Friday, October 23, 2009

My New Trainer

I was at the gym, which I recently joined, and on the treadmill at 7:41 this morning, thinking to myself how fabulous and empty the gym was and hoping that it would not go out of business. The entire row of about six treadmills on each side of me was empty. It was glorious. No smelly sweaters near me, nobody coughing swine flu droplets nearby. Perfect.

I was listening to Ants Marching on my ipod, reminiscing about sophomore year of college when my friends and I rarely left our Brady Bunch style house, except to go to class, of course, or maybe Hash Bash in the Diag. We played Dave Matthews on constant rotation in those days, that is, when my roommates weren't busy singing Neil Diamond songs or the Frosted Flakes ("Show 'Em You're a Tiger") theme song on the karaoke machine, blitzed out of their minds.

I was feeling the beat and contemplating upping my speed to 3.9, and then possibly jogging at 4.3 when it happened. Some tall blond "runner's runner" hopped on the treadmill next to me. NEXT TO ME.

Now, stop me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a book on treadmill etiquette out there that would suggest you don't get up in someone's grill like that when there are a dozen other empty treadmills available? It was the equivalent to being in a freight elevator alone and someone getting on and standing face to face with you, noses touching.

It was so strange that I thought she might just be looking for a friend, a coach, a date? Was she hitting on me? No. She didn't even glance in my direction. She had the audacity to take the treadmill next to me and then run like a gazelle, forcing me, of course, to pound my speed button from 3.7 right up to 4.5! Oh yeah, now it was a race.

Back before I was pregnant, when someone would hop on a treadmill next to me, I used to like to pretend I was running the final foot race of the CBS Emmy-award winning show, The Amazing Race, with a million dollars at stake. I came up with this bizarre head game as a way to actually train for The Amazing Race, which my friend, Bess and I tried out for a few years ago. (We even went to the Tumi store and asked Tumi to outfit us with racing gear, backpacks, etc. for our television debut, which, by the way, never happened).

So, today was no different, despite the fact that I have not run much at all in the past 14 months. I didn't care. "You can beat this bitch!" I told myself, treading faster in my brand new sneakers, trying not to huff and puff audibly. "This is it! It all comes down to this!" I could see the finish line, smell the taste of victory, envision signing the back of that check.

Then, she ran faster, sensing that I was closing in on her. Okay, short story, she won the million bucks, the pain in my legs sucks.

I'm guessing next time I see that psycho close-runner at the gym she'll be on my shoulders while I'm running. Maybe she was just a decoy trainer hired by my husband, posing as a competitive runner? Either way, I should thank that crazy bitch for giving me a good workout.

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