Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You're not my mom!

I flicked the light on in the bathroom. The clock displayed 5:20 AM. Time to start another day with an uninspired trip to the local YMCA gym. I surveyed my features in the mirror, noticing that familiar, vertical tuft of hair that gave the appearance of either an aging, punk rooster or a swirly, grey soft serve cone. Whatever...it's far too early to succomb to any sort of vanity, far too early to wax nostalgic about when my facial stubble wasn't eighty percent silverish.
I choked down a cup of coffee and dragged my carcass out to the truck for the five minute drive (because, hey, why walk to the gym when you can drive?) to the facility.
My initial glimpse into the cardio room was no different today than any other morning—a slightly overweight, bearded man on the recumbent bike appeared to be knocking on death's door. His face contorted into an agonized grin; his breathing sounded like those foot pumps you use to blow up a pool mattress.
I walked past him and mounted the eliptical trainer. Before beginning my workout, I like to survey the immediate area. Usually, only a handful of masochists occupy the gym at this hour, and it's usually older people. Most of them—well, actually, all of them, tuck their shirts in. I hope I'm as healthy as these folks should I achieve their age someday, but I'm definitely not going to tuck in my shirt. Especially into tight, bike shorts. I know they're really proud of their bodies, as they indeed should be, but in my opinion, bagginess is a virtue.
I powered through my workout, trying to eliminate any toxins ingested the previous day. Sometimes, it feels like they've coagulated to form cheese curds in my bloodstream, but I always feel better afterwards.
Upon entering the men's locker room, I often find strange, disgusting leftovers on the floor—maybe a Band-Aid® or a Q-Tip®, or something not registered with the U.S. Patent Office. For a while, I'd been discovering toe nails on the floor by my locker, and naturally, I was really grossed out, especially when I stepped on a sharp clipping with my bare foot. A few months passed, and finally one day, I was fortunate enough to confront the culprit. He was a fifty-something guy, just trimming his hooves onto the carpet and leaving the remnants there. After about five minutes of slow burning, I finally blurted out, "I hope you're going to pick those up."
"Are you talking to me?" I guess he thought he was DeNiro.
"Yeah, I'm talking to you."
"You're not my mom." Definitely not DeNiro now. More like Pee Wee Herman.
"No, I'm not your mom. But I'll bet she would want you to clean those up." Now I was regretting ever engaging this guy.
"Too bad!" he retorted. Wow, I guess he told me.
He talked to me like a little kid, but he also responded like one, as I never again came across any nail clippings on the locker room floor.
I didn't spot anything overly offensive this morning as I shuffled into the shower, dried off and got dressed.
My morning workout routine functions as a meditative process of sorts, clearing my head and preparing me for a sometimes challenging day. And as an added bonus, it affords me the opportunity to mull over such things as blogging about nail clippings.

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