This past work week I have been to the gym three times. The first time was Monday, and is too far back to remember anything other than the fact that I made it there. The second time was Wednesday, and the third time was tonight. Wednesday’s trip I remember incredibly well. The movie was a horrendous choice, and since I only go to the gym for the movie theater workout room, I was far from enthralled. I acknowledge that I’m not necessarily a “sports” person, but if they had thrown on “Remember the Titans” or “The Longest Yard” I would have walked my little but until I had seen the entire movie and not just 65 minutes of it. Instead, they play a movie all about picking NFL teams, which I’m sure is a great movie, when it’s watched at home and has a drinking game to keep watchers alert; it’s certainly not the type of movie that’s going to motivate me to do anything other than leave.
However, I did not leave. Not until I busted my butt and sweat through my oversized t-shirt and ancient capri sweatpants. At first I was in the treadmill row all by myself, I was feeling strangely motivated and was attempting the hill setting for the first time, but later was quickly joined by a young man in a long-sleeved hoodie, with the hood up, and long track or sweatpants. At this point I had been walking for five to eight minutes tops and was already sweating from the shear temperature in the room. I hit the ten minute mark when the movie ended, but the end credits really pumped me up, so I increased my speed. The young man to my left did the same. As I’m getting into the song and trying my hardest not to dance, another young man hopped on the treadmill to my right. Since it was a football movie, it made it okay for the men to do it (apparently walking on treadmills is stereotypically a female thing). As I glanced around the fairly full room, I thought I only saw one other girl, and noticed that the “young” man to my right was actually an older man in ridiculous shape.
I was feeling particularly motivated, and at my next minute marker I increased my speed, within seconds, the young man to my left picked up his pace as well. Now I’m curious, because I’m going a lot faster earlier on in my workout than I usually do, and my asshole is sweating, I have sweat dripping down my face from my eyebrows, and I’m wearing half the clothes than the guy next to me who is essentially trying to race me on treadmills. I didn’t even know assholes could sweat, and this guy wants to go faster?
Thankfully, I’m not one for giving a fuck, flying or otherwise, and just kept focused on not having a heat stroke when the temperature outside is below zero. By now I’ve realized that this is the worst movie I’ve ever seen, and am just trying to find the self-motivation to stick it out. I’m more than whatever movie they play at the gym. Then it hits me, the faster I walk the faster this will all be over was my genius plan. I tap the speed button and brace myself to go, go, go! Well, don’t you just know that my friend to the left of me has decided that he also wants to go, go, go and puts his speed even higher than mine? I know this because he starts awkwardly running. I am by no means a graceful person, and have no coordination. I’m sure I run with less form than this young man, but I’ve never seen anyone run with straight arms, a forward slant, and long, angular strides. Naturally the man on my right who has not been struck by how odd the other man looks while running, also starts running briskly; these two are pumping their legs, and all I can think about it my poor, sweating asshole and how effective sweat must be at removing mascara since it’s all over my sleeve from wiping my eyes. I lower my speed two decimals, and chuckle to myself when the guy on my left increases his speed. The word victory is radiating from him when he looks to his right and sees that I’ve slowed down.
He then stops his machine, and hops off the treadmill, and without even cleaning it off disappears through the exit. Bastard. The older man to my right, now apparently savvy to the whole situation drops his speed down to mine and we continue to walk. After a little bit of non-competitive, busting my nuts walking, the older man stretches and heads toward the door. As the older man is leaving, in walks the tallest man I think I’ve ever stood next to, except for my high school history teacher who was 6’7”. He hops on to the treadmill to my left and starts to stretch; his legs span the entire machine. Of course with legs that long he had no choice but to run, and so he takes off at an incredible speed leaving me to ponder why I still bother to come to the gym since all I do is laugh at myself and the athleticism of others. Aside from the fact that assholes sweat, I also realized that it’s only natural the ambitious people want to work out next to me, because what’s more satisfying than being the shining star next to the dud?