(Or the further adventures of our Heroine in the Gym, observing FM and SB....)
I confess, I'm not looking forward to the Fitness Center being more utilized by our residents... right now, there's not usually more than one or two people in the Center, which has meant no waiting...
There are a couple people, however, that I've seen more than once.
The first one, and I've seen him three out of the four times I've been there, is this huge African-American guy. HUGE. Six and a half feet tall. With bronky, muscle-builder arms and slabs of steel instead of legs. He uses the full amount of weight on the lifting machine (which I think is 200 pounds, but I'm not positive) and runs for about 40 minutes on the elliptical. And by running, I mean running. Flat out, sprinting like a lion was after him, running. It's scary to watch and highly impressive.
And here's the real kicker, at least to me.
Fat. Muscular around the arms and legs, but he has this enormous belly hanging out in front of him.
I'm astonished how he can run like that and still be fat. I wonder if he started out a lot more fat than I'm currently seeing him. I wonder if he used to be an athlete, and sort of went to seed. I wonder if he drinks entirely too much beer. And I wonder if he'd actually slap me if I voiced any of those things. So I just watch him out of the corner of my eye and am secretly impressed.
I think of him as FM, or sometimes, FbM. (Fat Man, or Fat, but Muscular.) I wish I knew his name. Thinking of him as FM seems a little rude, somehow.
The other person I've also seen three times. Once she was arriving as I was leaving, once she came in mid-way during my workout, and this last time I saw her, she brought her husband, and her two homeschooled kids in when I was nearing the end of my HIIT walk.
The first time I saw her (and I admit, I probably imagined this) she gave me that look. You know the one... the "YOU are going to work out? Aren't you a little FAT to be thinking about being in a gym where actual serious people work out? I bet you won't be around in three weeks..."
She is tiny. She has no hips or breasts to speak of, and her waist is somewhat moving on towards barbie proportions. She's blonde with a chic haircut that frames her tiny, perfect face, and she looks as if she's never even thought about eating a cookie.
Of course, I immediately dub her SB (Skinny Bitch).
I spend a while berating myself for doing that, too. I mean, I have no idea where she started in her fitness program. Maybe she's always been thin. Maybe she has to work out every day for three hours a day to support her Ding-Dong habit. Maybe she was once 80 pounds overweight and now she looks and feels great in her body. I can't tell that, just from looking at her in her red and white workout clothes.
She has, however, no endurance whatsoever. I discovered this yesterday at my workout. I was doing my HIIT when she walked in... she gave me a slight, cheery smile and I worked on revising my opinion of her. (Thus leading me to wonder if I imagined that LOOK she gave me last time...) She did some stretches, got her kids organized in the corner with some workbooks, then got on the elliptical. I'm chugging along at a good clip on the treadmill, 3.5 miles an hour on a 3 incline, sweating and bouncing along...
She gets off the eliptical in six. minutes. Sweating and gasping for breath.
She goes back to doing stretches while her husband lifts weights and she stops stretching from time to time to spot for him.
I continue my walking. The biking was lots harder, but I'm still getting a heck of a workout on the treadmill... and then, near the end of my 35 minutes, I was starting to feel really tired, in that warm, achy sort of tired... and then suddenly... I just didn't.
It was amazing.... like that gentle downglide after an orgasm... my breathing stopped being so ragged and my back suddenly stopped hurting and... I felt absurdly happy. Like I could walk a million miles... like I was on top of the world.
I'd always thought Runner's High was one of those... crystal twinkie lies. Like "I conquored a cookie craving with a walk around the block." Like "After a while, those high fatty desserts just didn't taste as good."
I was absurdly disappointed when my cooldown cycle started, but went ahead and got off the treadmill and started my stretching.
"You look like you had a good workout," SB said, grinning at me.
"Yeah, yeah, I did," I said.
"I wish I had that kind of endurance," she said, wistful. "You're in great shape."
I blinked. "Thank you. I've worked pretty hard at it..."
"I can tell."