave the gym, there is a flight of stairs ahead of me, 21 steps that I challenge myself to by not holding the handrail, climbing. With the lack of oxygen to my brain and breath in my lungs from the workout, I meet the challenge, swaying at the top of the landing, watching the parking lot outside shimmy in the early sunrise.


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