Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Day One hundred seven

We went to the CCPit yesterday. There’s nothing unusual about that and mostly nothing exciting about it either so I selected a rack, cranked the music up to blast away the pain level, programmed the onboard computer to the cross country setting and glided off. This program mimics flat roads, hills and dales that you are supposed to imagine in all their spring glory as you trudge along. My imagination isn’t that good. I did pretty well for the first few minutes, imagining…, well…., nothing. I was too busy checking out all the different televisions suspended from the ceiling in front of me. What can I say? I’m easily distracted and it’s a good thing too. Without the distraction I would have to notice the nasty pain in my thighs and the fact that my toes were going numb.

A talking head on one screen was telling me about the latest congressional scandal. I didn’t catch all of it as it’s hard to read the scrolling captions and not fall off the rack, but I did catch something about the lack of shower curtains and towels in the congressional gym. I’m an advocate of proper towel use in public places so I was taken aback when the female talking head said women don’t have to worry about that sort of thing. Au contraire mes amis. Have I not harped on this enough? Apparently not since there is an epidemic of inadequate towel usage, even at the highest, or lowest, levels of the pit world. If that female news reader doesn’t think women have a similar problem she should come by the CCPit on Tuesday morning just as the water aerobics class is letting out. I’m sure she would be lobbying congress for stimulus money to buy extra large towels for every pit locker room, male and female- as soon as she stumbled blindly out of the place. A towel in every Pit!! Or something like that.

While I pondered the towel problem I noticed a C and her personal trainer down in the strength training area. He put her on the thigh master machine and walked away leaving her to tone those thighs for a while. The talking heads went from the missing congressional towels to alligator wrestling, and I tuned back in. Seems the sport is gaining in popularity in Florida where I can only suppose there is an surplus of big, really stupid people, and someone thought this would be a good way to thin them out. They even have rules and everything. I’m not sure the alligators play by the rules, but the people are supposed to whether their leathery opponents do or not. I didn’t catch all the rules, but I’m pretty sure rule #1 is – Don’t go in the water with the alligator. This one is usually posted on the fence surrounding the amphibian enclosure and the best wrestlers are the ones who can’t read and thus miss this most important rule. Since alligator wrestlers can’t be expected to read words more than five letters in length, the word alligator is accompanied by a picture too, but still this sport exists.

The C on the thigh master was still there, gradually working those thigh muscles, waiting for her trainer to remember where she was and tell her to stop, either that or she’s hoping to become an alligator wrestler. On screen the Bubba demonstrated his technique- lull the gator into a sense of security, straddle it, hold on like a bronc rider and hope the damned slimy creature doesn’t grab some dangling part of your body, roll you under the water, hold you there until you drown, and then have you for lunch. I can see how strong thighs would be an asset in gator wrestling. A brain would be a better one.

All this time I was slogging through virtual swamps, dragging my reluctant body up those damned hills and dales with great balls of mud on my shoes. At one point I even thought I could hear the mud sucking at my feet, but then I realized it was just me – breathing. If a gator had been after me at that point I couldn’t have outrun it. My thighs were quivering masses and in no shape to wrestle anything or anyone. I fought my way out of a bog and up another slippery hill. Just as I thought I might make it out of the swamp alive a hippopotamus sat on my machine and my feet ground to a halt. Darned swamp animals.

Today we ventured over to the VPit which will be closing later this week for a two week overhaul and expansion. The place is all ready enormous, but in a few weeks will be (so they tell me) the largest Pit in California. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it? In addition to the growth spurt they will be getting all new equipment, and lots of it. This is good news for the people who go there to actually torture themselves as it’s difficult to find a weight machine that doesn’t have a Bro or two hanging off of it comparing Bro truck notes, tattoo’s, or calling their agent to see why they haven’t been offered any auditions lately.

I set myself up on the stair stepper thing-a-ma-bob, you know the one, there aren’t any actual moving steps, just foot paddles so it’s like climbing in place with concrete blocks around your ankles. The spokes-model on the one next to me thinks she’s so cool stepping that fast. I set mine to the ‘kill the old woman’ setting and step it up. Willow the spokes-model is taking shallow little steps at breakneck speed. I’m bottoming out on nearly every step, which is similar to climbing stairs three at a time, and clawing my way back to the top with each step only to be plunged back down the stairwell again. Once I made it back to the top and it let me stay there for a while to catch my breath (like that was going to happen, my breath had run off long ago and I wasn’t going to catch it) I thought about reaching over and pushing a few buttons on Willow’s machine just to see if she could keep up on my setting.

I was really considering doing it until I noticed plumber guy on one of the lounge chair bikes. My mood improved accordingly and I forgot about shallow Willow and our race to the top of the skyscraper. I was winning anyway and she knew it. There’s nothing like the view from the top to inspire, so once I made it the fifty floors I’d set as my goal I headed over to a half rack for some more torture. I chose wisely so I would still have a good view of plumber guy. I took a few deep breaths, selected a good song to get me moving and climbed aboard. Another few seconds and the computer was programmed to ‘kill her in small increments’ and that’s when I looked up and HE WAS GONE. I knew I should have gone over there and tossed one of those people over the rail so I could have a bike next to him, but my Southern upbringing told me that wasn’t nice. So there I was, intermittently killing myself and my inspiration was gone.

To say I was devastated may go too far, but I was certainly irritated. I’m taking this show on the road next week and this was my last chance to get a good look at plumber guy for a while. I spent the next twenty minutes letting the machine kick my booty and doing a pretty good job of it figuratively too. Oh well. Next week I’m going to be in Astronaut –ville and you can bet I’ll be on the lookout for something, or someone, out of this world. Maybe I’ll even find a real life alligator wrestler. Stay tuned.

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