Friday, January 23, 2009

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

In my life long battle of the growing and shrinking belly, I have done my fair share of workouts. It ebbs and flows with the pace of my life; I've never been a terribly gung-ho gym rat. After training for (and not running in) a 15k in October (thank you dear Ellen), I took some time to well, to sit on my hiney.

The effort to get back on the fit horse is daunting because really, who has the time? After completing the five alarm drill of getting the kids out the door, tidying up the clutter, and prepping for work days, I am barely motivated to stand much less make my legs move quickly and start to sweat.

Also, I'm cheap and I despise the idea of paying for gym membership.

In passing I picked up a booklet that listed all the offerings at the Tulsa County Parks. Less than a mile from my house there is a park center with a fitness center and it is open during reasonable people hours. And it's totally cheap. I bought myself a twenty visit pass and went after it. This will be a fun adventure.

The kind man at the desk said that MWF between 7:30 and 9 are the busiest times. Of course that's when I can go. What he didn't tell me was that this was the blue haired workout club. Yes, I was the youngest gal in the room, by a good three decades.

At first I was nervous and felt a little awkward, what with the lycra and the failure of my ipod to charge. But once I started my elliptical training, (yes, training, this is serious), I could listen to their talk and watch them in the full length of the room mirror. (And what is with those?)

One group of men near me were discussing the Super Bowl. This interests me as I love football and I LOVE the Steelers, who are in the big game this year. They must be coaches or former coaches because they were talking about packages and plays and x's and o's. Another man in his bald later years was actually strutting about with his muscle shirt and weight lifting belt. Then there was the precious woman in her matching pink sweatsuit and blue eyeshadow who came to bless me with "health and abundance." I blurted a thank you to her her through my gasps for air.

Finally, a rather large older man climbed aboard the treadmill near me. He started walking and was barely upright as his forearms rested on the handles. In the supremacy of youth I felt smug and fit and young and vibrant. The smugness wore off.

Walking in there was like entering the gym version of Cheers. They all knew each other so there was this light banter and cheerfulness. I could get used to that. I expected to be the new girl working off her Christmas in her thrown together sweats and coffee breath amid the perky cutie-pies in their matching sets.

I won't be dyeing my hair blue but I think I like this place. The more time I spend writing these posts, the more I am seeing community just about everywhere. Why does that surprise me?

As a side note, if you live in Tulsa, you must go here to check out the fabulous classes being offered around our city this spring.

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