Monday, September 13, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - This Isn't the Pocono's Toto

Today was the day I pledged to get back into my routine. That means a bit of breakfast, and then off to the pit. The drive alone was reason enough to stay at home, but I put on my brave face and took the urban assault vehicle (UAV) on the road. In this town, if you drive anything smaller than a tank you’re a Lilliputian in the land of Gulliver’s. I prefer being a Gulliver.

It turns out that my recent trips to The Big Apple also served to keep my driving skills honed. I arrived at the pit without incident, only to find the parking lot completely full – of Trophy Wife vehicles. You know the ones. They’re new, mostly foreign, except for the Escalades, and there isn’t a subtle thing about them. Chrome wheels, sun-roofs, leather seats, onboard computers that do everything but order for you at the drive-thru. I spotted a few with those cute little leaping kitty hood ornaments too. They have regular appointments at the auto-spa so the sweet young thing driving them won’t be embarrassed by a speck of dust on her transportation when she pulls up in front of the brow bar or tanning salon. They wouldn’t be caught dead with a petrified French fry under the passenger seat.

I’m not sure whose idea it was to open the largest pit in the state of California (not kidding, it’s a fact) in a small strip mall with a limited number of parking spots, but I can’t imagine they thought it through. I circled the lot once, just to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I hadn’t.

Hubby and daughter #1 have been to this pit since it became a monster and swallowed up a couple of adjoining businesses, but clearly, they haven’t been in the morning. I don’t care how nice the new machines are, or how many of them they’ve crammed into the space. I’m not going to hang around in the parking lot until someone gets tired of posing and decides to go home, or realizes she’s going to be late for her bikini waxing. I’m pretty certain I was over dressed for the place anyway. I’d actually covered my cleavage. I’m not sure they would have let me past the front desk.

I steered my UAV out to the eight-lane divided, wanna-be-freeway and headed across the valley to the other pit, the step-child pit, the one they didn’t remodel while I was away. Traffic was lighter on the other side of the valley and it wasn’t necessary to use my aggressive driving skills. A few minutes later I turned into the parking lot of the regular-people pit, and had my choice of several spots. I spotted a few Bro-trucks, but they were outnumbered by the mini-vans and aging sedans. The UAV fit right in with its layer of dust and crumpled straw wrappers in the center console. A couple of C+20 women wearing flood pants and Velcro shoes winched themselves out of a Chevy a few rows over. I’d found my people.

This was confirmed when I sailed past check-in without raising suspicion. I’d been there many times before, but it was still a bit overwhelming. The entire Pocono Pit would have fit inside the Spinning classroom with room to spare. There were more machines to choose from than I’d seen in months. Just deciding where to start was a challenge. Since it had been a long while since I’d done my usual routine, and clearly that needed to change given my expanded options, I decided to keep my first day back simple.

Memory kicked in and I found the locker room, right where it had been the last time I was there. Since the Pocono Pit had cubbies, not locker room, even this was going to take some getting used to. I won’t go into details, but I will mention one word, one very important word. Towels.

I hurried out to the floor, found a half-rack on the second floor and programmed it to the –kill me now- setting. While the machine proceeded to do as asked, I checked out the place. The ratio of men to women was somewhere around 2:1. I was okay with that. Especially since the majority of the men weren’t half bad to look at. I looked my fill, at least until my eyesight began to blur. The place began to empty out. I wondered if I was emitting an offensive odor or perhaps they knew something I didn’t, like the place was about to be invaded by Trophy Wives. I decided there wasn’t anything I could do about either one, so I finished the programmed workout.

I thought about spending a few minutes with the resistance equipment. None of it was seeing a lot of use, but it had already been a long day. I made a mental note of where my favorites were and headed for the locker room. On the way, I went past the Spin class. That answered the question as to where everyone had gone. I made note of the time so I could show up tomorrow after the class began. It would be almost like being back at the Pocono Pit where I had the place more or less to myself.

In the locker room, I extracted the scrap of paper with my combination on it from my clever hiding place behind the music storage device strapped to my arm. Unfortunately, the two C+20’s were still there. They’d traded their flood pants for towels, on their way to swimsuits, I think. I don’t really want to know. I checked the time. Maybe I should push my arrival back a few more minutes tomorrow, just to be safe.

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