Just down the street from us, next to the Dunkin’ Donuts, is a new gym. Ed and I decided that we needed some motivation to exercise, and paying for a gym membership is good motivation for both of us. We’re both so “frugal” that if we spend money on something, we’re going to use it. We’re trying to make exercise a habit; a good habit. I stop by the gym right after teaching my little preschool class.
When I’m at the gym, the manager always has a cheerful hello for me as I walk in. I step into the bathroom to change (no locker rooms) and then it’s out to the treadmill to walk. Usually I have my choice of machines, but when there is someone else walking on a treadmill, I’m always careful to leave a treadmill as a buffer in-between me and the other exerciser.
About a week ago, an older woman was on the treadmill. I kept that buffer in-between me and her. It didn’t stop me from noticing her brilliant red hair or her blue velour sweatsuit, however. I started my workout.
The gym has very fancy, new treadmills with TV screens built into them. She was having trouble changing the channel. I knew it was only a matter of time before she asked me for help. I started to speed walk. Unfortunately, treadmills don’t move.
Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? Remember how Howard’s mother talks? With a loud, nasally voice? Then you can image how she sounded when she asked me, “Do you know how to change the channel?”
I acted very out of breath, like I was working very hard. “No,” I said. “Sorry!” I’m not very accommodating. But I was also telling the truth. I don’t watch TV while I’m on the treadmill.
She pressed more buttons on the remote as her walking slowed. For an old lady, she had been working up a sweat, which was impressive.
All of a sudden she yelled, “Help! Help!”
Remember Howard’s mother?
I looked at her, then looked around to the room to see if anyone heard her. A personal trainer fiddled with some weight equipment and pretended to be busy.
“Help!” she called again.
The gym manager came over to help. “I don’t want to watch this channel any more!” she nasally said. “My movie is over and I don’t watch to watch this show!” The manager was as sweet as could be, and helped her change the channel. She exercised for about five more minutes and then stepped off the treadmill.
I was able to finish my workout in peace and quiet at the gym. That night, I had a good story to tell the girls and Ed. I was sure to use my best impression of the red-haired lady at the gym.
“Help! Help! I can’t change the channel!”
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