Friday, December 4, 2009

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Day Seven

Friday is senior citizen day at the pit. I kid you not. I started out on the stair-thing-a-ma-jiggy again, right next to the wheezing C+25. Again I wonder why the concrete floor isn’t padded and scan the perimeter for the defibrillator and oxygen. Surely they are somewhere nearby, not that I’m going to use them, but I might NEED them sometime soon. Note to self – ask someone where they are, just in case. I should ask about the room where they keep the donuts while I’m at it.

I turn on my iPod and instead of music I get a nasty little note telling me to plug it in to a power source. The battery is dead. Dead. Dead. No music today. What am I to do? There is always TV, so I look for the cute little box that is supposed to be there so I can connect to the audio. There is no box. NO BOX. This is the only available stair thing-a-ma-jiggy and now I have no audio of any kind. Oh well. I can make do. I focus on the pit, trying to ignore the wheezing next door.

Daughter #1 is on the rack in the row in front of me, wearing her new shoes and doing fine. I’m glad the new shoes are working out, then it hits me - I hope she remembers the combination to our lock. How is this related? Let me explain. We share a locker and a lock as we don’t come with a lot of baggage each day. The combination to our lock was written in permanent marker on the inside tongue of her shoe. She is wearing her new shoes. No combination. I climb a few floors hoping she has memorized the combination in the six days we’ve been coming. I know I haven’t, but she’s an economist and numbers are easy for her.

Just in case she hasn’t, I contemplate how we are getting home. Our car key is in that locker, along with our cell phones. If we can use a phone we can call hubby and he can come get us, but I don’t know his cell phone # or office phone number. That’s what speed dial is for, isn’t it? We could call information, or we can call Daughter #2 at school 3000 miles away and have her call him. I know her phone number, and she has his on speed dial.

Half the people here today are C+25, or more. Some are leaving me in the dust, some are not. After climbing half way up the Empire State Building I head for the lounge chair bikes. You would think these would be full, given the average age today, but no. I’m the only one using them. I plug in to Regis and Kelly, only it’s Christian Slater and Kelly today and kick the bike up to level 10. I’ll show the Geritol crowd how it’s done! I think about telling you the story about the Christian Slater Memorial Closet at our house, but decide I’ll save that for another time.

There are two C+25 women on the treadmills and they capture my attention. They are walking at a snail’s pace and I wonder why they are here and not at the mall. Surely the mall would be more interesting. They have on their Velcro walking shoes and the one on the right is wearing a mint green sweat suit from Nordstrom and a cable knit sweater. These were meant to give the appearance of fitness wear, not actually be fitness wear. Her companion is dressed more appropriately in a serviceable sweat suit. I notice how small this woman is, frail actually. Her clothes hang off of her, as if once she filled them out, but due to declining health that is no longer the case. I suspect she is here as part of her prescribed physical therapy.

They chat as they stroll together. It becomes clear Nordstrom lady is there because of her friend, to keep her company. They complete their walk and leave, and I am reminded how special friends can be.

Daughter #1 joins me. She’s ready to go and so am I. Luckily she remembers the combination and we are soon on our way. I’ve climbed 62 floors and pedaled 5 miles. No one needed oxygen, including me. It’s a good day.

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