Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seriously, you’re killing me.

Every morning, I arise at Insane O’Clock to make it to the gym by Stupid Thirty. While there, I try to make the experience as devoid of emotion as possible.

Why? Because, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, when my heart rate reaches a certain level of anaerobic distress, little annoyances magnify into large obsessions.

At first, nothing is that big of a deal. That dude over there who wears so much Drakkar Noir I can taste it until after lunch? That's cool. That woman on the rowing machine who strains so hard she meows? Hey, she's working hard.

But after I’ve been on the elliptical for a good twenty minutes, I’m sweaty and crabby, and I find irritations everywhere.

On my shin is an itch that won't be tamed, so I have to perform a “marching scratch,” keeping my claw stationary as the lower leg rises to meet it.

I curse my shorts for hiking in the center, even though the problem lies within the shorts.

That guy on the machine next to me chomps his gum so loudly that I have to crank the volume on my iPod and turn the other way to avoid the aura of Eclipse Wintergreen and last night’s Pad Thai. On a positive note, I learn that “Total Eclipse of the Heart” sounds awesome loud.

I then fantasize about discovering a loose set of latex gloves, slipping them on, pulling the gum from the guy’s pie hole and calf roping him to the squat rack with it.

Once the workout is finished and the mild endorphins engage, I can tolerate the minor skin irritations, the sweat droplets clinging to my old man eyebrows, which are wilting over my pupils and obscuring my vision. But I’m far from tolerant.

A woman, while spraying and wiping down her exercise bike, accidentally mists my forearm as I walk by. Because she’s unaware of this egregious violation, I feel pangs of temptation to pretend that she sprayed my eyes and scream at her that my eye is still tender from yesterday’s paper cut.

Yet I endure in silence.

After an uneventful workout this morning, I entered the locker room for a quick shower and departure and noticed feet peeking from under the door of the room’s single bathroom stall. The Nikes within pointed to the right, which told me he was performing a more “invasive procedure” than if his feet had pointed to the left.

He exited the stall just as I was preparing to enter the shower, but I felt compelled to see things through. The man plodded past the sink and over to the scale. He stood for several seconds, obviously trying to achieve minimum weight on the sliding device, and finally stepped off.

He then stepped in front of the sink, gazed at his bed hair in the mirror and walked out of the room. His hands were as dry as a soiled bone.

Alas, I’d born witness, yet again, to a dump and dash.

Later, as I walked through the parking lot to my Kia minivan, I resolved to not let this dirty, dirty man’s behavior ruin my day. Much of the world lives in far less sterile conditions than we do here in anti-bacterial land, so I desperately tried to put the affair out of my mind.

I returned home and lovingly greeted my family with fist bumps.


  1. Tim, you are a delight! Your blog is so entertaining, you make my day! You should write for television or movies or books or something, a great talent you have.

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