Tuesday began my return to the sweatpen, also know as, the gym.
My hiatus from the sweatpen began roughly around the time I joined the gym- three years ago. I casually go, usually when my pants get too tight, and then casually stop going, when I remember my disdain for the place.
I am not a germaphobe. I am so far from being a germophobe that I follow the 5 minute rule, but the gym disgusts me. I can see amoeba crawling on the equipment. This disgust of the gym may have started around this time:
I arrived at the gym sans-lock. Forgetting my lock, I decided to place my backpack on the floor. The man next to me had to ask me to remove my bag, which was not close to him, because he was profusely sweating all over the floor, as well as my bag. I have never seen a person sweat this much in my life. My amazement overrode the repugnance of the situation for the time being, until he did the biggest gym no-no. Following his invigorating mad dash on the elliptical, he abandoned his machine. For those of you new to a gym, you always, I repeat, always, wipe down your machine.
I’m not certain that the wipe down is truly giving the machine a hardy clean, but at least it appears that you have respect for the person after you. It’s like washing your hands after using the bathroom- at least put on a show for the person standing next to you.
Despite my loathing of the gym, the inevitable finally arrived in the form of a windchill that reminded me of my grandma- cold.
Upon arrival, the man behind the desk informed me that I have not paid since August and my fees total $120. Now, the truth is, I cancelled my credit card over the summer and never informed the gym. Somehow, I convinced myself that since I never go, and since they never called me out on it, I could get away with it. I guess the gym doesn’t work with sneaky people.
I hate the gym.
Now, full of frustration, I hop on the treadmill next to John- somehow he has already banged out nearly half a mile, what was I doing that whole time?!
I have a lot of feelings on treadmills, but I will share a few with you as I reflect on their existence.
For one, they are not nearly as cool as this:
I also always get the sense that the person next to me is racing me, which is really unfair because I’m slow.
And finally, they will never be the great outdoors.
Tonight the weather wasn’t brutal so I chose to spend some quality time with the boardwalk while it’s still possible.
It turns out it was colder than expected, but still enjoyable. The sky was red and indescribable, reminding me of why I love running outside. A few reminders I experienced tonight:
It’s challenging- Wind is unpredictable and it pushes against you creating an unreal resistance.
It’s changing- One way you are wishing it was over, particularly when the wind is non-stop, but then you turn around and it’s as though it’s guiding you, lifting up under your sneakers.
One thing is certain- it is nearly winter in New York and I cannot be an outdoor winter runner. The treadmill and I might have to become friendly in following months. To all of you experiencing the same, kudos and good luck.