For the last couple of months, I've been waking up at 4:30 AM three days a week in order to get to the gym by the time it opens at 5:00. Crazy, right? I know, but really, it's not that bad. I find that it's handy to get a workout in before the day starts because with my kids' school and sports schedules, hitting the gym at any other time than before sunrise is just not in the cards. I have to take Violet to school every day at 6:30, so I have just enough time to get in my workout before I have to get home and fire up Mom's Taxi Service.
The gym I go to is on the smaller side and generally, I see the same group of individuals every time I go. The cast of characters includes:
- Old Treadmill Guy: This is a man in his 80s who walks r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y on the treadmill for a really long time. Usually he's already on the treadmill when I get there and generally, he's still on that treadmill when I leave approximately an hour and fifteen minutes later. I would venture a guess that he maybe walks about a mile in that timeframe, but brother is old and good for him for doing any type of exercise at all, right?
- Stairmaster Lady: I'm going to guess this lady is in her early 60s and she does nothing else but walk on the Stairmaster for about 45 minutes while she also reads a book. The weird part is that she does this while wearing one of those weightlifting belt things that body builders wear when they lift really heavy weights and I've yet to see her pick up even so much as a hand weight. It's all Stairmaster, all the time for her.
- Friendly Guy: This is another older gentleman who makes sure to wave a friendly hello to everybody while he goes about his workout. I like this guy, he made me feel welcome in what felt like an intimidating setting at first.
- Hot Stuff: As you can probably tell, the crowd skews a little on the older side at my gym, at least that early in the morning. I would say Hot Stuff is somewhere in her forties and I get the distinct impression that she enjoys being one of the younger women at the gym. Let's just say that Hot Stuff does a lot of stretches that put her goods on display. For some reason, she really likes to lift her leg over her head. That said, she works out pretty hard and for being toothpick skinny, she can lift really heavy weights.
- That Guy I Kind of Sort of Know: There is this one guy that I've actually met a few times that works with my husband. He doesn't seem to remember me. In his defense, I go to the gym with my hair pulled back and no makeup on so I'm fine with not being recognized.
- Mr. Perfect: Every gym has at least one of these. They're the guys that stare at themselves in the mirror during their entire workout, checking out their muscles, face, body in general, etc. I actually find the most interesting thing about this guy to be that he drinks hot coffee while he works out. Isn't that weird? I think that's weird.
- Captain Smelly: This guy. Just, ugh. Shortly after he starts working out, he begins to emit the most foul body odor stench that wafts around him like horrible, terrible cologne. I really try to avoid Captain Smelly as much as I can but as I mentioned, the gym is small, so it's hard. I've also tried breathing through my mouth and holding my breath, but that's difficult mid-workout. He actually hasn't been at the gym at all this week so I'm hoping he fell off the gym wagon and won't get back on. That's probably mean but seriously, gross.
Even still, I like my little gym. I've belonged to more than one fitness center in the past that was nothing more than a glorified meat market. The women there spent more time getting ready to work out than actually working out and the guys all stood around and ogled said women. I'll take my merry band of misfit gym rats any day. Even Captain Smelly.