Through no fault or planning of my own, I had to go do speedwork on the treadmill tonight. It was pouring rain, but I’ve run in the rain before. It wasn’t dark yet, so that’s not a factor. I simply was alone, and it was getting dark and the roads were slick. So, I found myself at the gym.
I keep my $25 membership at the gym, because it’s so cheap. That, and I’m fiercely loyal…I have been a member of this gym for 10 years. You can’t get a gym membership for 25 bucks, and it has a bathroom, so if I have to use it, I can run in there if need be.
I come in, and get my treadmill. I’d rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than run on the treadmill, yet there I was.
And there I was. Five years ago. Standing around. Chatting with people working out. Leaning on machines. Yawning. What is it about this place that makes people do nothing? Wait, don’t answer that. I’m watching people come up to people’s machines, make small talk, stand … and leave.
I started my warmup mile. All good. I was startled with the feel of the pull of the treadmill. Not much work, just set the machine and go. A group of 4 20 year old young men take the machines around me. I’m well into my speed work, absolutely dripping, and on my jog cool down, they stop. They were on the treadmills no longer than 2 minutes. A young teacher I know is slowly doing the elliptical while watching TV. I am sweating. I am all over the place.
My body is screaming, I am one of those people with sweat all over the machine, and all over the ground around the machine. The 4 men leave. A group of women are standing at the child care. They are doing Zumba. Kids are screaming. The music is blaring. They are standing.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know people work out. I just have a new filter right now. I am so used to burning it out of the road…and so used to making noises. So, I start clapping. Yelling at myself. Because interval 5 & 6 are killing me. KILLING me. People are still working out, and I am laughing, and pretending I’m on the road. By myself. I start singing Bohemian Rhapsody which is on my iPod, just like I do. I’m sure they thought I was insane.
Yes, insane. Judgemental. Annoyed. Critical of the standers.
As I laid down to do my core work, I couldn’t help but think of the woman who used to hang out in the gym, and the woman who just finished 50 minutes of speedwork (4.79 miles). She’s the same, and yet today, I wouldn’t recognize the first one if I met her on the street.