What I Learned This Week [At The Gym]

 Yesterday, I was on the elliptical machine at the Y, listening to my iPod, minding my own business. That is, minding my business as much as one can at a gym. The fact is that I don’t really like to talk when I’m gettin’ my grove on at the gym.
For starters, I am typically experiencing labored breathing which makes it difficult to talk. And, second of all, I just want to put in my time and get out of there because I am a sweaty, stinky, mess. But, as hard as I try to block out all that is going on around me, the fact is that I usually know exactly who is beside me, how fast they are going on their machine and usually what they are wearing.
Because that’s how I roll.
What can I say, I’ve got a busy-body gene.
So, after fifteen minutes of time misery were finished on the elliptical, I moved to my favorite apparatus, the stationary bike. It happens to be my favorite because I can put in 4.5 miles in the same fifteen minutes that it takes me to do 1.3 miles on the elliptical. And between me and my math skills, I figure 4.5 miles is better than 1.3.
That, and, because I can sit and play words with friends. Oh, and because it gives me a straight view of the crazy people contortionists who stretch before beginning their work out.
So, I get on the bike and start pedalling.
I pedal faster.
Still nothing.
I grab my keys, my water, my magazine and my towel and I move to the next bike.
After about ten minutes, a young girl and her friend walked over to the bikes. One of the girls did some pre-trial stretching and then mounted the bike.
I should have warned her it did not work.
But I did not.
Because I was minding my own business.
She pedalled and pedalled, but nothing happened.
So, she stopped pedalling and moved on.
After that, I moved to the treadmill.
I hate the treadmill.
Mostly because I am a klutz and because there is a high possibility that I might lose my balance and tumble off the back of the thing.
Don’t think I haven’t thought about.
And plotted my story if it does happen.
I pushed the required buttons, and the thing began to roll. 
A few minutes later, an older guy walked over to the treadmill beside of me. He had all kinds of mess going on. Between the Olympic-style stretches, the iPod adjusting, and then some pulse-checking, it was hard to keep up. He then climbed aboard the SS Treadmill. He punched some buttons, then turned around.
Yes, I said backwards. Obviously, he meant business.
I was in a perfect position to see this joker in the event that he wiped out.
And I watched intently.
As intently as I could without losing my footing and wreaking havoc in the gym.
Mr. Olympic man bent his legs slightly and began walking backwards.
I was totally impressed and contemplated giving him a thumbs up.
Instead, I reached for my water bottle and took a drink. And, pretended I knew nothing of his reversed position on the treadmill.
After placing the water bottle back in the little holder, I carefully placed the lid on top of the bottle. The lid fell onto the belt and I quickly hopped off of the belt, spread my legs and jumped up on the side bars which almost caused me to tumble.
Oh, snap! The whole thing had to be impressive.
I pulled the emergency stopping mechanism and backed slowly off of the thing in search of that friggin lid. I was afraid the lid would fall in the groove between the belt and the side bar causing the belt to stop.
I found the lid against the stair master behind the treadmill.
As I stand there amazed that I didn’t break the treadmill… or my neck, I looked around to see if anyone else might have seen my near-death experience on the treadmill. I retrieved the lid and started it back up again.
And, all the while, Backwards Guy was still going strong.
To say the least.
I’ve learned a lot during my time at the Y. I’ve learned that it’s better to listen to fast music than the slow, drawn out country lyrics about a woman, a dog and a truck.
I’ve also learned that the Young and The Restless is not nearly as interesting when you have to depend on closed captioning.
Oh, and I’ve also learned that the possibilities of looking ridiculous at the gym are unlimited. If you factor in the busy body gene, an iPod, a water bottle, a gossip mag, and a treadmill, you’ve upped your odds of making a complete fool of yourself. It’s a pretty safe bet that I won’t be walking on the treadmill backwards anytime soon.
What about you? What did ya’ll learn this week?

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  1. says

    Now you know why I have my treadmill experiences in my own basement where only my family will see me – and believe me, that in itself is humiliating enough (you know who/what I live with)!! But I would love to see the guy walking backwards…WOW!

  2. says

    I have seen those people that run backwards on treadmills before.
    And do you know what I think?

    I think they’re show-offs.


  3. says

    Ok so I am going to have to say two things… 1 Becca is totally right… only show off go on it backwards. hehe and 2 Go Girl!!! Though it might be hard and death may feel like it is so close to happening, you are at the gym and that is awesome. keep up the good work minus the near death experiences 🙂

  4. Jean says

    Yikes! Glad you weren’t hurt. Yay for you for going to the gym. I need to – do something – walk – anything – is better than nothing.

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