Thursday, April 15, 2004

Lessons Learned at 70 RPM

Like many people these days, I try to go to the gym a few times a week. It's necessary, because, well, I have a weakness for the potato chips and the television, and that's not a good combination to deal with regularly.

Unlike several people who hit the gym, I'm there to work out. I go in, take care of business, and leave. I don't socialize, I don't talk, and I never, never, never, never, never would dream of trying to pick up a woman while in the gym. Seeing women in makeup, leaning on machines and gabbing at guys preening for the ladies in their custom-made work out clothes just makes me ill. Never would I stoop so low.

Until yesterday.

My membership allows me to go to one of several locations throughout the area. Usually I hit the same gym, but every now and then I go to a different one. And she's there, and lord, is she beautiful. I've been mildly interested in this woman for some time. Well, let's be honest - replace "mildly interested" with "kind of obsessed".

But I keep returning to the dilemma. I don't want to be one of "them". I'm there to exercise dammit, not have fun! But the fact that I haven't been in any sort of relationship in nearly a year started to take its toll on my resolve.

So as I wrapped up my weight lifting, I saw her on one of the elliptical machines. There was an open spot next to her. This was fate. This was kismet. This was a giant green light from Heaven, saying "GO! GO! GO!"

I hopped up on the machine and smiled and nodded at her. I figured I'd get started and say something witty. Or smart. Or hell, just something. So I punched up the settings and get started.

A little note here: I use the same model of machine regularly. I change the settings to vary the workout, but I can run on one of those things for a good 30 minutes, work up a good sweat, and be on my way. However, that's at my usual gym, where everyone knows my name (or at least my face, because I don't talk to people much). Apparently, you can change the calibration on these things, making the same settings much harder or easier - something I didn't know. But I do now.

After one minute, I was gasping like I'd just sprinted up a long flight of stairs. At two, the mild burn in my legs started to become an inferno. Plus, I sounded like I'd been smoking three packs a day for ten years. At four minutes, I began to see the light - and thought maybe going into it was a good idea. At five, I just about fell off the damned machine, looking and breathing like I'd just sprinted out of a rain forest.

Needless to say, looking cool and suave was out of the question, because the only two words I could put together (between panting) coherently were "Sweet" and "Jesus".

So not-so-suave-and-cool me headed off to the exercise bikes to finish my foray into cardiovascular fitness and nurse my wouned pride.

As for the girl? I need to regroup a bit here. I was going to fall back on plan B - follow her home and start "just showing up" where she does, but apparently, there are "laws" against that sort of thing.

So ulltimately, I'm going to have to revert to plan A - actually strike up a conversation, and risk the wrath of the gym gods. I just won't try it on the running machines; that could get ugly.

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