Look at me, two weeks in a row (pats self on the back-winces in pain because yesterday was “arms day” and they still hurt to move). I don’t really have much to tell you. Not a lot has changed in the last week. I’m still fat. I still don’t want to exercise. I am still exercising anyway. I want to eat every bad thing I see and I resist the urge almost solely based on the fact that I don’t want to write another confessional post.
Two days a week, I go to the gym following my swing shift at work. This shift runs from 5pm to 3 am. The absolute hardest part of working out at this time is getting out of my car. Especially recently as the weather has turned colder (I use that term loosely as “cold” here is when the temperature hits the 40’s at night). I get in my car to drive over to the gym and turn on the heater to defrost my windshield. By the time I can see and drive over to the gym, I’m cozy warm and I am loath to get out. It seems that each night gets harder and harder but eventually I work up the (let’s be honest) guilt (over having to write about not going in this post) and go inside.
This is one of my favorite times to go to the gym. Surprisingly enough there is barely anyone there. Although it’s been said that “misery loves company,” I prefer to be alone during my work out sessions. I don’t want to make friends and be forced to carry on conversations between desperate gasps for air. It is usually just a handful of people. Last night there was one other person (the employee) in the gym when I finally dragged myself from the car.
There is a long row of roughly 20 exercise bikes. I usually go the last one on the end-that way I can guarantee at least one side of solitude. Last night my favorite bike was waiting for me like a silent, non-judgmental old friend. I began working out. About 3 minutes into my workout (or about 3 minutes after I wanted to stop), an older guy came in and walked straight to the bike on my right. Not to “a” bike on my right, but to “the” bike on my right. Mind you this facility is enormous. Even if he had only wanted to bike he could have chosen any of the other 19 or so. Instead he chose to sit roughly 2 feet from me.
I did my best to ignore him and focus on my exercise or more accurately zone-in on my distraction of choice-Doctor Who. I believe he may have tried to say something to me but I had my ear buds in and didn’t respond. If he did attempt to chat me up he quickly abandoned his efforts and focused on his workout. I continued pedaling with the added motivation of pretending I was racing away from the awkward situation.
Then the noises started. At first it seemed like a casual grunt one would expect from physical exertion. But I quickly realized this was not a normal situation. He was breathing loudly on the inhale as well as the exhale. Each exhale began with pursed lips drawn tightly so that the air had to build up pressure before it could escape. Once a sufficient amount of pressure had amassed it began slipping out in short bursts that made a staccato sound not dissimilar to flatulence. When he finished his exhale he began a crescendo of sucking the air back in through his teeth so that it made a wet hissing noise just barely below a whistle. Even now as I reenact it to more aptly describe it to you, I find myself out of breath-leading me to believe that it is not only annoying but incredibly anti-conducive to exercise.
Fortunately, he only lasted ten minutes (I was sure he would have hyperventilated after five minutes) before moving on, mercifully, to the other side of the gym. I could still hear his odd breathing noises as he grunted with each rep on the weight machines. I finished up my own regimen (infinitely more silently) and exited the gym.
As I said before, I prefer to exercise in misery alone. But if I am forced to exercise with other people present then may they all be such productive blog fodder.