How much do you like to sweat at the gym?
- A little bit
- Not too much
- Enough so that you can fill a bucket with sweat, drink that bucket, and then fill another, even bigger bucket with more sweat
If you chose answer 3, you would fit right in at my apartment’s gym. I went down there this evening to get in a nice little walk-and-read, about as low impact a workout as it gets, really. I could have worn a tuxedo and tails and would probably have come out of the gym freshly shaven, smelling like a basket of oranges, ready to take on the world and tear a lion in half. The other people in the gym, though, seemed to have other plans.
I arrived at the gym just as a slim girl with short, curly brown hair moved from the stationary bikes to the treadmills. I climbed onto the treadmill next to her and watched as she proceeded to raise the treadmill to a 7% incline and a 4.5 mph speedwalk. This, after she had already pedaled for miles. Her breath quickly became short, her red shirt drenched. Meanwhile, I idly meandered along on my thin pleather strip, perusing the many, many pages of Cujo, working up a healthy non-sweat. In fact, the only thing that would have caused my clothes to dampen at my current workout rate, would have been the jungle-like atmosphere perpetrated by the two other gymrats.
The other girl, hiding in the back of the room on the ellipticals, was clearly the more aggressive of the pair – even compared to my neighbor the speedwalker, who was still going strong 40 minutes later when I left the gym to take a really excellent dump. No, the girl in the back was really something special. She was taut like one of those wiry bicycle locks, stretched to the limit to reach around a big tree. Tiny too, as if all the intense workouts shed height as well as weight. And she had the round, hollow eyes of a person who isn’t working out for pleasure, but for the pain.
So, yeah, she was a different story from even the most experienced gymrats. You could tell too by the way every article of clothing she had on was stuck to her skin from the rivulets of glue-like sweat streaming down her face. In how she clutched an extra pair of weights in her hands, just to make each elongated semi-gallop would be that much more intense. With her uncompromising focus, eyes boring into the Kindle resting in front of…hey, she was reading too! Maybe I found a kindred spirit in the gym after all. Except for the fact that she was comfortable smelling like a pack of dead wild hogs, left out in the sun to rot, their bloated bodies later run through a sulphur processing plant and set in a dark cellar to age like cheese. Me, I’d prefer my gym experiences be sweat-free and pleasantly scented. Maybe I should skip the gym all-together and just read on the couch. If I turn enough pages, I’m sure it’ll be a workout.