Friday, October 15, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - Ode to Eau d'Pit

Every once in a while the weather changes in SoCal. It doesn’t usually change for long, a day or two, then it’s back to hot, dry and windy. Today I woke to a thick gray blanket of fog. Not terribly unusual if you live in a coastal community, but in our little inland valley it ranks up there with alien invasions. I think a lot of people feared the apocalypse and called in sick at their place of employment. Either that, or a good many places shut down because they thought the electricity had been cut off. I hate to tell them that skylights are not a primary source of interior lighting, but someone needs to clue them in and show them where the light switch is.

Oh well, I digress. Due to the inclement weather this morning, the pit was packed. Friday mornings at the CCPit are usually my favorite time slot all week long. It’s almost like having my Pocono Pit back. Almost, but not quite. So, this morning I was surprised to see the influx of peeps. They were everywhere. They’d come in out of the fog like ants seeking water in a drought. I managed to get in a few of my resistance weight’s and headed upstairs to the racks and treadmills. There were a few dog walkers open, but I don’t do those, despite the name of this article. To my dismay there was only one half rack open, smack in the middle of the line. I took it.

It soon became obvious why it wasn’t in use. It wasn’t level. It’s all I can do to stay on one of these things anyway. The last thing I need is the darned thing trying to buck me off. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to call it quits. I’d made the effort to get there, I wanted to get my death defying workout in.

I established a herky-jerky rhythm that allowed me to hang on with some semblance of decorum. Southern by birth, decorum is as much a part of me as my lazy drawl. As much as I wish I could shed it on occasion, it isn’t going anywhere.

One of the things I like about the CCPit is the lack of televisions on the machines. However, they do have some pretty ginormous ones hanging from the ceiling and it’s almost impossible to ignore them all the time. I don’t tune into the audio feed, but all of them are set up with closed-captioning, so if something catches my eye I can read along, or read lips. One commercial caught my attention. It was for Vagisil Feminine Wash. It’s not what you’re thinking. It’s a body wash. The commercial claimed it would eliminate embarrassing odor.

Many of you know of my alter ego, the one that writes erotic romance, so you won’t be surprised that my mind took off in a different direction. I looked at the bright pink squeeze bottle with the giant Vagisil label on it, and wondered what kind of woman would have this in her shower. This is the scenario. Woman (any age) brings her date back to her place. They hook up (modern code for do you-know-what), hey, I’m Southern, decorum, remember? Anyway, they hook up. He asks to use her shower. He steps in, sees giant pink Vagisil bottle and steps out. Within minutes, he has used his smart phone to locate the address of the closest clinic and sprints out the door faster than the Roadrunner with Coyote on his tail, never to be seen again. Heck, even my husband would probably ask some questions if I put that in our shower.

Shortly after this commercial aired, pardon the pun, the half rack next to me became available. That lasted all of ten seconds before another woman claimed it. No chance of me switching for a machine without a flat tire. I said a few choice words to myself, decorum remember, and went on with my business. Then I noticed it. A stench I could not ignore. Having raised two children, stenches are something you develop immunity to. You have to, or you’d never make it until the kids were grown.

Whoever told you that you can’t smell anything if you breathe through your mouth was mistaken. I’m trying to be nice here and not call them a liar. This decorum thing is really a drag sometimes. Anyway, I tried to ignore it, I really did. Then the commercial came on again. Suddenly I knew who it was directed at. I sooo wanted to tap her on the shoulder and make sure she saw the big pink bottle on the screen, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I decided my workout was as complete as it was going to get. The way I figure it, with all the extra muscle’s I had to use to stay on the thing, I’d done the equivalent of two workouts. This is my story and I’m sticking to it. I am however contemplating buying a bright pink bottle and putting it in our shower to see what reaction it gets. Could be amusing.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fat Lady on a Treadmill - The Megapit

It’s been a month since I returned to SoCal, and what a month it has been. Many of you know, shortly after my last blog post, hubby had an event and spent several days in the hospital. After every test known to science, the pronounced him fit and sent him home. Needless to say, neither one of us went to the pit for a few days.

Once hubby was home and rested up, he decided it was time to get back to his daily workout routine. I decided it was in my best interest to go with him, just in case he decided to have another event. We headed over to the Megapit, formerly the VPit, and since it was a weekday afternoon, we procured a parking spot within walking distance of the front door. This was my first peek inside the place since the remodel and I have to say, it’s something to see. I stood there like a tourist, admiring the biggest, highest, longest, deepest, landmark- only this is a gym. Not usually something to gawk at, but in this case, it is.

I’ve never seen so many torture devices in one place, or so many scantily clad people. I figured if all the silicone and Botox in the place didn’t do hubby in, then he was good to go. For the first time ever, I didn’t lock my cell phone in a locker. I kept it with me, just in case. Even though everyone else in the place had a phone, I didn’t trust them. I’m certain they had their plastic surgeons and agents on speed-dial, but doubted they could string three numbers together in an emergency.

I could see the entire thing. Hubby collapses. A crowd gathers. Fingers fly over touch screens. I rush to hubby’s side, grateful someone has the presence of mind to call the first responders. As I try to revive hubby I hear the conversations around me. “Quick, call the news, call someone. I can get some face-time out of this if you get right on it!”

Fortunately, hubby did just fine and no one needed to call for emergency help, of any variety.

Since then, we’ve returned to our normal routine. I go to the pit in the morning, hubby goes in the afternoon, and my cell phone is once again in the locker.

I’ve not been back to the Megapit since that day. Let me tell you why. For one, all the new cardio torture devices have TV screens on them. I don’t watch TV while I’m torturing myself. I watch people, or work through plot problems. I don’t need video in my face to do this.

Second reason – In order to cram as many treadmills and racks in as possible, they reduced the number of resistance weight machines. These are now tucked into a small alcove that once housed the free weights. The walls are mirrored, and some of the machines I use daily are on the back row –facing the mirror. Not that I care about the mirror placement, but it’s a strong pull for the vain, and there are plenty who fall into that category at the Megapit. I sauntered by and both (yes, only two now) of the machines were occupied by male C-30’s who seemed to be using them as strategically positioned park benches. I chose another machine and waited for them to leave. They didn’t. They also didn’t use the machines. Nope, they were too busy admiring themselves in the mirror (really, it wasn’t that good of a show), and I suspect, checking out the female backsides reflected there.

I moved on to the rack where I could keep an eye on hubby, just in case you know. He finished his run. I cut short my torture session and followed him to the alcove. My chosen machines were still occupied by the same vain voyeurs. Peeved, I went in search of a leg press machine. I found a leg press machine – yes one. They’d stashed it in the new addition, along with the gazillion new free weights. (Park benches would have been cheaper and just as useful) I was the only woman in the new area, except maybe in the spinning room where they have more bikes than the Tour de France. Anyway, undaunted by the bro’s text messaging from the weight benches, I did my leg torture and left. Hubby was still in the alcove, and my favorite machines were still doing duty as Peeping Tom perches.

I gave up. I now spend my pit time across town where the vain population is much smaller and I can do my usual routine without having to have a fly swatter to remove the pests. It isn’t without its share of interesting characters, and I do have some observations from there, but I’ll save those for another time.

Thanks to all who shared their concerns over hubby’s health. Until next time…