Home AboutBest Of Reviews Subscribe BlogrollTwitter

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Notes from Monday Morning at the Gym

Crazy Fit Old Man is at it again.

I'm guessing he's in his early 70s. He's wearing, as every day, nondescript exercise shorts and a white undershirt as a t-shirt. No matter whether I come in the morning or the afternoon, he is always on the stairmaster, climbing stairs FAR faster than I ever could, the sweat pouring off him. His shirt is always soaked. He required multiple face-towels to dry off his machine the one time I actually saw him finish a workout. Normally, he's there when I arrive, and still stepping when I leave. He clings to the rails of the stair-stepper for dear life as though the fast-moving stairs might fling him off at any moment. But he apparently can do this in defiance of the machine, gravity, aging, and the loss of the complete water content of the human body, on a daily basis. I wonder if he's training for some 70+ category in a marathon. Or if he's just bored. Or if he's really twice my age (which he looks). Today he's changed things up a bit: he chose a machine by the window.

I pick a treadmill and start my new favorite exercise: hill walking. Set the incline to maximum, the pace to 20-minute miles, and huff up a one-mile hill as fast as I can go. Feeeeel the burn in all the parts of my lower half that really really need to work.

I hit the saddest of all hilarious happy places on this incline workout today when Jazzy Jazz the Dancin' Man picks the treadmill in front of mine for his workout. He's one of those thick-necked weight-lifter types who can't put his arms straight down by his sides because too many muscles get in the way. He's sporting shiny headphones. He makes no eye contact. He sets the treadmill pace to something moderate, gets on, and immediately starts struting through the walk. Shoulders pumping, hands swinging all cool-like halfway behind his back. Then the pace picks up, and he is dancing. He does little sideways steps, like a hip-hop version of the sashay they made us do in square dancing class during PE. He turns backwards on the treadmill and does funky little hopping steps, faces front again, and begins pumping his arms in the air to the music I cannot hear, and so I can only tell is not Y.M.C.A. because his arms aren't spelling anything. I want whatever you're listening to, Mr. Nutty Jazzy Dancing-on-the-Treadmill in Your Noise-Canceling Headphones Man.

Why is this sad? With my treadmill at an incline, I miss half the show because the monitor panel blocks my view of his feet. I have never seen happier shoulders, or more dancing arms, or a finer strut, however, on anyone on a treadmill anywhere. I wish Jazzy Jazz would go on forever. Sadly, this is apparently just an interlude in the weight lifting, and he leaves.

I am left to run a mile as fast as I can alone and regret that I have not chosen this flat portion of my workout to come before the one-mile incline. I wish that there was anything even remotely as interesting on the TVs. There isn't. Unless you count the Extended Play version of a Swiffer infomercial. I don't.

I go downstairs to work on my computer for the remainder of my daycare time allotment. The kids are having a ball. Why not?

The cushy couches are located right next to a new free demo: "Guess Your Body's Age and WIN!!" (no suggestion of what you win). It's a semi-torturous series involving stretching, lifting, running, and submitting one's body fat to calipers. I have a number in my mind instantly, an age I think my body is. But I waste all my time wondering whether this is what I really think my body age is or only what I want it to be, and so I don't get tested.

Also, I keep thinking about the nutty stair-stepping septuagenarian, who might have a body age younger than mine in this little test. Which is just embarrassing. I don't know why or how he does it. But one thing's for darn sure: he's fit. Ca-ray-hay-zee fit.

And as I'm leaving the gym with the kids, the "Guess Your Age" guru on the gym staff smiles at me and says, "Sorry you lost your entertainment up there!" And I realize that he was watching me watching Jazzy Jazz. And that I was probably ogling in precisely the way one might deem rude. And I'm momentarily embarrassed. Until I realize that his comment means Age Guru must have been ogling me, or else he wouldn't have known what I was ogling Jazzy Jazz.

And suddenly, I'm not embarrassed. I did not fall off my treadmill. I ran a mile in just over 9 minutes. I am ogle-able! Now I just need to find myself a new exercise-machine name. I don't much like the sound of OgleTime.

** In case you need a laugh, I thought I'd embed this little gem here. For serious: treadmill dancing at its most awesome. Not quite the same as Jazzy Jazz, but darn good. No weight-lifting muscles were harmed in the making of this video, as they were not allowed on the set.**


KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

I need to join a gym--if for nothing else but the entertainment. I am missing out.

That video is awesome!

LceeL said...

That's hilarious. What would be even funnier would be to see MY fat ass doing that.

calicobebop said...

