This is getting to be a bit of an old song, but I decided to go back to the gym again today. It had been awhile, again. I’ve been in a bit of a funk, and today seemed like just as good a day as any to go and re-introduce myself, yet again, to the wonders of workout-ville.
So I popped over after my Business Law class, and went inside. There were two blonde Barbie dolls standing behind the desk. I think that it’s a requirement of the job. I asked for a towel, scanned the door of my favourite gym membership administrator to see that it was closed, and went to get changed.
As I stepped onto the treadmill, I told myself that I needed to take it easy today. This was not going to be pretty. I turned on my iPod and began to walk slowly. I glanced around at the other people doing their workout. Most people under the age of 90 seemed to be wearing earphones and some form of mp3 player. I’m sure that they were listening to some kickass workout tunes. And then I heard through my headphones…
“Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. Chapter 7…”
Yes, that’s right… the playlist of the day wasn’t On the Go1, or GymTunes… It was Northanger Abbey. I’m supposed to have finished reading this book for my English course, but I’m falling behind again. I’ve bought the book (twice, I think. I can’t seem to find the first one), and then managed to find a free copy of the audiobook. It’s actually kind of neat to listen to. Each chapter is read by a female reader with a British accent (although it varies quite a bit from reader to reader) and I think that it lends a little more authenticity to the experience. I try to imagine that Jane Austen herself is reading the book to me, while I shovel snow, or walk a mile. I’ve compared it at different points to the written book, and I’ve found it to be identical, so I’m not too worried about missing anything, and I find that I do absorb a fair amount of it, although I have repeated chapters that I couldn’t quite remember what the content was about. So it’s just another form of learning, and trust me.. I’m less likely to fall asleep from listening to it on the treadmill than I am to try to read it at home. Now if only I could get Great Expectations in audio book form.
As I treaded to my heart’s content, I watched a couple of muscle-bound giants lifting what appeared to be small cars above their heads. “Yeah, but can they articulate the subtle nuances of the 19th Century gothic novel?” I said to myself… “No, I don’t think so!” It was a small victory.
Afterwards, I attempted one of those other exercise machines that I can never properly spell. I started to get a little pain in my chest, and figured that I’d had enough for the day. Back into the freshly scented locker room, I retreated. The locker room was empty when I went in, and I was quite shocked to find it full when I completed my shower and hobbled back to my locker. Standing there with a bunch of naked men can make you forget the simplest of things… like the combination to your brand new lock. I required both hands, and stood there in all my naked glory, becoming more frustrated as time went on. I remembered the numbers, but I couldn’t seem to get the whole clockwise, counter-clockwise thing working properly. Four times it took me to open that damn lock.
When I had finally gotten dressed, and was walking to the exit, I noticed that the earlier-closed door was now opened, and my friendly membership administrator (I’m sure that she has a better title, but since she’s the one who signed me up, and sucked me in, last fall.. that’s how I think of her) was at her desk. I always stop to talk to her. Other than the overwhelming feeling of pain, seeing her is one of the few perks. We gabbed for a few minutes, getting caught on my most recent excuses as to why she hadn’t seen me in there lately. I’m starting to run out of excuses, so I might just have to show up a little more often. I made mention of the Barbie doll hiring policy at the front desk and asked when I could start. She laughed, told me to fill out an application. Yeah, like anyone wants to see the likes of me standing behind the front desk when they walk through the door!
All in all, the gym was a somewhat pleasant experience. I should probably try to repeat it again this month. It’s a short month though, so I’d better hurry up.