Working Out my Demons


There are only a few things that will make me mumble a bad word. Another driver actin’ a fool, stumping bare toes or having them stepped on, and anything having to do with being at the gym. Well there is a longer list, snakes, too cold, too hot, too humid, general pain... However, bad drivers, toes and the gym; those are the main three.

I went to the gym this morning, perhaps a little too early.  The Marines were still there and all the treadmills were taken. sh!t

I would like to do the walk around wiping my face like I’ve already had my workout and walkout. But I scan quickly like I belong there, like I know what I’m doing, freaking out because I don’t see a machine that’s familiar and available. sh!t

I settle on a machine that I see another woman doing. I fumble with untangling my headphones while I spy the controls to see if I can figure this thing out. When I step on the machine I want to act like I’ve done this before. I’m on the machine, wiping it down to get a closer look.  It’s seems like its taking me five minutes just to get started. sh!t

Finally, I press start. No lights come on. I am trying my best, using peripheral vision, to see if there is another machine like this one. I’ve taken time to wipe it down, while spying the controls and it’s broken!? No it’s not. Self says, “Start using the machine”. I say,”Oh, duh” when the startup controls come on after I move my arms and legs. I feel eyes staring at me from behind.  You know how I know they are staring? Because I have been the “stare-er”. And it’s no fun when you are the stare-ee!

I feel like it has taken me another workout minute (without burning calories or clocking  time) putting in my settings.  One real minute and 35 seconds in, I say, “Oh H-E-doublehockeysticks”. I can’t do the getoffthemachineshame. But this one is so hard, I whine to self. I check the mirrors to see if a treadmill is available.  I can’t tell without turning around and I don’t want to meet the eyes of who is staring at me. I skip to a really fast track on my iPod, telling myself 5 mins will suffice. I’ll act like it was just a warmup.  At 4 minutes and 42 seconds another good song comes on and I say I can do this a little longer.  Seven minutes in, I tell myself I can do three more.

Ten minutes in, I’m sweatin’ like a - you know. And sh!t, I’ve only burned 55 calories. Are you kidding me? I put on another super fast track to help me get through this.

After 15 minutes I feel like I have earned the right to get off. Sweat is dripping off my short hair onto my shoulders. Ewww. I proceed to complete the 3 minute cool down and have now burned off the 80 calorie latte I had before coming to the gym.  What? It’s like having a power shake. 

I turn around from the machine wiping my face and make eye contact with ponytail swinger running on the treadmill. I swear she’s thinking, “Done already?”  Humph, and wouldn’t you know the only treadmill available is the one beside her.  I look towards the bikes. I would like to sit my @$$ down but they are taken - d@mn. 

I set the treadmill for a fast incline.  I’m not in shape enough to run and keep up with ponytail swinger, so I’ll just walk so fast that I have to hold on.  I’m 18 minutes in when ponytail swinger finally slows down.  I swear she’s looking at my time and calories, while she’s got her hands on her non hips walking out her cool down. So I look at hers.  Without gawking, I can only see that she’s been on the machine for 30 minutes. I can’t bring my eyes to focus on how many calories she burned.  

A young mother walks by that I’ve only seen here a couple times. We only know each other from our kid’s soccer team.  She says, “I haven’t seen YOU here in a while”. Without sounding as sarcastic as I’d like to, I say, “Thanks for putting me on blast”. She’s young, so I tried to sound young, but it sounded stupid. She giggles and says “You look good though”. I’m thinking, “Whatever heifer” but I say, “Thanks” nicely without adding the fake “You too”.   

My son recently asked me why Jesus Christ was a bad word.  He had said, “Jesus Christ this taste so good”. I explained that it wasn’t a bad word, it was just bad the way he used it. Minutes later I’m scratching my head trying to explain, “in vain”. 

Here’s the thing......Jesus Christ, I had a good workout today.  Please forgive me.

Kenya G. Johnson

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