Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Wheel vs the Cage

Lately, the weather has been too cold for my tastes to run outside. We recently renewed our gym membership so I have no excuse to not run. When I go to the gym I have the choice of the cages (area for free weights or machines) or the Hamster Wheel (track). Depending on the time of day I go, I get to see a whole host of interesting people.

The morning crew (8:00 am -10:00 am) of people include old retirees who get in for free (there is a Senior center connected to the facility and a retirement home next door), moms with strollers, people who would normally be outside if it's cold me.

The evening crew (4:00 pm - 9:00 pm) consists of kids who should be down in the gym, kids whose parents have made the upstairs their own private day care facility, couples who like to walk and talk, teens who like to walk, talk and talk or text on their cell phone.

Neither option is ideal for running on the Wheel.

Hamster Wheel (aka the Track): The wheel is on the second level around the outside of the top level with the cages and other workout rooms in the center.  It overlooks the 4 different basketball gyms below.

As I run, I see the people in the cages, just like a guard who paces by the prison cells sees the prisoners. The rooms with the machines and weights are surrounded by a fence type structure that looks like something from the prison supply store.

To pass the time, I tend to track who is doing what in the two cages. First, I notice who is wearing a race shirt to see if I've run the same race. Then I track what machines people migrate too. My internal conversation degrades over time.

Lap 1 Machine Cage: "Anorexic looking guy who i've seen at a variety of races..going faster than I ever have and probably has no girlfriend","Old-guy white xyz race top is on the climbing machine looking like he's about to pass out", and "green shirt guy is on the bike".

Lap 1 Free Weight Cage: "big guy, black tank looking like he's going to burst a major vein in his neck", "tough looking chick I'd not want to meet in a dark alley"

Lap 12 Machine Cage: "That anorexic guy is now on the stair climber...he's an animal and really has no life." "Old-guy is finishing up and looking good" "Green shirt guy didn't last long on the bike and has migrated through 3 other machines...this is not the place to be picking up chicks"

Lap 12 Weight Cage: "Big Guy is chatting with the tough biker chick looking girl. It's the guns...unlike green shirt guy in the other cage."

Lap 24 Machine Guy: "Hey Green shirt guy...get a life already. Go get a membership at Gold's..there are no HOT chicks at the city rec center""Anorexic guy...yeah the sign says 60 min max on the treadmill for a reason...go find yourself a girl somewhere."

Lap 24 Weight Cage: "Yeah biker chick girl could definitely kick green shirt guys trash. That'd be an interesting cage fight..wonder if we can set it up."

Lap 32: ah blah blah naaammmee this ever going to end?

Usually by lap 40 or even 48 I've given up on the fact that I'll ever be able to leave.

I'm ready for Spring.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Love the internal conversation. I hear ya on spring. Please make the cold stop. Please.