Gyms are perfect for people watching. Mr. Jazzy-Jazz sounds like a riot! Wish we had some of that creativtiy to ogle in my gym!

zoeyjane said...

i am of the opinion that nothing good can ever come from going to the gym :)

but having read and seen that - i need to go see me some treadmill dancers!

Marcy - The Glamorous Life! said...

I love this video. I marvel how they were able to teach these band guys to do all this! Those must have been some intersting rehersals!

I often do my treadmill workout to this song on my ipod.

Thanks for a funny post!

Tara R. said...

I would lose my mind if I had to control my outbursts of laughing at your gym. Your Jazzy-Jazz sounds hilarious.

Love the OK Go video...

foolery said...

Love the video. I'm so impressed with their Hans Brinker moves. And the stamina. And my body's age is 137.

Lipstick said...

Love, love, love this video.
I just posted a link on my blog to this post.
How did you ever find this video?

Immoral Matriarch said...

I love that video. I remember them doing it live on the MTV Awards and me hoping they didn't [wishing they did] fall on their faces.

I need to join a gym. But I'm so, so very lazy.

Mrs F with 4 said...

I *was* thinking about rejoining the gym... but I think I just changed my mind.

Does 'Lecherous Lady' have the appropriate connotations for your gym-name?

Rach (Mommy Learns to Blog) said...

The video is great, but the image of Jazzy-Jazz is even better! And go you for being ogled!!

LaskiGal said...

Was Age Guru good lookin'? 'Cause if he was, I'd be feelin' all sorts of happy right about now :)

You make me miss the gym. Then again, jogging with the stroller in the park is getting more and more interesting. There is always some fun drama among the senior set!

San Diego Momma said...

I love that vid.

And, I'm inspired by your workout and ogle-ability.

Too bad my treadmill is in the guest bedroom. Not much entertainment there.


Mr Lady said...

I got winded just reading this.

(and I imagine I would have oogled you, too.)

Amber said...

Toooooo funny. But don't worry--you don't need to be in a gym to be humiliated by old people. I have been biking with the kids lately. Read: hauling all 70 pounds of them in their bike trailer. Old men and children on training wheels can pass me when I'm trying to haul them uphill.

MommyTime said...

All of you who commented on the fantastic people watching at the gym are right on! Tara R. gets it right. The only downside is the distraction danger: you've got to be careful not to fall right off the back of a moving treadmill if you get to laughing so hard that you can't run properly. (Rach, I found Jazzy Jazz even funnier than the video too, but sadly didn't have a movie of him :)

Foolery, I know your body is not that old!

Lipstick, I've seen this video before -- a long time ago -- and I just went to YouTube and searched for treadmill dancing, and this was the first thing that popped up. Which just goes to show that it's worth searching YouTube for a video themed to suit practically any post.

Mrs F! I'm shocked! I'm not lecherous! Frankly, Jazzy Jazz is sooo not my type (I prefer men with necks), and thankfully most of the people at my gym wear basic cotton shorts and random t-shirts instead of all that lycra matchy-match stuff. So lecherous is a bit out of the question. Most of the people at my gym are QUIRKY rather than hot, so I need a name that suggests shameless staring of the utterly un-lustful variety. (San Diego Mama, got any help for me? What do you call someone who loves to stare at Gym Quirkers?)

Mr Lady, thank you. As always.

Amber, my kids + bike trailer stroller (which I use as a double jogging stroller) = about 90 pounds, so I sympathize. If I had to pull them uphill on a bike, we would become the world's first backwards-moving bicycle. You are a brave woman.

Fifi Flowers said...

great video! I think I need to link this! Good use od treadmill... better than looking at it sit in the corner! ;)

auds at barking mad said...

Thank goodness I go to the Y...and then it's only to swim, and only then it's because my doctor told me to. Otherwise I wouldn't bother going in. But, it IS the Y and the people (at least at our local Y) tend to not be so...what's the word I'm looking for? You probably won't find the inhabitants of Muscle Beach in our local Y. And that's a good thing!

Seriously though, I'd probably end up being someone's blog fodder because I am not coordinated (our eliptical machine and ab-lounger are in the mudroom, where they keep company with the cat-condo...and the cats are regularily entertained by me trying not to fall off the eliptical and then make it past 4 minutes on the stupid thing. And if that's not enough amusement for them, they get a hearty laugh out of watching me fold myself up in the ab-lounger.) and would probably end up making a huge ass of myself.


Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.
Image Hosting by Flickr.